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EVP Sales/Customer Relationship Change Story

At our core, we are high-touch, hand-shake business, but we have been growing fast. It was time to join the 21st century and leverage technology so we could scale.


I was asked to head up our CRM initiative becasue I was a big fan of this technology, which would inject more discipline into our operations and transform our sales process.


Choosing the right technology vendor was a contentious and difficult process as people clung on to their tried-and-true views and challenged every benefit, highlighted every risk and railed against the expenditure.


In the end, we chose a very popular CRM platform and promised to trim our IT staff to balance out the investment. After-all, it was a “turn-key” solution, that produced reports at the touch of a button. What could go wrong? We are now in year three of of a 12 month CRM implementation, with no end in sight.


We spent so much time on internal negotiations and back and forth with the vendor, that we under-estimated and under-budgeted the rollout and training for nearly a thousand people. We also find that we don’t have nearly enough IT support during this transition period. Those are just some of the lessons learned.


We started this journey with our eye firmly on the future that we wanted. But when the rubber hit the road, we got lost in our internal squabbles, and took our eye off the ball. No technology can create discipline if you aren't disciplined in the way you integrate the technology.

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