As I mentioned in my previous post – although these posts are not sequential so you don’t need to read a previous post for homework like some of my other blogging series – I’m putting together a series of B2B marketing banana skins to avoid which will hopefully help you short-cut progress in your career and get to where you want to be quicker than I did.

My B2B marketing banana skin no 2 to avoid is this: don’t think you’ll get all the information you need from your CRM system. This may sound slightly controversial, since there is a wealth of excellent CRM – customer relationship management – systems out there that you can customise for your own specific purposes.

You’ll get a lot of the information you need, but not all. This is because it’s incredibly hard to design a brief for how you want your CRM system to behave before you start using it, especially if your business is in a relatively fast-moving industry. Once you start using it, you’ll realise things that you hadn’t thought of and you’ll want to make changes, which is hard to do once it’s been implemented. It’s one of the unspoken catch-22 rules of CRM systems. You’re always playing catch-up. The reports you create and the forecasting you do are rarely exactly what you’re looking for.

We live in a world of precious resources and if your business spends an unreasonably indulgent amount of time trying to perfect your CRM, you’ll become uncompetitive.

Focus on the few key aspects of your system that will govern the largest part of your success. The other aspects are nice-to-haves, which is to say they’re won’t-ever-haves.