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Selling your senior management on CRM

I am the project manager of a CRM initiative at my company. As a product-centric culture, the company suffers from lack of role and responsibilities definition. It is in an early adopter market in the high tech industry, as a guerilla position, and is focused on internal operations and does not have any processes in place.

To me, the maturity of the company is pretty far away from CRM. We have no CRM Strategy, no product and channel strategy. I have raised those issues to the management and instead of deciding on defining strategy they said that they will take a step-by-step approach.

I have participated in many projects and to me, if you want to select the appropriate enabling technologies, you need to know which processes the technology is going to support and the processes need to be designed to support the strategy in a customer-centric fashion.

How can I make an IT manager convince the CIO to convince the CEO?

It's an unfortunate fact that the majority of companies, even if they are motivated to be customer-centric rather than product-centric, have neither the processes, nor the culture, to effectively execute and sustain a CRM program. If senior management hasn't been exposed to the long-term value of CRM for their companies, an education process must first take place to win their support.

A goal of customer loyalty is the dramatic increase of both revenue and profitability. That, alone, should be sufficient motivation for senior executives. Sidebar opportunities, such as the greater proficiency and loyalty of staff, are further reasons to support a move to company-wide CRM.

My recommendation is to put together the components of a transformation plan, beginning with the financial justification for CRM. Overarching CRM strategies can be outlined; however, it won't be useful to go further with it until company executives are fully behind such a plan.

I'm attaching several of my articles which may help with this.
(These articles can be found in our new sub-category, Customer Loyalty

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