Paul Greenberg Interview – CRM Expert | Lexnet

Artist: Mal Smart
Artist: Mal Smart

Always interested in  CRM luminaries and also in Paul Greenberg, i copied this email interview.Hope you enjoy it!


This post is part of our new series of email interviews with CRM, email marketing and inbound marketing luminaries.

Name: Paul Greenberg
Company/Title: The 56 Group, President
Latest Book: CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition
ZDNet Blog:

How did you get involved with CRM?

As EVP of a small consulting firm back in the 90s, I was looking around for a new direction for the company and this thing called “xRP” (extended ERP) caught my eye.

It appealed to me because it focused on sales, marketing and customer service – all things that involved the customer.  I was, due to my background, a HUGE advocate for the customer so a way to develop business strategy to involve the side of the business that met the customers was a great idea.  Needless to say, “xRP” was CRM and the rest is history – my history, of course. I’ve been involved in CRM ever since.

What’s the most powerful tactic or strategy for which CRM can be used?

Customer engagement broadly and customer retention during economic downturns like we are in now.  The key to CRM is that it IS a strategy, not just technology. What makes it unique is that it’s the only science of business that attempts to reproduce an art of life.

What’s the most common CRM mistake?

Failing to involve the users and the customers in the planning of a CRM program.   That is responsible for more failures and initial misfires than any other error.  I remember IDC did this study about 4 years ago that the biggest reason for adoption failure was the failure to involve the users from the beginning. The percentage was 47% of all failures to adopt.  Now, with the 21st century social customer, not having the voice of the customer engaged at the get go is also a huge reason for failure.

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What’s the biggest CRM trend on the horizon?

The “socialization” of CRM. That means that because the new CRM strategy, CRM 2.0 if you will is customer engagement (or in the public sector, constituent engagement), then the customers need to be involved with the company so that they feel they have a stake in it.  That means providing them with the tools they need and the access they need to both participate in shaping value for the company and to get the intelligence that they need to make a wise decision on what kind of relationship they are going to have with the company.   Thus the integration of CRM with blogging, commenting, ranking tools and communities in addition to integration with wikis and channels are all part of the most important CRM trends.

What job would you do if you weren’t a CRM expert?

I’d be the broadcaster for the New York Yankees, since I’m both too old and not talented enough to actually play for them!! :)