Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Art of Selling IT: Capture Cooperation and Excitement around CRM Technology for Its Full Benefits

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Art of Selling IT: Capture Cooperation and Excitement around CRM Technology for Its Full Benefits

Article excerpt

THE FOLLOWING conversation took place with a client not too long ago:

"We are committed to the new CRM system--we can hardly wait for the implementation."

Q: "When do you expect the implementation to take place?"

A: "Well, it will still take quite some time. We're the last ones to get it, so we're just waiting."

Q: "When do you expect it to be your turn for implementation?"

A: "In two to three years."

The interesting thing was that the same conversation also took place with different groups within the very same organization. Each group pledged total commitment, and each claimed that it would be the last one to implement.

This is a common event. We find that when it comes to large IT projects that involve changes in the way users work, they tend to resist the change and delay it as long as possible. In fact, our experience has been that even after the technology is implemented, many users stick to their ancient ways of doing business, out of a combination of convenience and reluctance to adapt.

When presented with a new technology solution, I often ask vendors, "How does it threaten the user?" Their reply is always one of shock: How dare I even suggest that their new technology is in any way threatening to people. This is what people have waited so long for. They have all convinced themselves that the benefits of the technology they themselves so desire are evident to every user. Reality, however, is quite different.

Users do not like change--they often see it as a threat to their job security. CRM is a great example of sales people viewing the tool as a threat to their magical way of selling. Many salespeople believe that creating a transparent selling process will make them expendable. (There is some truth to this fear, as weak salespeople will be exposed through the sales cycle management of CRM tools. …

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