Before they think about the technology, they need to think about how they're going to change the business. What's happening right now is people are implementing technologies that are generations ahead of their business capabilities. They implement complex campaign management tools, call center capabilities, SFAs (sales force automations) and don't use them. Companies have to start thinking about customers and their business processes differently... and test their CRM programs before they implement the technology. You can deliver business impact with CRM without the technology, but you need it to scale. Start small, test it, and then use the technology to scale. Why are today's technology solutions falling short for CRM?
For the last ten to fifteen years, business people have been hammering on technologists with demands. I think today's technology companies have delivered, but I think business people have fallen behind. I think they lack the appropriate frameworks and transition and the will to change... to take advantage of these technologies. Technology solutions aren't missing anything. They've got more than enough to get companies going and have them light-years ahead of where they are today. Do you have any customer examples?
Outpost.com is a company with relatively low technology investments, without investing in huge call center or SFA applications. They maintain a small customer database with a
It's human nature. I mean, what do you do when you want to first start exercising? You buy the sneakers, you buy the treadmill and you say, "Now I'm ready." Then, you've just got to ... run, and a lot of people don't do it because it's discipline, changing habits. That's where leadership comes in, and that's where companies naturally say, "Okay, we need to take some action," and they're going to take the easiest actions. They buy the software. They implement it, and it's expensive, but it's easy. It's not nearly as hard as changing your culture and your business processes.