CRM technology can help you save money, track key metrics, fire comm-flows and become a much more efficient operation. But good luck if you think CRM tools recruit students.
“Wait…what?!” you say? Can the VP of Marketing — for a CRM company — actually be telling you that our main recruiting product isn’t going to recruit students?
My friends, that is exactly what I’m saying. Because CRM tools don’t recruit students. People do.
Today I’d like to offer this important reminder to clients, prospective clients, colleagues and our industry at large. Yes, CRM is the “hot” technology upgrade du jour — but it’s the people behind the tool that ultimately determine its usefulness and overall success.
Allow me to illustrate with a story.
Recently I came across an article on the same subject published by The Center for Organizational Design entitled “People Make CRM Succeed.” The article leads with this “important lesson in understanding technological change.” I’ll paraphrase — this is only supposed to take a minute after all.
The story goes that General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., acting commander of the allied forces during Operation Desert Storm, heard a promising lieutenant talking about the advanced technological capabilities of the U.S. military. He decided to teach a leadership lesson to the recent West Point grad and invited him outside.
General Schwarzkopf walks up to one of the newest Air Force fighter jets and tells the young man to command the jet to fly. Of course nothing happens. The two proceed to walk over to a tank, and this time Schwarzkopf tells the young man to command the tank to “move.” When nothing happens, he tells the young man to try again.
Schwarzkopf asks his companion “What did you learn?” He is met with a half-amused “I don’t know, sir.”
The General then remarks “It doesn’t matter how sophisticated our weaponry — people fly planes and people drive tanks.”
A technology lesson for us all, indeed.
The article goes on to offer more nuggets of sagely CRM advice, like “Successful implementation of CRM means fixing our organizations. That encompasses two parts. First, all members of the organization must understand a new philosophy; a new way of thinking about customers, the organization and their role. And second, the organization must be designed to support that philosophy.”
Or, my personal favorite, “CRM has to do with changing the mindset, attitudes and habits of all members of the organization.”
So before you embark on an RFP process, a new implementation or even a reevaluation of your current CRM, remember to look at your people first. Are they on board? Do they have enough information? Are they trained? Are they engaged? Are they structured in a way that will help you get results?
Albert Einstein once said “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
Focus first on the human element of your efforts and you’ll find your CRM can be a pretty amazing tool. Just don’t forget it’s still a tool.
Read the entire article “People Make CRM Succeed” from The Center for Organizational Design.
Read more about our authors. To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box.