CRM Challenges: People, Technology & Strategy - Modern Distribution Management

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CRM Challenges: People, Technology & Strategy

Survey finds companies across industries run into obstacles effectively implementing CRM.

A recent survey by Forrester found that problems continue to be commonplace among companies across industries implementing customer relationship management tools, or CRM.

The survey, a summary of top results available here, found that nearly half of respondents agreed their CRM projects faced problems grounded in insufficient definition of business requirements, process designs and the need to customize solutions.

A little over 40 percent said their problems were “people” issues, including slow adoption and bad training. About 40 percent said they had challenges related to strategy, and a third agreed they had technology deficiencies, such as data problems, shortfalls on the vendor side and lack of the required skillsets to implement CRM.

Those surveyed had been involved in a CRM technology project in the past three years. (Get more details here.) 

As Mark Dancer of Channelvation told me earlier this year, two of the most common mistakes distributors make when implementing CRM include doing too much, too quickly, and having an obsessive focus on return on investment. 

But in the end, Dancer said one of the biggest barriers to success with CRM starts at the top. He said it’s all about leadership and strategy. “In my work with distributors, I found that the distributors that have the best use of CRM and get the most out of it have a very clear understanding of their strategy and their sales and marketing processes,” he said.

Dancer is author of Getting the Most Out of CRM: Best Practices for Wholesaler-Distributors from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, available here

Listen to Dancer talk about common mistakes in CRM in this clip from MDM’s Executive Briefing.

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