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Nextera Unveils Integrated CRM Strategy

By Paul Evans     Feedback

The management consulting firm appoints a former Ernst & Young partner to spearhead new CRM solutions group.

LEXINGTON, MA--Nextera Enterprises Inc., a management consulting firm, unveiled a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiative they say will "integrate its deep competencies in market and channel strategy and human capital management with cutting-edge technology solutions to address the business world's most pressing CRM needs." The firm also announced that Renetta Haas, a former partner at Ernst & Young, will lead the company's new CRM Solutions Group.

Nextera says its 40-plus-years of experience in sales-force effectiveness, compensation and rewards, organizational strategies and change management will help solve what it sees as the major problem of CRM implementations: failure to understand sales force needs, motivations and processes.

"The world has changed -- with new sales channels, the speed and transparency of information, the shifting of power to the customer -- and relationship management systems have not kept pace," said David Schneider, Nextera's president and chief executive officer. "CRM is not just about technology -- it's a discipline and a process, encompassing the people who do the work and how the work is done; anything and anyone that touches your customers."

Schneider says the "CRM-in-a-box" approach doesn't work because they don't deal with organizations impacts or the "human side" of the business. "If a CRM system is not supported by management, if it is not clearly defined in job roles, if people are not incented to use the system, if they don't see the value or benefit of it -- your CRM effort is simply going to fail," he said.

Nextera says its integrated approach to CRM includes:

       --Assessing and uncovering the potential value and impact of CRM
       solutions on the business;

       --Developing effective "approach to market" strategies designed to take
       full advantage of CRM;

       --Defining and implementing CRM in the roles of all customer facing

       --Aligning the sales force through compensation and rewards strategies
       around the CRM solution;

       --Integrating e-CRM technologies into existing organizational structures
       and processes; and

       --Creating appropriate employee communication and leadership
       initiatives to ensure the new processes are implemented and adopted
       across the organization.

"As someone who has been involved in the CRM arena for many years, I am excited to be with a firm that is delivering CRM solutions designed from the client's perspective," said Renetta Haas, who has been appointed to lead Nextera's CRM practice. "We believe that the market is tired of cookie-cutter CRM tools, and that individual clients increasingly will demand CRM solutions that deliver on promised results."

Haas says the potential benefits of CRM are still enormous and the failure of so many CRM projects in the past offers tremendous opportunities for firms like Nextera with multi-disciplinary solutions.

This article was originally published on December 19, 2000
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