Contact Relationship Management and the Fear Factor

CRM Fear Factor“Why are people afraid of Contact Relationship Management? What makes them shy away from putting it to work in their business even when they are already using an e-mail marketing program?”

Gail asked, “Is this a rhetorical question or do you really want an answer?”

“I reckon it’s nigglin’ at him like a fly on the summer porch when you try to take nap,” said Rob.

“That’s right, Rob,” I said. “I don’t mind being asked to facilitate a meeting when a company is about to adopt a CRM system. But, every time I do, I walk away shaking my head. On one hand it is very satisfying to get everyone in small company in a conference room to work out what needs to done to make the system effective for them. On the other it can be like skipping through a mine field. The tough part is getting everybody on the same page.”

Rob chuckled and stifled a belly laugh.

Kate asked, “What’s the joke?”

“When he said that thing ‘bout the same page it minded me of a Sunday mornin’ when there was a misprint in the order of service and the Choir was singin’ one thing and all the folks in the pews had their hymnals open to another. It was the worst caterwaulin’ cacophony you ever heard.”

“If you ever had to set up a CRM system, Rob, you would think that was the sweetest symphony ever,” said Kate. “I’ve been there and I just wish the companies I worked with had at least some of the folks that are going to use the Contact Management System work out what to call things. Too often they just have the managers designate how to identify things or assume the default is the best option.”

“You got it, Kate,” I said. “This week it was the usual hangup—classifying the people in the system not to mention identifying tasks and to-dos and trying to be sure the reports they want will generate properly. I think the single biggest problem is that the company officer who buys the software is usually not experienced with Sales or Customer service or Marketing which will supposedly perform better with the new system in place. And on top of that, the senior person in the room usually is the least computer savvy.

This time, the President of the company wanted to issue targets to the sales staff with no data other than the name of the company. The sales manager and her staff couldn’t agree on a way to differentiate between a lead, a qualified lead and a Prospect and preferred not to use the term Prospect at all. Then, of course, since they had multiple products, their clients had to be designated by product and, of course, some of them were purchasing multiple products.”

Rick took a sip of coffee and said, “Look, I know how you think. What did you figure out?”

“The direct marketing guy is as direct as ever,” Gail said. And I think he’s right. What did you figure out?

“It’s that old bugaboo: Change and the need to be perfect” I said. “People feel like they have to get it just right the first time. We approach technology sometimes with the idea that there is no second chance.

As I was working through things with this group a couple of them agreed to take over the keyboard and mouse to work through customizing the demo of the product we were using in the meeting. As soon as they understood that this demo could be completely or partially thrown away they relaxed and started experimenting.

What I learned is that there is a way to take the scary out of the selection, verification and setup of CRM systems for small companies. I’m adding it to my program: Contact Relationship Magic TM for all purchasers… including those that bought it previously.

The question for you is: What should I call it? Here are some possibilities:

Savvy Set Up
How to take the scary out of CRM

The Perfect CRM Setup
Tips and Tricks to avoid Traps in your new system

CRM Secret Sauce
Clear, concise steps to eliminate set up pain”

What would you call it?

Jerry Fletcher has been away enjoying the holidays and wrapping up the year. You’ll find some minor changes on his consulting web site (including a new store by the end of the month.)

Jerry continues his speaking schedule but is taking time out to simply be an attendee at an Oregon NSA event for executives and professionals at the end of the month. He will be happy to get you in for about half off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *