The performance payoff from electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) programs has become a growing concern in marketing and information technology research and practice. Yet despite a number of research reports by both practitioners and academic institutions there remains little evidence of any robust relationship between eCRM investment and performance. Building on a surprisingly sparse literature regarding the importance of managerial discretion, we show that the beliefs held by managers’ matter. Three distinct types of firms populate our data, and the relationship between eCRM performance and its underlying determinants varies greatly between them. This is critical to strategic marketing because it implies that there is far less homogeneity at the individual firm level than is normally assumed.