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3 Ways Culture Can Make – or Break – a CRM Implementation

3 Ways Culture Can Make – or Break – a CRM Implementation

Brian Gardner No Comment

The No. 1 reason I see that companies aren’t getting ROI from CRM is culture. This isn’t surprising: Many have 10, 20 or 30 years of culture under their belts, and bringing CRM in is a big change. They’ve been successful without CRM, so why should they change?

It will take time, but you can clear the culture barrier.

Consider three ways culture will make or break your CRM implementation:

  1. Senior management must be involved from the start. They can’t be missing in action. They can’t sign the check, and walk away. Your team needs to see their commitment. It’s so important for them to see that CRM is not just a fad – another thing the company adopts and then abandons after six months.
  2. In the same vein, sales management can’t be involved just some of the time. I see this a lot: They aren’t involved to the level they need to be. But they need to be driving the processes, and not just asking for reports – perpetuating the idea that CRM is a sort of big brother rather than a tool that can benefit the entire team. The involvement of sales management is mandatory for success.
  3. Your top guns – long-time salespeople who have garnered the respect of their peers – must drink the Kool-aid, so to speak. Get them involved early in the process to set the stage for success. For them to get on-board, they need to understand what’s in it for them.

Final word: Don’t move forward on CRM until you are truly ready. If management is not ready for this change, then spend your money elsewhere. This is a long-term commitment. It’s like marriage – not just a date. You’ll be living with this for 10 years or more, and to get the most of that investment, CRM must become part of your company’s culture.

I talk in detail about culture and training in my book, ROI from CRM: It’s About Sales Process, Not Just Technology. Order your copy from MDM.

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