posted by Alan Joenn on December 7, 2012
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Challenges in CRM

This week’s CRM Whiteboard session looks at one of the biggest challenges that occurs in almost every CRM implementation – encouraging users to switch from using tools they are already comfortable and familiar with, to the newly implemented Customer Relationship Management software.


Hello and welcome to this CRM video whiteboard session. Today we’re going to have a look at one of the challenges that exists in making customer relationship management effective. I’ve listed here some tools which you probably recognise, which represent one of those challenges.

People in your organisation will already be conversant with using Excel, with storing information in Outlook, keeping documents and excel spreadsheets and power point presentations on their C: drive on their desktop computer or their laptop and maybe even using instant messaging, MSN or Skype, to communicate with prospective customers and existing customers.

Whilst these tools are very effective, if they’re used widely within your organisation they represent an element of institutional non-collaboration. People store stuff here and it’s not shared with other people in the organisation.

Information stored in Outlook and not shared with folders in exchange server has the same effect of keeping it isolated so if the goal of a CRM system is to make the whole of your organisation more customer centric and more client focused, to make it easier for clients to do business with you, then having this non-collaborative storage of information is counterproductive to the goal that you have set yourself in CRM.

So one of the challenges is: how do we stop people using these tools with which they are very conversant and very familiar and get them to successfully use the collaborative CRM tool which you put in place as part of your initiative in customer relationship management.

The answer is that you have to give them a positive reason for changing their behaviour. If you have not already done so I recommend you download a copy of The CRM Pocket Book from our website. There’s one chapter here that addresses the big question – the big question being for an individual user of CRM “What’s in it for me? Why should I change stuff that I’m comfortable with, and adopt something new?” Always you need to find an answer to that question and it can become the biggest challenge in CRM.

As an organisation we’ve worked with hundreds of CRM implementations and the answer to this question: “What’s in it for me?” is not always the same. There’s no panacea for getting that right and creating an educational message which encourages all people to change their behaviour. You need to look at it on a case by case basis. If you need some help addressing this challenge please get in touch with us. There’s more information about CRM at We hope you’ve found this short video worthwhile and thank you for watching.

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