‘Quick-fix’ approach to CRM spells project failure

SAP launches ‘CRM Assault Course’ to help companies maximise spend by evaluating systems against the toughest conditions

LondonMost companies embark on CRM implementations without a clear idea of what they’re hoping to achieve, or how they will measure success. Instead, CRM initiatives are often a knee-jerk reaction to customer dissatisfaction.

SAP has talked to over 100 UK companies considering, or using, a CRM system and found that approximately 90% of implementations are triggered by customer complaints or demands, rather than by strategic initiatives. The majority have not set specific objectives for the project beyond the most basic customer SLAs (service level agreements).

It also found that less than 5% of companies with an existing CRM system had tried to measure ROI. SAP believes this is because these companies failed to evaluate their CRM application thoroughly prior to implementation.

The company has launched a guide to evaluating and setting objectives for a CRM system. Called ‘The CRM Assault Course’, it describes industry-specific scenarios which companies can evaluate prospective solutions against.

“The majority of businesses have a very narrow view of CRM and introduce it purely as a reactive measure, to firefight immediate problems,” said Gordon McLennon, solutions marketing manager for mySAP CRM. “The first thing they want to know is ‘can I log customer complaints’. They don’t ask how CRM can impact the bottom line or support the business’ overall objectives.”

“More frightening still is that they don’t consider how CRM can help them deal with difficult scenarios with customers or partners. In these situations, choosing the right system can make or break a business’ reputation and have a significant financial impact,” he added.

Businesses can obtain a copy of the CRM Assault Course from SAP’s Web site at http://www.sap.com/uk/company/press/crmassaultcourse.pdf