When Business Applications, like CRM’s Fail to Deliver Full Value

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In an economy that is as rough and tough as this one is, organizations need to make sure that every dollar they spend for business applications has an ROI around it.

In a recent article posted by ebiz, Hollis Tibbetts wrote that “Business applications (like Salesforce.com) are failing to achieve full value”. Click on the link below to read the complete article. http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/integrationedge/2012/03/business-applications-like-salesforcecom-failing-to-achieve-full-value.php

In short, Hollis talks about how organizations around the world are spending tens of thousands, to tens of millions of dollars every year, implementing and supporting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.  He continues to state, that the reason they spend these enormous sums of money is that “they expect to see significant financial returns by gaining control and visibility into their sales cycles and their customer bases.” He continues to say that some “90% of salesforce.com users aren’t achieving what they need from their investment.”

So, let’s boil this down in a way in which we can see why. Let’s look at what a CRM is. It is a Customer Relationship Management solution.  OK, what does that really mean?  Well, it is an accounting system that organizations can put into place to track sales activity and opportunity progress. So, in other words it is a sales pipeline management system. I don’t want to undermine the value in having a tool like this, but I do want to point out that it does very little to help sales people sell more effectively and bring in more revenue, as a stand-alone solution.

A CRM really needs to integrate with other applications in order to help provide real measurable value. It’s often those integrated software applications that add the value to CRM’s that actually help them generate overall value.

If organizations are looking for applications to help them drive top line growth and revenue, then they need to look for applications that actually help their salespeople sell more effectively. Contact management systems will help salespeople with historical information, as to what has happened in the process of selling that opportunity, but does little to help them close an opportunity. Also, who gains most from CRM’s, salespeople or management? It’s clear, that it is more of a tool for management to keep track of sales activity and salespeople know this.  That is why getting salespeople to populate their CRM has always been a struggle. So, users of CRM’s might want to re-evaluate and reassess their expectations, with regards to the financial value, they can expect from this type of application.

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