Six Steps Can Lead to CRM Recovery Staff

Updated · Jul 12, 2001

by Staff

According to a new Peppers and Rogers Group white paper titled, “How To Turn Around Your Stalled CRM Implementation,” billions of dollars are being invested in CRM, yet up to 80 percent of the projects fail to deliver expected returns.

Lane Michel, Peppers and Rogers Group’s western region managing partner and consultants Miriam Washington Kendall, Tim Simmons and Tim Doolittle, the authors of the report, emphasize that successful implementations are a result of the careful alignment of strategy, process design and technology, along with a healthy dose of change management.

“…how quickly a floundering CRM program can be turned around, depends on the root cause of the problem,” explains Peppers and Rogers Group’s Michel. “The most difficult fact for a CEO to accept is that the problem is not CRM itself. Most often, it’s a case of inadequate vision by the executives initiating the effort, the lack of a focused strategy that lays out just what the expectations are, and poor implementation.”

“How To Turn Around Your Stalled CRM Implementation” provides a six step analysis that can help executives identify where their CRM failure resides, and it offers practical advice on how to repair, rebuild and set a course for a successful and sustainable CRM implementation. The full report is available for download at Peppers and Rogers Group’s Web site.

  1. Scale back expectations.
    The report states that even though quick return on investment (ROI) is achievable, the real benefits of CRM are of a longer-term strategic nature.

  2. Appoint a Chief CRM Architect.
    This appointment is a critical step and it requires someone with deep knowledge of both CRM and the customers. The person in this key role will be responsible for helping the company embrace CRM conceptually and pragmatically, while creating and enforcing strategy.

  3. Re-evaluate your team.
    Often CRM implementation fails because team members lack the skills and expertise required. CRM success requires full commitment and cohesive participation of the entire team.

  4. Think “barn-raising.”
    Similar to the barn-raising of the early pioneers, the idea is to draw upon the collective manpower while optimizing the various skills, knowledge and experience available. The term “barn-raising” represents both the teamwork and urgency that is needed.

  5. Stop the bleeding.
    In what is referred to in the report as “one crazy week,” where current CRM initiatives receive a rapid and rigorous assessment, the analysis will generate the points of greatest pain.

  6. Build and sustain momentum: launch “success viruses.”
    In this step, the report notes that “the greatest successes emanate from initiatives that capture the imagination and excitement of the entire company — and for that matter, its customers.” The euphoria of the CRM recovery operation should incite enthusiasm within the rest of the organization.

Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. with 17 worldwide locations, Peppers and Rogers Group helps clients devise strategies and plans for strengthening their customer relationships. Peppers and Rogers Group’s advertising-supported newsletters and magazines reach more than 250,000 CRM professionals around the world. Recent and current clients include BEA Systems, Bayer Corporation, Bentley Systems, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Cars, Lowe’s, The United States Postal System, Verizon and Volvo.

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