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Fixing CRM: Skip the Blame and Go Directly to Better Software and Smarter Deployment Strategy

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Some 16 years ago when he was in sales, Neil Benson was given a CRM system to use. And to put it mildly, he was not a happy camper.

"It was not very good," he said at an online meeting of the CRMUG. "There were 12 required fields I had to fill in just so we could save a contact record. That was somebody's idea of improving data quality by making all these fields required. So what do you do as sales person you put anything in the field. You put a space character or a comma just to get around this crazy requirement to have something in these 12 fields."

Benson said he complained so much that eventually the powers that be at his company kicked him into the IT department and told him to fix it.

"And I've been trying to fix CRM systems ever since," said Benson, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP, blogger, and CRM architect with Slalom Consulting. "So my question is why are so many users not using CRM at all? Who should we blame? The software vendor?"

Some CRM software vendors make all sorts of claims about their software - it can boost sales 50%, double your profits, and send your customer satisfaction through the roof. But years of experience implementing CRM solutions have taught Benson that the achieving great results means paying attention to organizational change as well as deploying great software.

So where can an organization with an undesirable CRM situation start to fix their problems? "Can we blame the consultants? I'm a consultant myself, so I hope we're implementing the software according to your requirements," said Benson. "So should we blame the ...

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.