It’s easy to question the relevance of CRM now that there is newer technology on the market or because of the CRM implementations that failed to meet expectations in the past. What is more difficult is to take some responsibility for CRM’s past failure.
CRM is about people, process and technology – and when systems failed in the past, it was largely due to people and process issues, not the CRM technology. CRM requires a fundamental change in the way firms think about and manage relationships, and a lot of firms just weren’t prepared to deal with the change. CRM also requires significant resources in terms of time, money and people, and many firms weren't ready or willing to dedicate the necessary resources.
Another problem in the past was that people’s expectations for CRM were sometimes unrealistic. They tried to do too many things too quickly. Many firms bought CRM systems thinking they would solve all the firm’s communication and relationship management problems. Guess what… they didn’t’.
Some responsibility should also be shared by any of the CRM providers who touted all of CRM’s bells and whistles and trotted out the dogs and ponies during demonstrations, or the ones who recommended that firms roll CRM out firm-wide as quickly as possible so they could sell the most licenses in the least amount of time. Both of these strategies often backfired, resulting in a lot of CRM systems becoming shelf-ware – and a lot of customers becoming dissatisfied...