8 Personalities that Can Spoil CRM Effectiveness

By Geoffrey James

Wondering why CRM isn’t considered a vital asset by your team? It might have something to do with your stakeholders. Keep an eye out for the following eight profiles of personalities that often contribute to the demise of CRM effectiveness.

1. Beware of: a top executive who demands unrealistic forecasts to feed a fantasy of future success.

Why: CRM will force the organization to do real forecasting, destroying the fantasy more quickly. The executive will usually set up an informal process to support the bloated data instead of the data captured in the CRM system.

2. Beware of: a corporate bureaucrat who insists on tracking information that nobody really needs.

Why: As demands for additional types of information continue to grow, the number of fields and form in the CRM system will grow. The resulting complexity – and data-entry demands – will drive the sales reps away from actually using the system.

3. Beware of: a sales manager who refuses to hold reps accountable for CRM usage.

Why: If a sales manager doesn’t believe in CRM, the reps working for that manager will inevitably treat it as an optional activity. As a result, the CRM system will never get the chance to be incorporated into the daily activity of the reps, resulting in an expensive implementation failure.

4. Beware of: a sales manager who distorts data simply to impress top executives.

Why: Such a manager will attempt to use the CRM system to distort data by requesting that sales reps enter forecasts and information that supports the story that the manager wants to tell – rather than the truth of what’s actually happening in the field.

5. Beware of: a sales rep who balks at having daily work tracked and evaluated.

Why: Sales reps who absolutely refuse to use CRM – even when it puts very little demand on their time – often have something to hide. They’ll work hard to scuttle the CRM implementation because they’re afraid of being found out if usage becomes mandatory.

6. Beware of: an IT manager who believes that sales reps don’t know what’s good for them.

Why: The worst and least effective CRM systems are the ones that were designed by IT managers, based upon what the IT manager thinks sales reps should be doing, and what data they should be gathering.

7. Beware of: an IT manager who believes that a single flavor of CRM is right for every company.

Why: There are a wide variety of CRM systems available, with many vendors focusing on individual industries and even segments inside individual industries. While there are many good “horizontal” packages, there simply isn’t one “best” solution for everyone.

8. Beware of: The customer-service manager who looks only at costs and not at customer satisfaction.

Why: Because CRM allows companies to categorize customers according to how much they spend, there’s a real temptation to treat smaller customers poorly – even though they might someday grow to be big customers.