How to Implement CRM as a Process Not a Product: A Vision for a New CRM

 In late January I read a blog post by Lars Agger of Habanero Consulting about the launch of a new ERP services company in Vancouver, Canada. The post was discussing the state of ERP service firms and how this company would transform the typical experience that customers have. This new company had three core promises

The post was discussing the state of ERP service firms and how this company would transform the typical experience that customers have. This new company had three core promises: 

  1. No surprises during the implementation
  2. Responsiveness not just before, but after the implementation, and
  3. Experience and versatility to solve complex customer problems 

If you take the ERP part out, these have been my main drivers for the past 20 years. My only thought was that it was too bad they did not have a CRM practice… 

But as of mid-April 2012 I am very excited to say that this has changed.  I have joined Catapult to lead the CRM practice and deliver the same dedication to customer engagement and solutions that our ERP clients have been enjoying over the past 4 months and the last 5 years under the Habanero umbrella. 

I joined Catapult after spending 20 years in a variety of roles throughout the IT industry including CRM and General IT strategy consulting, IT management, and IT service delivery management.  I have worked with a broad range of clients from Manufacturing, Distribution, High Tech, Financial and Professional Services industries, and have experienced the IT industry from both the client and the provider side. 

One of the universal problems I have seen throughout my years in IT is that when a client asks for technology to solve their business challenges, they are usually met by snake-oil salespeople (i.e. IT providers) who are only too happy to provide a panacea, a package of hardware and/or software guaranteed to be the ‘next big thing’. This often leads to “another failed IT project” where the client feels duped into spending 10,000, 100,000, or 1,000,000 plus, only to find their problems still exist; now they have another server on a rack, or software sitting on their shelf. This model of IT implementation, and by extension, CRM implementation, simply does not work.  I have a vision to engage clients differently, viewing CRM as a process rather than a product.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) offers much more than a shared repository to manage contact information. Many customers and partners view an implementation as synonymous with installing CRM software. Once the application is on a server or workstation, the engagement is complete. To gain significant value from CRM, we must help clients develop a long-term strategy to transform their customer interactions. While many engagements may begin with a phase that involves installing software and provides initial user training, we must jointly develop a roadmap of how the system can evolve to increase interaction effectiveness and efficiency.

From processes to incentives and metrics, user adoption and engagement are some key measures of implementation success. This can occur at every level of an organization: presenting information in an employee portal, tracking sales calls, or surfacing dashboards on customer segment profitability.  Our model will help make your relationships more valuable and profitable. If you want to discuss your vision for CRM contact me at Catapult ERP: 778.383.1090.

By Marcus Hooper - CRM Practice Leader - Catapult ERP - Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner serving Vancouver, Canada and beyond.

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