Before Sayta Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO, took over, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff was outspoken about what a disaster Microsoft was and how former CEO Bill Gates needed to come back to push reset. Apparently Nadella has done exactly that and Benioff couldn't be more pleased, which is partially why Salesforce cut the deal with Microsoft.
It’s an alliance that may mark a new era under a new CEO. Microsoft and Salesforce.com on Thursday announced a strategic partnership that will see the two tech giants collaborate on solutions to connect Salesforce's customer relationship management (CRM) apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows.
“We both view our mission as helping customers succeed in today's new world, a world of the cloud, a world of social computing, of mobile computing, of connectivity,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a media briefing. “And this announcement is really about putting our customers first.”
Nadella Offers Nuts and Bolts
The companies plan to deliver two new solutions: Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1, and, Salesforce for Office 365. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“First, we will empower people to use Office 365 and Salesforce seamlessly together, whether it's sharing Office documents in Salesforce1 or analyzing CRM data in Power BI for Office 365. Second, we are bringing the leading CRM application to Windows devices, both phones and PCs,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
“Third, Microsoft has renewed our commitment to using ExactTarget Marketing Cloud for one-to-one digital marketing efforts. And Marc will talk more about Salesforce's commitment to use Microsoft database and cloud technologies with ExactTarget,” he said.
Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 will let customers access Salesforce and run their businesses from their Windows devices. A preview is expected to be available in fall 2014, with general availability following in 2015.
Customers Want This
According to Microsoft, new interoperability between Salesforce and Office 365 will give customers access to the content they need to collaborate, sell, service and market from just about anywhere. For example, customers will be able to access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 using Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365.
Customers can also use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online as integrated storage options for Salesforce; use Salesforce and Outlook together with a new Salesforce App for Outlook; and connect Salesforce data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365 to visualize information and find new insights.
“Customers need and they want us to work together. They want this partnership. They want this partnership badly,” said Benioff. “They want to be able to work with Office 365, they want to be able to work with Excel, with Outlook, they want to work with all of Microsoft's apps, and they want to be able to work with Salesforce. And they want us to work together for our customers' benefit.”
Expect More Partnerships
“Apparently Nadella has done exactly that and Benioff couldn't be more pleased, which is partially why he cut the deal with them. Microsoft is really looking like a very different company now and I'm hearing from partners that they are engaging like they did in the old days,” Enderle said. “I expect we'll see a number of unexpected partnerships in the coming months, as a result. This Salesforce move is likely a strong indicator of both Microsoft's change under Nadella and what is to come.”
According to Salesforce.com research, businesses using the Desk.com help-desk system have seen, on average, a 42 percent faster response to customers, a 27 percent decrease in support costs, and a 36 percent increase in customer satisfaction. Salesforce hopes its special incentives will lure companies into switching from Zendesk to Desk.com.
Cloud and CRM software leader Salesforce.com just rolled out the latest edition of its Desk.com help-desk solution, positioning the new version as the 'future of customer service'. Innovations include a new intelligent-agent console, a mobile app, and a reporting engine.
Salesforce says these and other new features will help customer service agents provide faster, better service, which in the end, leads to happier customers and increased sales.
In case you aren't familiar with Desk.com, it's a real-time interface that lets customer service agents handle traditional one-to-one communications and also monitor and respond to social media. All customer communication is actionable and reportable, allowing customer service managers to handle a variety of different support needs.
"Awesome customer service is the new competitive advantage," said Leyla Seka, general manager and senior vice president of Desk.com for Salesforce. And, it's an advantage that small businesses as well as large enterprises can leverage.
Indeed, Salesforce may be hitting a nerve, especially with small businesses. More than half of small businesses fail in the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration. In response, Salesforce is pushing this message: Exceptional customer service is a competitive differentiator and growth driver -- and Desk.com can help.
According to its Salesforce-commissioned research, Desk.com customers on average experience a 42 percent faster response to customers, 38 percent increase in agent productivity, 27 percent decrease in support costs, and 36 percent increase in customer satisfaction.
Some businesses already using Desk.com include the HotelTonight room reservation service, and, SoundCloud, a social platform for recording and sharing music.
One Kings Lane, an online home décor company, is also using Desk.com, with beneficial results for its customers and its customer service team.
"With Desk.com, One Kings Lane has maintained outstanding service and high customer satisfaction rates," said Alexis Chapman, director of Customer Operations at One Kings Lane. "Now, our customer care team has greater visibility into customer needs and they are empowered to work more efficiently and continually offer an exceptional experience for our shoppers."
Can Desk.com Disrupt?
Salesforce is also working hard to compete with the likes of Zendesk. In fact, Salesforce is offering customers who switch from Zendesk to Desk.com a free subscription for the rest of 2014. That's a serious incentive that could help bring the Desk.com brand into more conversations as companies look for ways to boost customer service.
"Desk.com is priced and delivered such that it can be disruptive," Shimmin said. "This market has been slow to adopt the cloud because of large on-premises deployments. Customer service has been moving rapidly to the cloud over the last year, but it's still moving slower than other aspects of the software industry."
The latest version of Desk.com is available now, with pricing starting at $30 per month, per agent.
The announcement of Salesforce Wear shows that Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff is working to build Force.com as a platform that can accommodate a wide array of enterprise solutions, not just CRM apps. Salesforce Wear is a good step forward because it addresses the fragmentation in the mobile device market, said analyst Brad Shimmin.
Jumping on the wearables bandwagon, Salesforce.com has launched Salesforce Wear. The CRM company is billing it as the first initiative for wearable computing in the enterprise.
The company also rolled out the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack, which works to help developers connect companies with their customers via apps for wearables. Salesforce is getting a warm reception as ARM, Fitbit, Pebble, Philips, Samsung and others have signed on to the Salesforce Wear initiative with a mind to accelerate adoption of wearables in the enterprise.
Salesforce Wear is building in support for devices that can be worn on the face, wrist and body for a variety of use cases, including: Android Wear, ARM, Fitbit, Google Glass, Myo from Thalmic, Nymi from Bionym, OMsignal, Pebble, Philips and Samsung Gear 2.
“Wearables are the next phase of the mobile revolution," said Daniel Debow, senior vice president of emerging technologies at Salesforce.com. "With Salesforce Wear, companies can now capture the massive opportunity these devices offer to connect with customers in new ways."
A Wearable Push
Debow is not just blowing smoke. Mobile device makers and analysts alike agree that the wearables explosion is creating opportunities for businesses to connect with customers, partners and employees in new ways. According to an IHS report, about 50 million wearable units will be sold in 2014 -- and more than 180 million are predicted to sell in 2018.
"Salesforce Wear will create new mobile solutions that leverage the technology of Samsung Gear devices to help business customers adopt wearables in a meaningful way,” said Nick Rea, Director of Technical Solutions in Samsung Mobile’s Business Innovations Group. And Jeroen Tas, CEO of Philips Healthcare Information Services & Solutions, said he sees “great promise” for the company’s cloud-connected wearable device technologies in the healthcare industry. Market research firm Forrester is also on board.
"Wearable devices represent the next phase of this mobile revolution. Perpetually connected wearables will enable workers, partners, and customers to experience new levels of immediacy, simplicity, and context in their mobile computing experiences,” said J.P Gownder in the January 2014 Forrester Research Inc. report, The Enterprise Wearables Journey. “Wearables aren't just a consumer phenomenon; they have the potential to change the way organizations and workers conduct business.”
We caught up with Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the new Salesforce Wear. He told us this move makes it clear that Salesfore CEO Marc Benioff is working to build Force.com as a platform that can accommodate a wide array of enterprise solutions, not just CRM apps. He called Salesforce Wear a good step forward because it addresses an emerging difficulty in the market.
“If you think the mobile device market is fragmented and difficult for the enterprise market to write to now, wait until the market comes to the foreground and you have not only different platforms by different vendors, but also more varied devices,” Shimmin said. “Unlike a mobile phone that just tries to be a blank slate, wearable devices are often built to provide a very specific set of services -- not to be all things but to be one thing or a couple of things.”
Shimmin predicted the mobile device landscape will quickly become incredibly complex and a burden for software developers. There will be classes of applications tailored to specific use cases, not just wearable device manufacturers.
“For a company like Salesforce to come out and say they are going to simplify this by building a set of SDKs for as many of these as they can handle is pretty special,” Shimmin said. “It’s also an interesting way to take the platform forward and to prove to the marketplace that Force.com is much more than just a great place to host CRM apps by small ISVs.”
Salesforce Wear Developer Pack is available now and is included with all user licenses of Salesforce CRM and the Salesforce Platform.
"Businesses are shaking off their malaise and returning to spending on IT to support the growth of their business," said Richard Gordon, Gartner managing vice president. He added that increased IT spending on devices will show a "greater substitution toward lower-cost and more basic devices than we have seen in prior years."
Information technology spending will increase 3.2 percent worldwide this year to about $3.8 trillion, according to Gartner's new Worldwide IT Spending Forecast. The increase, part of a gradually improving economy, is being attributed to growth in enterprise software and device sales.
By contrast, IT spending last year increased only 0.4 percent over 2012. Enterprise software's increase in 2014 will be about 6.9 percent, itself driven by higher spending for databases, data management and social software. Devices such as PCs, ultra-mobiles, mobile phones and tablets will see a 4.4 percent increase in 2014 over last year.
The forecast points to growth in enterprise software for customer relationship management systems, database management systems, data integration tools and data quality tools. Gartner predicts that spending on database management systems will become the largest enterprise software market this year, exceeding the spending on operating systems.
Shaking Off Malaise
Richard Gordon, Gartner managing vice president, said in a statement that "businesses are shaking off their malaise and returning to spending on IT to support the growth of their business." He added that increased spending on devices will show a "greater substitution toward lower cost and more basic devices than we have seen in prior years."
In phones, for instance, Gartner is forecasting a preference in mature markets such as the U.S. and the UK for mid-tier premium phones, and in emerging countries for low-end Android basic phones. In PCs, customers are not replacing their computers as frequently as they have in the past, and the tendency on replacement is to move to a more mobile version, such as a laptop replacing a PC or an Ultrabook replacing a laptop.
Data center systems are expected to see a 2.3 percent increase over 2013, to $143 billion, with cloud and mobility needs being the biggest drivers. In particular, the research firm points to spending on data center Ethernet switches because of the adoption of virtualization and clouds, and on wireless LAN equipment because of a growth in mobile.
IT services will rise 4.6 percent to nearly a trillion dollars this year, with a shift from spending for project planning to project implementation. Telecom services spending is projected at a growth rate of 1.3 percent to $1.655 trillion. Trends affecting telecom include the continuing decline of fixed voice services and the increased use of voice-over-IP for private branch exchange connections to the Net.
Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, pointed out that "there's been a delay in the upgrade cycle" over the last few years. But, he noted, since the gap was fairly long since much IT hardware and software was replaced, it should be expected that the spending patterns will now be different.
Just as an example, he told us, "the cloud trend has people not buying certain kinds of hardware and software for their infrastructure."
Gartner said its forecast is based on an analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services.
Social Selling reached high visibility at Dreamforce recently and continues to be a current topic of blog posts, articles, tweets, and discussions. It's one of those things that has some fuzzy definitions to some. Is it a methodology? Is it social networking? How long does it take to implement? We already did sales training....
I want to provide some clarity about what it is, how to do it, who it applies to, and what you can start doing right now. Historically, sales leadership has been late to the party to push their teams to start utilizing information in the public domain, especially on social networks. In fact, some of those sites are blocked
The question for many is still "What exactly IS Social Selling?" and "Does it even apply to me?" Let's dive in...
Many sales professionals think it's not for them but for social media power users, or some new sales method. Or they may even see doing anything that employs the use of "social media" as a waste of time (which it absolutely can be if it's used wrong.) But saying it isn't for everyone in B2B sales isn't accurate, and I'll tell you why.
The principles behind it have been around a long before we even had "social" anything online (2006 for Twitter, 2004 for Facebook, 2003 for LinkedIn, or Google+....still just a baby created in 2011.)
The concept of Social Selling is what sales professionals have always done, preparing ahead of time for calls, meetings, sending communication, etc. The difference before anything was online was that you had to buy directories, lead sheets, read annual reports, subscribe to industry periodicals, and do a lot of homework. Then when they were in their office, the smart reps were hyper-aware of everything around their office and integrated that real-time into the discussion.
Here's an example, 15 years ago reps would meet with a prospect in their office and what did they see around their office? Awards, Degrees, pictures of their family, vacations, accomplishments, books on a shelf....maybe they collect artefacts, or something really unique like a rock from Mt. Everest, and an abundance of other things that told a story about them as a professional and as a person. Did they gain some insight into their interests based on what they surround themselves with? Absolutely. Did they then make connections with things and people they knew to connect the dots for a better understanding of how to work with them? If you were actively engaged with your prospect, you did just that.
And the people that only cared about closing the deal and couldn't care less about their prospects went into a meeting, ignored the 25 items in the room around them they could mention and missed out on connecting on a whole new level (the equivalent today of calling a prospect without a clue of who they are.)
So what does this have to do with "Social Selling?" Social Selling fast-tracks that whole process of discovering synergy. It puts you in front of your prospect with an enormous amount of insight into who they are. And today, there is exists something that has never existed in era's past....prospect generated content. Unless your prospect was an author back then, you had very little prospect generated content. Today, people have gobs of content about themselves online. There are reports/studies that state 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years. That includes prospect generated content (aka, content they create about themselves.)
As LinkedIn became the hub of professional networking, it really forced people to have a decent representation of themselves online. Even some executives that were by nature private and didn't do a lot online, were pressed via peer or industry pressure to have a presence. It actually would hurt their career if they weren't. So the people that were more inclined to not self-promote, or avoid being available...were forced to in order to keep up with their peers, their teams, their industry. If they were looking for new opportunities, if they weren't on LinkedIn or have a poorly constructed presence it would cost them visibility for new roles. This peer pressure to get online professionally is a HUGE source of insight. The more peer and industry pressure to have a strong presence, the more prospect generated content exists.
Today meetings and calls are remote, we often aren't in their offices. But that "virtual personal space" is all around us. Did you look your prospect up on LinkedIn before the call? Did you look at other social networks to see what you could learn about them? Did you put some thought into what you discovered to paint a bigger picture of who they are and what their vantage point may be? Have they done reviews, belong to industry groups, interact with peers online?
Just like the rep that was in the same room with a prospect and picked up on the rich source of information all around them, reps today have even MORE access to higher-value information about their prospects and don't want to miss out on that.
10 Things You Should Know About Social Selling:
Really, Social Selling is just leveraging what is in the public domain, created by prospects and other industry sources to fast-track establishing synergy, cooperation, and get to where you are working together faster.
I'll look forward to your comments below on how you've adopted "social selling" best practices!
IntelliResponse is filling an important need in the CRM market with its new app by helping resolve customer issues quickly, ideally with just one call or contact. As any contact center manager knows, efficiency and first-call resolution can be key to success, resulting in stronger customer satisfaction, a better customer experience, and increased sales.
The Salesforce1 AppExchange from Salesforce.com has been seeing plenty of attention from businesses looking to connect with customers, partners, and employees. One new app on the exchange that will be of special interest to contact center managers is the recently launched IntelliResponse Virtual Agent (VA) for Salesforce.
The IntelliResponse app is an enterprise-grade virtual agent system that integrates seamlessly with the Salesforce Service Cloud. The goal of the system is to help contact center agents find faster answers to customer questions to improve contact center efficiency and boost customer satisfaction.
David Lloyd, CEO of IntelliResponse, hit the nail on the head when he said customer service is a key differentiator for leading companies -- and the ones that succeed provide a superior customer experience across every touchpoint.
“Contact centers have traditionally struggled with onboarding new agents as they navigate multiple channels, but with IntelliResponse VA for Salesforce, they can put the right answers at both their customers’ and employees’ fingertips, making every agent as good as their best agent,” Llolyd said.
IntellliResponse is doing plenty right. Industry analyst firm Opus Research recently gave the company’s virtual agent technology the highest possible score for its conversational interface. IntelliResponse VA for Salesforce aims to kick it up a notch, helping contact center agents provide better customer service from within the Salesforce Service Cloud.
For example, the app and integration give contact center operators the flexibility to extend to any client-facing digital self-service channel -- even customer portals and communities. The software automatically matches questions with answers using patented intent-recognition technology.
What’s more, the app claims to process millions of customer answers with 90 percent accuracy, while at the same time gathering customer insights that can help companies boost their sales. The technology collects real-time voice of the customer (VOC) insights straight from online customer interactions and can even serve up relevant offers to woo customers down the purchase funnel in real time.
We caught up with Dan Miller, founder and analyst at Opus Research, to get his take on IntelliResponse’s latest innovation. He told us Salesforce is putting a considerable amount of marketing power behind Salesforce1 and the “Ask Tab” is a welcome addition to the customer care agent’s screen.
“IntelliResponse’s approach shortens the length of time it takes for a customer care agent to provide the right answer to a caller or Web site visitor,” he said. “That translates into higher levels of satisfaction and illustrates how the application of intelligent agent technology provides value for contact center managers and marketing executives alike.”
Filling a Market Need
Based on all the promises, IntelliResponse is filling an important need in the CRM market with its new app by helping resolve customer issues quickly, ideally with just one call or contact. As any contact center manager knows, efficiency and first-call resolution can be key to success. On the flip-side, market research firm Frost & Sullivan reports that 60 percent of repeat customer service calls are due to issues in staff training or processes.
With that in mind, the IntelliResponse app is designed to give contact center agents the answers they need to customer questions, while also displaying results from Salesforce articles, solutions, cases and other knowledge repositories. The end result: less training time, better first-call resolution, less lead time, and overall stronger customer satisfaction.
The Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) provides a single protocol for the entire Revenue Generation Team – everyone is on the same system, they are looking at the same information. This information allows them to work together to generate revenue for the company.
What is important to keep in mind is that the CRM is simply a tool to help facilitate these improvements; it is not the end goal. In the end, it is not about the technology being used; it is really just the catalyst for change. In this article, I will describe three ways that you can use the CRM to generate more revenue:
Change Your Approach to Revenue Generation
From marketing to sales, customer service and product development, all Revenue Generation Team members are united under the goal of driving revenue. The entire team has a view of marketing campaigns, leads generated, opportunities in the pipeline, outstanding customer service cases and the activities being completed to win the business and solve customer challenges. Change the culture of company – show the team how to keep the ball moving forward rather than simply having something to get through the next revenue review meeting with.
Get the Whole Revenue Generation Team Working Together to Create Revenue
Help your teams collaborate to drive revenue. Marketing works with sales to ensure that marketing activities and campaigns generate the right kinds of leads. The Revenue Generation Team has a 360 degree view of the customer relationship. They work together to expand the company’s beachhead within the account. Line managers leverage their relationships and knowledge of customer challenges to create opportunities. The entire team understands that their activities and the timely information they provide can generate potential opportunities that sales qualifies and closes.
CEO’s Have Information to Better Run the Company
Help the CEO determine if money is well spent. Dashboards show the CEO what marketing activities contribute the most revenue and best leads; performance metrics show which employees make the most money for the company. CRM tools help manage the revenue pipeline – its value, the chances of winning and where you have to improve to win. They also manage the bidding process-how far are you along; what tasks are left to do and who is doing them.
A common question that is asked when evaluating an opportunity is how close is your relationship to the customer. Sales often believes they are very close to the customer, the program managers and key decision makers. CEOs can review the customer relationship- cases that are open and resolved, how many meetings over the past year they have had with the customer, and the result of those meetings. Effective use of the CRM provides the CEO with the information to determine if the relationship is where it should be to win the business.
The revenue generation engagement works with the CEO to establish a mindset in the Revenue Generation Team that it’s all about driving growth. Continuous engagement, a tightly defined CRM curriculum, facilitating team revenue review meetings that find the best path to revenue and holding performance reviews that focus on improving the Revenue Generation Team generate more revenue and in larger chunks.
The latest forecast for the coming year from analyst Gartner sees CRM continuing to grow in importance as the market hits $23.9bn this year, with cloud revenues forecast to be almost half of that (49 percent).
But the coming year will be a period of consolidation, Gartner analysts believe, "as market growth [stays] moderate in 2014, following three strong years of investment".
Helping power the investment will be a new branch of CRM, the Internet of Things (IoT) which will join social, mobile, big data and cloud to become one of the five main branches of CRM — although, according to Gartner vice-president Ed Thompson, it will be remain a smaller area for now.
"The key area at the moment is mobile," Thompson said. "Large organisations especially have their hands full with trying to understand how to make the most out if mobile technology."
Social networking he sees as next in importance with big data third. For now, Thompson thinks the IoT will remain a smaller area, but one that he and Garner believe will become increasingly important.
"Mobile is becoming much more important in all sorts of ways that we do not really understand yet," Thompson said. "I was talking to a supermarket and they are finding that mobile phone can help them with shopping trolleys. They lose thousands of them but if they have a chip in them then the supermarket can track them down and get them back.
"It was uneconomic to do this, but now it is possible. When chips costs hundreds of pound it was uneconomic but when they cost pennies..."
While the IoT will remain a relatively small area, Thompson said there were all kinds of interesting areas opening up. "A big growth are is industrial LEDs for lighting, especially intelligent lighting," he said. "This is followed by cars, alarms and security and then music systems and speakers."
Gartner expects CRM market growth to stay moderate in 2014, following three strong years of investment. CRM software revenue is forecast to reach $23.9m in 2014, with cloud revenue accounting for 49 percent. SaaS- or cloud-based CRM deployments currently represent more than 40 percent of all CRM deployments, and look set to reach 50 percent during 2015.
"These drivers are spurring a critical need for more traditional operational CRM as CRM continues to top software investment priorities," said Gartner’s Joanne Correia. "This further validates businesses' focus on enhancing customer experience and consistent investment in CRM software, especially in CSS, marketing and sales software."
It seems to be almost inevitable that a Financial Services Organisation’s first foray into implementing CRM is disastrous. Of course success is often redefined and the project normally limps over the finishing line, but not without significant cost overruns, delays and general lowering of expectations. The good news is that the second attempt is usually much more successful, which goes to show it’s often not the package or solution that’s at fault, there’s something else – but what? And more importantly, can failure be avoided?
Why did you buy a package in the first place?
Implementing a package solution is very different to a custom build: Within Financial Services, there is a proud tradition of building everything from scratch, or at the very least, customising heavily. This is often coupled with a firm belief that systems need to be adapted to precisely fit “the way I work”. These practices lead to over-specified requirements resulting in a mismatch with the way the package works and ignores years of best practices that are built into the product. For example in the vast majority of cases, the CRM package layout and processes have been well thought through and have worked very well for thousands of other companies – so why not you?
This way of implementing CRM results in:
• Lots of custom development,
• Little benefit from the package’s core capability
• A more fragile solution that is no longer upgradable or too expensive to upgrade
• An explosion of costs and timescales
• Ultimately, all or most benefits of selecting a package are lost.
Underestimating the human change aspect
CRM has become synonymous with systems, whereas it needs to be seen as a way of thinking and conducting business with your clients and customers. The system is simply an enabler for what is often a very big change in the way customer-facing staff are required to behave towards their customers. CRM is not just a technology category. Indeed, CRM software applications merely automate the processes and policies of a committed customer-centric philosophy. In my experience, it is this philosophy that is truly customer relationship management. Effective CRM requires your organisation to take a customer perspective for all your business processes by letting your customers’ actions drive them and the applications that implement them.
People using any CRM system need to understand why they are using it and how it benefits them and their customers. This requires active involvement from management and users. A new way of working doesn’t mean you should assume your users will easily understand how to work the system. My advice would be to make a significant investment in user training and support otherwise the result will be poor acceptance and adoption of the delivered solution.
Ease your way to success
It can be very tempting to try and tackle the biggest and most complex challenge first, but this will often result in dramatic and calamitous failure. You wouldn’t attempt to climb Everest before testing the terrain and checking your equipment in the foothills. So why do the same thing with your CRM implementation? For example, focusing on a smaller, simpler problem first gives everyone time to iron out the teething problems and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the package, while getting some early success, otherwise, yes, you guessed it – you get another high profile failure!
My suggestions for anyone embarking on a new CRM implementation are:
• Choose a product that can meet your long term needs, such as Microsoft Dynamics
• Get help initially, learn from those who’ve done it before, find an experienced implementation partner, who has the requisite business and systems knowledge
• Start small and build on success – regular incremental delivery is best, make your mantra “little and often”
• Stick to the product, avoid unnecessary customisation
• Invest heavily in user training and adoption
• Measure progress and reward desired behaviour