Thursday, August 24, 2006

Problems with "Naked" CRM Systems

Ardath Albee of Einsof has released a new e-book titled "Why Naked CRM Systems Don't Work." She notes a number of CRM-related frustrations that will be familiar to marketers and sales reps, such as:

- Marketing doesn't think sales reps are adequately following up on the leads they've produced; sales doesn't think the leads are qualified.

- Marketing develops collateral materials to help sales; sales reps feel they don't have the right materials.

- Sales people quickly drop leads that aren't hot; marketing loses track of these leads and can't adequately nurture them.

- CRM systems don't live up to their promise; sales reps don't keep information up to date because there's no benefit for them.

Einsof's solution is to properly "dress" your CRM system with an interactive sales portal. Both sales and marketing benefit from an interactive feedback loop that shows what works, and what doesn't, in the real world. Is this an effective solution? The company has customers who say it is.

So why don't CRM vendors simply bake in this functionality themselves? Because, while Einsof has developed a base of reusable core code, each customer solution is heavily customized. It takes creativity, technical skill, and a focus on customer success. In short, Einsof's business model is built around service rather than application sales.

This service orientation also shifts the success metric for Einsof from simply "Is the software installed and working?" to "Is the solution actually providing results?" The outcome of this approach has been considerable repeat business for Einsof; customers who show up at the door simply wanting a bathrobe to throw over their naked CRM system end up coming back for a complete outfit or two, with accessories.

What's your CRM system wearing?


Terms: CRM expansion, CRM enhancement, effective CRM, sales portals

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