by Wendy S. Close

Technology as a Two-Way Street

Sep 15, 20022 mins
CRM Systems

There are a number of reasons why sales technology implementations fail. Topping the list are projects initiated with unclear goals, metrics and expectations. AMF wisely identified specific goals for implementing CRM.

A second reason for sales-force automation (SFA) failure is a poorly defined or flawed sales process, and third is a lack of commitment from top executives and sales managers. At AMF, the North American sales vice president championed the project and convinced the CEO to invest in CRM.

The fourth reason for failure is the lack of strong end user salesperson buy-in. AMF involved sales reps in system development from the start. The next wise move AMF made was to listen to its reps’ idea of using PDAs. PDAs, although convenient, lack the sales application depth and range of data that can be deployed on laptops. However, deploying a subset of sales features on a PDA with data synchronization can conveniently supply limited information anywhere and at anytime in the field, and allow mobile reps to quickly and conveniently collect information. Most sales organizations that have deployed PDAs are using them for generic contact and calendar information, and these applications have failed to produce any real ROI. AMF was smart to deploy a custom application on the PDA designed specifically for sales.

Finally, AMF is using data collected by salespeople to run marketing promotions that directly benefit the salesperson’s bottom line. Too many organizations turn their salespeople into data collectors for marketing without providing any benefits back to sales like better qualified leads. Overall, AMF exemplifies a number of SFA best practices that others should seek to emulate.