By CommenceCRM

Don’t Make CRM Transactional

CRM software programs promise to help businesses streamline their internal business processes so that they can improve how they market, sell and provide service to their customers. It’s a booming sector with a myriad of vendors all claiming to offer feature rich solutions that are affordable and easy to use.  They claim this because it’s what the consumer wants to hear.

Many businesses today view CRM software as a commodity differentiated primarily on price and when this happens consumers tend to select the lowest cost product. This has wreaked havoc among the CRM vendor community and created a “race to the bottom” where vendors have continued to lower their price or now offer free versions in a futile attempt to sign up new customers.  It’s become a simple transaction for many solution providers.  The product is downloaded in just a few seconds so there is no cost of sale, no contract and no customer support services required.  The vendor is simply betting that you may add additional features to the free edition or that they can take a shot at selling you other products in their portfolio. Your success with the CRM software is irrelevant.  So here is the 64 million dollar question? Should you be selecting these type products?

Remain Focused On Business Issues

Your decision to evaluate, select and implement CRM software is driven by a need to address specific business challenges.  Maybe you need to capture and track new leads, want to manage the sales cycle from introduction to closure, create e-mail marketing campaigns to generate new business, manage projects or track and manage customer tickets and inquiries.  These are difficult business challenges that are not going to get fixed by simply downloading a free CRM system. Need proof?  Well according to industry analysts 73% of CRM implementations fail to get properly implemented and utilized.  Why are they failing?  It’s because the decision maker looked at the selection and implementation of the software as a simple transaction.  There is no commitment by management to assign resources to the implementation and no apparent critical issue to address.  It’s as if someone in the company woke up that morning and decided they need a CRM system and heck it’s free, so let’s give it a shot.

CRM is not rocket science, but it is resource intensive. Its success depends on creating internal procedures that can be automated and professional sales, marketing and customer service people that can insure the successful implementation, training and use of any CRM solution.  If you don’t have these resources you need to do business with a solution provider that can provide this before, during and after the implementation. They are out there and Commence Corporation is one of them.

Commence, Our Value Proposition

As the CEO of Commence Corporation I am often asked what makes Commence CRM different then the myriad of competitors in the space?  My answer is simple. It’s our support services. It’s not about the software. Sure we offer some features that competitors do not and they offer some we don’t, but it does not matter. The core features are covered by the quality companies in this space.

What matters is what is required to address the original business objectives?   Somehow people lose sight of this or simply don’t pay enough attention to it and end up with failed implementations that cost them a lot of time and money.  At Commence, we have a three step process when working with customers.

Step 1:  What are your top three business priorities and how will you measure success.

Step 2:  We recommend a plan to address your specific issues.

Step 3:  We demonstrate our process to ensure your objectives are met.

This is a consultative process, not a transaction. We take the time to understand your business and have a team of highly experienced sales, marketing and customer service to support the implementation and proper use of our software.  Perhaps this is why our customers have remained loyal to our company and product for almost three decades.  Take a look at what customers say about Commence CRM and the value we have provided to them at Customer Testimonials

I have been in this industry for 37 years and have been highly recognized for the work I have done in helping companies significantly impact sales execution.  If you are looking to make a substantial impact on how you market, sell and provide service to your customers you can reach me at sales@commence.com.  If you still believe that CRM is just a commodity and you prefer to just download a free or low cost solution that’s ok and I wish you all the best.

About the Author

Larry Caretsky is the CEO of Commence Corporation. He is considered an expert in the CRM industry and has written numerous articles about the proper use of CRM software to improve sales execution and customer service.  He is also the author of an e-book, Practices That Pay – Leveraging Information to Achieve Industrial Selling Results.

Caretsky has been an invited guest on several podcasts discussing sales and marketing enablement and was nominated as one of the 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management.