"People Problems" Stymie CRM Initiatives

To succeed in the age of the customer, business and IT professionals who support front-office business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. But how do you acquire and deploy the appropriate supporting technologies and lead and sustain the necessary organizational changes to be successful?

Knowledge workers have a great deal of control over the tools they use to get their jobs done, and you must convince them of the value of using a new technology tool. The cost of poor adoption is twofold: underutilized investment and unmet business objectives. Driving adoption needs to be a top priority of any customer relationship management (CRM) initiative, and getting there requires skills and resources to drive effective change management.

To understand the prevalence of the risks and pitfalls that AD&D pros need to navigate to achieve a successful CRM technology project, Forrester partnered with CustomerThink to survey 650 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in sales, marketing, customer service, or IT within the past 36 months.

According to our respondents, the top "people" challenges when implementing a CRM solution include cultural resistance to adopting new ways of working (45%), difficulties in achieving user adoption (44%), insufficient planning and attention given to change management (42%), and inadequate leadership (38%).

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How To Succeed with CRM: The Critical Success Factors, Part 4

To succeed in the age of the customer, IT leaders that that support “front-office” business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. In recent blogs, I have been sharing the results of a recent survey of practioners to define and quantify the best practices for CRM success.  

Working in partnership with CustomerThink, Forrester collected opinions from more than 600 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in sales, marketing, customer service, or IT. Previously, I reported that our data show that CRM technology deployments require a balanced and multifaceted approach that addresses four critical fundamentals: process, people, strategy, and technology.

Notwithstanding the relative maturity of the CRM solutions available on the market today, more than one-third (35%) business and IT professionals that we surveyed report specific technology snares that you must navigate around.

The  top technology challenges to implementing a CRM solution include difficulties in consolidating customer data (45%); lack of the skill sets required to implement and support the solution (45%); poor usability of the CRM solution (34%); system performance shortfalls (32%); perceived functional deficiencies in vendor solutions (29%); and integration challenges (25%).  These can become key roadblocks to the effective use of CRM solutions to achieve better business outcomes.

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How To Succeed With CRM: The Critical Success Factors, Part 3

To succeed in the age of the customer, IT leaders that that support “front-office” business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. In recent blog posts, I have been sharing the results of a recent Forrester survey of practioners to define and quantify the best practices for CRM success.

Working in partnership with CustomerThink, Forrester collected opinions from over 600 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in sales, marketing, customer service, or IT.

 A few weeks ago, I reported that our data show that CRM technology deployments require a balanced and multifaceted approach that addresses four critical fundamentals: process, people, strategy, and technology.

More than two-fifths (42%) stated that their problems  with CRM were the result of “people” issues such as slow user adoption, inadequate attention paid to change management and training, and difficulties in aligning the organizational culture with new ways of working. These can become key roadblocks to the effective use of CRM technology solutions to achieve better business outcomes.  

More the specifically, the top people challenges to implementing a CRM solution include cultural resistance to adopting new ways of working (45%), difficulties in achieving user adoption (44%), insufficient planning and attention given to change management (42%), and inadequate leadership (38%).

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How To Succeed With CRM: The Critical Success Factors - Part 2

To succeed in the Age of the Customer, IT leaders that that support “front-office” business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. Traditionally, IT organizations have existed to support internal operations but in today’s world, the technology leaders must play a key role when it comes to delivering solutions that support better external customer experiences.

With business partners in need of help, it’s up to technology leaders to help identify and deliver solutions that will give their companies a competitive edge. This fall, Forrester will host a Forum for Application Development & Delivery Professionals that will focus specifically on the top technologies, skills and practices you will need to take a leadership role in the development of world-class customer experiences at your company. At the Forum, I will sharing findings from new research about the types and prevalence of the CRM pitfalls that you need to navigate,

Working in partnership with CustomerThink, Forrester collected opinions from over 600 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, or IT. Last week, I reported in this blog that our data show that CRM technology deployments require a balanced and multi-faceted approach which addresses four critical fundamentals: process, people, strategy, and technology.

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How To Succeed With CRM: The Critical Success Factors

To succeed in the Age of the Customer, business and IT leaders that that support “front-office” business processes cannot afford failed technology initiatives. CRM technology projects can be costly, affect many employees within the organization, and can suffer from a lack of vendor support.  

To understand the types and prevalence of the pitfalls that you need to navigate, I recently did a survey of CRM practioners. Working in partnership with CustomerThink, Forrester collected opinions from over 500 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, or IT within the last 36 months. Respondents evaluated 88 project risk factors, in four categories: strategy (business goals and objectives); process (procedures and business rules); technology (applications and infrastructure); and, people (organizational structure, skills and incentives).

I will report our findings in more detail in up-coming blogs, but here are some initial insights.  

To achieve CRM technology deployment success requires a balanced approach. Focus on all four fundamental success factors:

■    Process. Nearly half (44%) agreed their CRM projects faced problems grounded in: poor or insufficient definition of business requirements; inadequate business process designs; and, the need to customize solutions to fit unique organizational requirements.

■    People. More than two-fifths (42%) agreed that their problems were "people" issues: such as slow user adoption; inadequate attention paid to change management and training; and, difficulties in aligning the organizational culture with new ways of working.

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Use This Checklist To Avoid CRM Technology Project Pitfalls

One of the most frequent inquiries I still get from clients is: “How do we avoid CRM technology project pitfalls?”

Forrester Research is collaborating with CustomerThink to conduct a study about the future of CRM. The goal is to discover, define, and quantify the critical success factors that lead to successful CRM initiatives. For the purposes of the study, CRM is defined as the processes and supporting technologies used to target, acquire, retain, understand, and collaborate with customers.

In the age of the customer, there is only one source of competitive differentiation: an obsession with understanding, delighting, connecting with, and serving customers. This means effectively managing the four key components of CRM: strategy, process, people, and technology.

Survey participants will receive a free report analyzing the results.

Your Anonymous Survey Link:

https://forrester.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_24BhSoEuTYKXfDv

You can also copy this link and paste it into your web browser. 

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How To Calculate The ROI Of CRM

My clients ask for help quantifying the financial impacts of implementing a CRM technology solution. CRM initiatives must not only be technically sound but must answer the question “What will we get for our money?”

In my new report, Quantify The Business Value of CRM, I provide an overview of Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) methodology and how to use it calculate whether the benefits to be derived from investing in a CRM solution will be greater than the costs.

The first step is to estimate how investing in a CRM solution will help grow revenues, cut operating costs, and boost IT efficiencies:

  • Power up the revenue engine. You need to define the objectives associated with increasing revenue. Can you capture more of our current customers' spending on your product category (capturing larger wallet share)? Can you improve your product mix value by encouraging more sales of higher-margin products? Can you improve price realization by better matching discounting policies to the appropriate customer groups? Will your CRM initiative help you increase the average length of our customer relationships by reducing irritants that cause attrition? Will you be able to attract profitable new customers?
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Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing Top Technology Investment Priority List

A few weeks ago, I shared results from Forrester’s Forrsights Software Survey Q4 2012, spotlighting the fact that strengthening customer relationships and driving revenue growth are the top prioritiesof senior business leaders today. This is playing out in the technology market where the leaders of key customer-facing functions have become driving forces behind technology spending.

 

In our survey of 2200 software decision-makers, the number one ranked department for investment was Sales (42%).  Customer service was tied for the second most important priority (36%), followed by Field Service (27%), and Marketing (25%).

 

Investment priorities for mobile technologies show a similar pattern. The Sales department tops the list in priority 48%. The next most important priority departments for mobile investment are Field Service (42%), Customer Service (34%), and Marketing (34%).

 

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Carpe Diem With The CRM Playbook: Growing Customers And Revenues Are Top Priorities For 2013

As more signs point to strengthening economic activity in the US and selected regions of other parts of the world, corporate austerity is fading and growth is back in the spotlight.  Acquiring customers, improving the customer experience, and growing revenues have returned to center stage.  

Forrester asked more than 2,000 global business decision-makers at large organizations what their “critical” and “high” priorities are for the next 12 months. We found that:

  • Their top priority is acquiring and retaining customers (73%).
  • Tied for the top spot is growing overall company revenue (73%).  
  • The third most important priority is addressing the rising expectations of customers and improving customer satisfaction (68%).
  • Lowering operating costs now only takes sixth place on the priority list (63%).
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Facing The Challenges Of Digital Disruption

This post originally appeared on destinationCRM

The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled digital disruption — an obsession with understanding, connecting with, and serving customers. Forrester’s recent research, summarized in our CRM playbook, spotlights the six key challenges you must navigate in 2013.

Trend 1: Digital Disruption Roils Industry After Industry

Thanks to digital platforms, your customers live in a world of heightened expectations and abundant options; they can get more of what they want, in more places, at more times, than ever before.  A new breed of competitors is on the scene that uses digital tools and platforms to get closer to customers and engage with them in deeper and novel ways. Digital disruptors threaten to make your organization irrelevant by delivering a more compelling product and service experience than you can and at a lower cost.

Trend 2: Companies Transform To Become Experience-Driven Organizations

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