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I moved into a CRM consulting role around 13 years ago, when I was at PwC. At that time, there was much debate around what CRM actually meant and what was the best way to implement it. Experts, consultants and analysts world-wide talked, wrote and argued about how often CRM programmes failed, and what implementation “best practice” should be.
Over the years since, we have seen huge advances in what CRM technologies can offer, and a lot of blurb from CRM software vendors about what CRM is. So much so that many folks now perceive CRM as a “software application”.
For example, here is how Salesforce.com define CRM: http://www.salesforce.com/uk/crm/what-is-crm.jsp
But does CRM = Software? If so, the why with the considerable advances in CRM technologies do so many CRM programmes still fail?
When I was in short pants I learnt that “CRM” was in fact a much wider and more holistic concept: a mix of strategy, process, technology, practice, people behaviour and dynamics, and other factors. It’s this “mix” that enables organisations to implement changes in their business: changes that help them harness their interactions with “customers”; changes that ultimately drive sales and profitable growth, to deliver positive outcomes.
So, over and beyond so-called implementation “best practice”, what advice would I give to anyone embarking on a new CRM initiative?
Well, here are my EIGHT from Hyphen8 … in no particular order:
YOU be the Artist.