Magazine article CRM Magazine

Business Processes Must Precede Technology: At Implementation, Too Many Organizations Depend on CRM Software Vendors to Supply Needed Business Processes

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Business Processes Must Precede Technology: At Implementation, Too Many Organizations Depend on CRM Software Vendors to Supply Needed Business Processes

Article excerpt

MILANO MARITTIMA is a small town on the Adriatic I visited recently on vacation. I had the pleasure of watching Italy win the World Cup there, and was impressed by how well Italy and France had played. The two teams were like well-oiled machines, and it was obvious that the Italians and French had created many different plays and had practiced them time and again, until they had become second nature to the players. If only organizations implemented CRM in a similar manner.

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The right way to implement a CRM initiative is to first determine what business functions (e.g., sales, marketing, customer service, e-customer, business analytics, or some combination of these) must be addressed. Second, a company must prioritize these functions (remembering to bite off only what it can chew, since successful CRM initiatives get rolled out in iterations). Determine how well the current business processes support or enhancethen apply technology to optimize these enhance business as appropriate, and then apply technology to optimize these processes.

Unfortunately, too many organizations depend on CRM software vendors to supply needed business processes. This logic makes no sense. Some CRM software vendors do build valuable process capabilities into their software (e.g., Onyx Software builds Miller-Heiman Blue Sheets directly into its software). But many software vendors are not sufficiently business-process savvy to know which specific processes to include. They default by building in generic processes along with a business process/workflow engine that helps, to varying degrees, customize their generic processes--which may or may not fit an organization's way of doing business. Alternately, some vendors offer vertical, industry-specific software that builds in, again to varying degrees, relevant, industry-specific business processes that may or may not fit well with the way an organization conducts its business. …

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