The same old story
Almost a year and a half back, I wrote a post called the “The real cost of CRM implementation”. I chanced to meet a Sales Director last week of a mid-sized enterprise who had decided to go with Salesforce.com for their company-wide CRM implementation. I asked her how the implementation is going. In one year, they have covered about half of her organization; so, they are still struggling to reconcile the “haves and have nots”. Her answer was not surprising. Read this paragraph from my post from last year first:
The real cost of CRM implementation and the barrier to its adoption in enterprises continue to be traced to the same thing: striking a balance between usability, pricing and being feature-rich. I maintain that for SMEs, the issue is not how many features are we getting for what price, but, which features are really useful, how easy are they to use and how quickly can you “get done” with your daily dose of CRM, if you are a sales or marketing guy who uses this everyday.
Are you one of those buyers who buy a feature rich gizmo hoping that they will discover some use for the features, eventually?
For a product like a cell phone which will be used by only you, it is a harmless strategy. But, for a product for enterprise use?
In the MNC I worked for last, we struggled for eight years with a CRM product that took far too much effort from the users for very little “output” in terms of insights and productivity. All because, we bought by committee, tried to please too many stake-holders and did not say a firm no to feature-richness. So, we had fields that no one knew the uses of; either how to capture information in or to drive decisions by.
Why does enterprise after enterprise continue to make the same mistake? A rapid deployment of minimal feature-set is always better- too bad that most people discover it only in hind-sight.