Mastering the people component of any CRM implementation is often the most difficult challenge for any organization, given the sensitivity of users to change. To reiterate, ‘People’ issues are the most important aspect to the success of a CRM initiative. In the following example, the ‘People’ component severely impacted CRM initiatives negatively.
Services Industry Example
A leading service organization launched a global CRM initiative a few years ago, and formed a core team consisting of senior managers from technical, business, and training functions. Business users were not involved from the outset because the business manager felt he could speak on their behalf. This turned out to be a mistake. It was evident early on that the business manager was out-of-touch with the needs of business users and perhaps even saw these users as a threat to his next promotion. He refused to collaborate closely with users and, after a year and more than $10 million invested, the organization put the CRM initiative on hold until a reorganization (which included replacing the manager) could take place.
Lessons learned: Don’t be afraid to let users drive the system’s specifications and implementation.