Custom Implementations of CRM

I am a CRM consultant.  CRM is software businesses use to manage their customer relationships.  This includes keeping track of calls and appointments, e-mails, faxes, names and addresses.  It can also include tracking things like sales and support calls and other – shall we say – custom transactions.  I worked with a client last week who was a former GoldMine consultant.  We swapped “interesting implementations” over lunch.

I got a call from a CRM client who said they were missing a contact record in their system.  That’s usually not a problem.  However, when I arrived on site, I discovered none of their contacts had last names!  As I was trying alternate methods of finding “John”, I began to notice the names of the companies in the system: “Magic Mushroom”, “Green Tambourine Head Shoppe”.  The next time I was called in, they asked me how long it would take to setup the application.  At first, I thought they meant on a new machine.  No, setup the whole application from scratch.  The DEA had raided their offices and taken all their computers.

He responded with a story about an import / export company.  It was a little office wedged between buildings and manned by two guys who were Sopranos stereotypes.  He logged into their system and took a look at their license count: 9999.  This is the theoretical maximum number of licenses GoldMine could have.  He remarked he had never seen that kind of license before.  One of the guys said they had “an understanding” with the developers and – by the way – why did he need to know about it?  He decided he didn’t need to know about it.

It just goes to show how versatile CRM can be.  It’s unfortunate that GoldMine doesn’t advertise the fact their software can make a business, any business, more efficient in their practices: even drug dealers and The Mob.


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