CRM 2.0: Why the challenge is actually in adoption
Truth be told, CRM softwares have different uses for different people.
Marketing folks want to run their campaigns, generate leads and create reports which profile segments and activities. Sales managers like the management features especially being able to pull out reports on the state of the “funnel”. Most sales managers I have known, do not go much beyond this; they certainly do not use it as an acitivity monitoring tool. Some “advanced” sales managers do sometimes pull out reports on the health of the database or even the account-wise or segmentwise analysis on technology or product adoption. But, those are truly advanced managers!
It is not technology, it is not feature set. It is not even “ease-of-use”, except partially. CRM implementations run aground mostly owing to a fundamental issue with ownership. Ownership of the customer and ownership of the tasks.
In most B2B companies, sales “owns” the customer. But, sales does not want any part of the grunt work related to ownership. Like inputting, updating all of the profile data related to their customers. Sales does not really care for the use marketing puts these profile data to. Sales does not see why they should log interaction histories with their contacts. Sales does not get paid for transactions done; they get paid by “results”; read won deals. Sales also has no appetite for reporting opportunities lost; but, that’s another discussion!
Marketing, on the other hand, selects a software that is heavy on campaign management and analytics. Now, campaign management extracts a price in terms of profile data needed for targeting. Who inputs this data?
After many years of CRM 1.0, I would say the acceptance level within a typical B2B organization varies. It is fair to say that the closer you are to the customer, the least enthusiastic you will be. Higher management is the most committed; marketing is enthusiastic and sales is anything but.
Now, as we move into designing CRM 2.0 systems, we need to worry as we will deal with data which is many orders of magnitude greater and much less structured to boot.
Implications for SMEs
SMEs are placed in a tough situation. They, more than big businesses benefit from aggressive use of social media. But, I doubt, in today’s state of the art of the CRM softwares, they can afford integrated CRM 2.0 software implementations. One, such softwares are likely to be expensive and two, the demand they place on the size of the organizations implementing them, will be large too. Monitoring so many social media outlets, deciding appropriate responses, integrating tracking and monitoring of results are all manpower intensive. This manpower needs to be empowered and high quality manpower as well.
I would not advise using social media as a unilateral and unidirectional broadcast medium. As an example, you might set up a Twitter account and send out half-hourly twits on your products, service or other company news. But, if you did not monitor the response or handle feedback, the negative fallout can be very bad.