It was twenty years ago that I customized my first CRM solution on my fancy new 486 laptop. My system made me so successful as a sales rep, I couldn't fathom trying to manage my customer relationships without CRM!
So why do the vast majority of CRM implementations fail?
They fail because of the widely-held assumption that employees will (honestly and accurately) record all their work activities into a centralized, quantifiable database.
Look at the web site of any CRM provider and you will see a primary focus on "opportunity management" and "pipeline dashboards". After all, what executive wouldn't want to run reports on all the activities of his or her employees?
Before CRM can be successful, expectations need to change. Organizations can receive incredible value from CRM solutions, but only if they let go of traditional employee activity-control concepts.