The Truth About CRM – should we ban the ‘C’ word?

05 Sep 2012

By: Jane Royden

E AND H / Professional Membership Sector / Project Management

Building and managing relationships is the lifeblood of most not-for-profit organisations.  Whether contacts, customers, members or stakeholders – most would agree that it’s the relationship itself that really matters.  A focus on the ‘C’ word (customers or contacts) can divert us from the very essence of what we need to do.


When we ask organisations what CRM means to them, there is often uncertainty or a pure focus on the IT and systems.  Possibly a reflection of the proliferation of IT ‘CRM solutions’ that pervade the sector.


The uncomfortable truth is often:

·         Little or no perceived value for your members and stakeholders

·         Never ending projects to implement IT systems for CRM

·         Systems that staff don’t use – or complain about bitterly

·         Escalating costs and timescales

·         Suppliers who let you down.


Is it time to think about CRM projects in a different way? 

·         Relationships and experience can be at the heart of what you do in the project – delivering real value

·         CRM projects can complete – and do

·         Staff do adopt new systems and become advocates for working in better ways

·         Costs can be controlled

·         Suppliers will work with you.


The difference: – being clear about your CRM strategy, being organised, getting control, knowing when you are done – project management for CRM.  The difference between failure and success.


E AND H 2012 – Inspiring Projects for a generation