We hear it a lot. A company is limping along with an old, client/server contact manager or CRM system. Users are not happy with the solution. Managers feel their users’ pain and experience their own pain with the current system.
A lot of research is done on potential replacements for the old system, but when the final decision maker within the organization sees the price proposal, he or she says “we are not spending that kind of money when we already have a system in place”.
How can you sell your CEO on a new CRM system, when your CEO only views it as an expensive technology acquisition?
1. Present him with the economic pains – It’s normally a lot easier to identify feature pain than it is to identify economic pain, so a CEO often hears about frustrations with the current system, rather than the economic costs of the system. An example of economic pain is, “IT spends 60 man/hours per month maintaining our current system.”
2. Ask her to sit down with end users – If she spends some one-on-one time with end users, your CEO will have an opportunity to understand areas of lost productivity with the current system, such as how much time is spent on manual tasks that could be automated with a more flexible CRM solution.
3. Show him CRM success metrics – Some CRM vendors pay companies like MarketTools to survey their customers and then tabulate results about percentage increases in sales, percentage decreases in customer attrition and other important business gains that have resulted from companies investing in their system.
4. Get her involved in the CRM evaluation process – Request that she attends vendor presentations. Better still, get her to be an active participant in vendor presentations, rather than sitting quietly in the back corner of the room.
5. Get him to reveal his own business pains – Does he experience frustrations during meetings when nobody can produce the data that he’s requesting? Is lack of visibility to sales opportunities or customer issue resolution times hampering his ability to help increase sales or increase customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Through deeper research on the economic costs of the current system and by encouraging greater involvement on the part of your CEO, you’ll be in a better position to sell him or her on the benefits of switching to a new CRM system.