CRM Success Is Your Responsibility

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A bad CRM implementation is like a bad haircut. Let me explain. Many years ago I thought it would be a good idea to have short hair. It wasn't. So I spent a torturous year regrowing my hair, going through all those awful in-between stages so I could have long, curly hair again. Finally the day of the Big Cut arrived. I decided to try a new place with a great reputation. The stylist gave me a terrific cut, and just when I thought she was finished, she starts snipping at the edges. I wondered why she was doing this. Based on previous cuts I assumed she was doing it to add lift, so I didn't ask--and that was my big mistake. When she finally finished snipping, my hair was long and lifeless. She had cut the curl out. I was so angry I wanted to scream. But it wasn't her fault, it was mine, because I didn't speak up. A few months later I found a curly-hair specialist. We had a discussion about my hair before he cut a thing. We talked during, and examined after, making preliminary plans for the next cut. I've been going to that stylist ever since, and I will continue to do so until he retires. It's the same with CRM. You can't just purchase CRM software, load it up, and expect it to work. You have to interact with the vendor and integrator. You have to make your needs and expectations clear. You have to take responsibility for the success of your initiative before it begins. In "5 Ways to Be a Good CRM Customer" (page 38), Senior Editor Lisa Picarille reveals the rules of engagement when it comes to planning for, buying, and implementing CRM. And believe me, it's one area in which a little strategy can go a long, long way. Another area in which companies are looking to improve is the integration of sales and marketing. In "A Winning Formula" (page 46), executives from five of the leading CRM vendors offer advice on how CRM can help unify sales and marketing, and explain the benefits and ROI of doing so. Contact center executives are also employing leading edge strategies. In "Driven by Service" (page 32), Senior Editor David Myron reveals why organizations are launching strategic initiatives from the call center and the gains in satisfaction and sales they're seeing as a result. These strategies and trends are among many in the CRM industry right now. In "The Year in (P)review" (page 26), News Editor Martin Schneider explains how the major trends of 2003 will alter the CRM landscape over the coming year. It's an exciting time to be involved in CRM, a time to harness these best practices and use them in your organization to create a lasting competitive advantage. Because CRM success is your responsibility, after all. Ginger Conlon Editor-in-Chief gconlon@destinationCRM.com
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