Is the FIAT cheap and the Ferrari expensive? It depends on who you are as a driver. What's the optimal investment in CRM? It depends on your organization's size and the complexity of your revenue and profit models.
I hope you see the irony in a consultant like me saying, "Too many customers overinvest in CRM systems." This isn't because the systems are too expensive. It's because it's too tempting to invest in bells and whistles that your organization and processes are not ready to leverage.
Fortunately, cloud CRM makes it easy to do the right things.
- You avoid "check the box" thinking that leads to a monolithic purchase and a big-bang release. CRM is a continuous improvement process, not a one-shot event.
- You know that your business requirements for CRM will change every year or so. Keep the projects short and modular.
- As a result, you can implement CRM improvements incrementally, in tandem with changes to your business processes and the growth of your organizational capabilities.
In the auto metaphor, you shouldn't buy a Ferrari until you're a good enough driver to have the better car improve your driving.
David Taber is the author of the new Prentice Hall book, " Salesforce.com Secrets of Success" and is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a certified Salesforce.com consultancy focused on business process improvement through use of CRM systems. SalesLogistix clients are in North America, Europe, Israel and India. Taber has more than 25 years of experience in high tech, including 10 years at the VP level or above.
Read more about customer relationship management (crm) in CIO's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Drilldown.