Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ive been in CRM for 22 years

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Recently I saw someone (quite visible in the CRM, IT, SW space) mention that they've been in the CRM space for over 22 years. CRM companies like Siebel and even before it Contact Management companies like Goldmine and others have not been around that long.

So what was this person talking about. What this person was saying was true and we've all known it, but it often gets overridden in todays CRM deployments for the technology bells and whistles. Also in the epiphany lies the revelation that has made some recent CRM SW deployments highly successful.

CRM is not Siebel, Salesforce, SAP, Goldmine or anything else. CRM is a business process .. a way for an enterprise to increase shareholder value by managing customer relationships well .. in all stages of the relationship. This is what the person was highlighting in their statement that he has been involved in the customer relationship business processes for 22years. Maybe they were not fully automated processes etc but it was still CRM .. maybe CRM by using paper and pencil .. or the good ol Rolodex .. but CRM none the less.

Now in all honesty most customers fully comprehend this. However they get so caught up in the automation part during the CRM deployment that they end up with a highly automated version of their existing business process (in most cases degraded versions) and provides no new business value add.

So in effect their CRM initiative turns into a bitter pill that's hard to swallow (read as, another notch on the failed CRM list).

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