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Three things I think are worth pondering:

First, a software package that adds more complexity instead of enabling simplicity is increasing the business risk of any CRM initiative. A recent survey of CXOs reveals that they seek simpler processes but see technology as adding to the complexity. I don't know all the reasons Ford terminated its program, but I'm betting it became too complex to implement.

Second, when a software package forces the company to adapt its processes to those that the software company considers "best practices" then the software has reduced each client to me-too. A company's processes are what differentiate it from its competitors.

Third, a concern for others is or should be the underpinning of CRM technology. Mature software packages tend to be similar in features so a lot of the success of a CRM project lies more in the culture than in the tech. When we as marketers move from loving our company to loving our customers, we will finally have the breakthrough that makes CRM a reality. When customers realize we love them, they will reward us with their business. Culture must be managed.

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