Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Connection between Online Dating and CRM Vendor Selection: Don't Be Misled by What's Too Good to Be True

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Connection between Online Dating and CRM Vendor Selection: Don't Be Misled by What's Too Good to Be True

Article excerpt

WHETHER YOU'RE an IT professional or in a line-of-business technology decision-making role, you've likely noticed a trend toward sexier CRM demos. Slick design elements and whizbang features built in a nonfunctional environment are designed to dazzle and perhaps mislead you.

Remember: If it looks too good to be true, chances are it is.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

If you've spent any time in the online dating world (or know someone who has), you are likely familiar with the term "cat-fishing." Essentially, a person lures you by posting the most beautiful picture of himself or herself ever taken--often taken 20 years or 20 pounds prior--and you fall in love with the dream of that image. In worse cases, the picture is "borrowed" from a friend or even the Internet! Then the person adds some amazing qualities (tall, dark, handsome--but enough about my profile). You are hooked and set up a date, only to find that the person isn't quite who you had hoped.

How can this be avoided?

In dating, as with technology selection, due diligence is essential. Ask important questions (When and where was that picture taken?), find out if you have friends or colleagues in common, and do good old-fashioned homework: Google searches can uncover a lot of information about most people, not to mention photos.

Similarly, it's easy to be lured by false promises when purchasing new technology. The steps below will help ensure your success (in either selection process), are fairly simple, and are essentially the same whether you're looking for a mate or a CRM solution.

1. Don't just be a window shopper. It's fun to look at slick new tools and see what potential uses they could have for your company, but remember that the most beneficial use of your time is solving an actual business problem. Understanding your specific use cases and business needs for the technology ahead of time will help you avoid future headaches when the needed functionality isn't there. Focus on your musthaves, not the nice-to-haves, and always remember: If you are going to be the first doing it, chances are it won't work.

2. Don't let the magic fool you. During the demo, ask tough and important questions: Do all the features and functionality actually exist? How many people have already implemented them? …

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