The Real Benefits of CRM
As V.P. of Sales & Marketing, I often stay hands-on in providing business consulting in order to design the most efficient and intuitive CRM interface for User Adoption and achievement of established goals. Just wanted to share a few thoughts with those of you contemplating the implementation of a new CRM or reviewing your current CRM. Unlike building a home wherein you start with the foundation, building a CRM must start at the TOP. Then build the perspective of the Users into the plans.
Define exactly where the company is today in terms of products, services, margins, tools, outside resources and inside talent. Critical is to also know how your company compares to the competition.
What differentiators are you leveraging in your processes and communicating in your branding?
CRM Data Migration
Prior to importing data into the CRM, we find that most clients are sitting on gold that they didn’t have the knowledge or tools to mine. In strategically importing data on Contacts, Companies, Institutions, Associations, Organizations, Country Clubs and Benevolent affiliations, we can set the stage for passive and active communications, campaigns and event planning. Categorizing, tagging, grouping and identifying network connections becomes highly relevant to leveraging Intel the company already owns.
The CRM is an incredible tool enabling this executable.
When we work with clients to categorize and segment their databases in order to mine the gold, they are quick to show us the analysis of everything those clients have purchased in the PAST. While that information is important, it only tells part of the story. In today’s competitive environment, you need to partner with your clients and find out where else they are doing business that could and should be done with you. Viewing it from that perspective, the questions is how much business could they potentially do with us? If you are only getting 10% of their business, how can you go after the other 90% that is going to your competition?
We often work with the Account Management team in scripting “Commitment Conversations”. You need to uncover and understand the demands that your customers are trying to meet for their customers. What are their customers demanding that they provide in order to maintain their business? Then who are YOUR customers turning to in terms of your competition, in order to meet those demands? Finally, if you could commit to meeting those needs, are they willing to commit to doing that business with you?
With that knowledge, we can then build out work-flows within the CRM that can efficiently compliment clients and prospects by brand lines, industry verticals etc. Emails, marketing materials, reports, and links can all be created in advance and put at the employee’s fingertips with the click of their mouse.
In addition, your marketing department can then coordinate PASSIVE campaigns to complement the ACTIVE campaigns that Management directs the Sales Team to execute on. All coordinated to maintain the integrity of your corporate branding and support the achievement of your strategic goals.
Defining what you EXPECT so the CRM can be built to enable Management to INSPECT
Create actionable and measurable goals in terms of practices, products, services, business or brand lines, new accounts, deeper penetration, lower service requests, higher repeat business etc. It isn’t enough for Upper Management to create the Vision and Mission Statement. The key to success is how that message is:
*Delivered to all levels of in a manner that allows every employee to understand the logic of how and why it will benefit everyone to execute on it;
*How those goals will be supported;
*How those goals will be measured;
*How those goals will be driven;
*How the meeting of those goals will be enforced!
Clarify the actual steps to be taken and the people, (by role), who will execute on those in order to achieve the goals. The CRM enables Management to monitor those steps and the results so that you can make adjustments and provide recognition or coaching. It also enables your employees to more efficiently organize and monitor the results of their own day to day efforts and achievements.
USER ADOPTION makes or breaks your CRM implementation
We work to garner User Adoption and the achievement of your goals by designing and customizing a CRM that intuitively matches the flow of your business processes and drives your specific activities. In addition, we train according to the specific User’s role. We deliver the system in a manner that demonstrates how they as individuals can benefit and grow their productivity and revenues by using the CRM. As our CRM solution is EMBEDDED with Outlook, the majority of their daily “Blocking & Tackling” activities are automatically captures. All of those activities and relevant data points can then be rolled up in order to allow management complete transparency without asking for activity reports from your employees. A properly designed CRM can put the data at your fingertips. Management can then inspect what they expect and make adjustments in order to drive success.
It is easy to demand more sales. It is Management’s responsibility to provide clear goals, strategies, tools and guidance in order to achieve real ROI for the company, the shareholders and employees. Provide a few times when you can be available for a conversation. I’ll confirm one with an invite. Let us further discuss what we are seeing in terms of best practices in your vertical and what a properly implemented CRM can do to raise the bottom line for your company. Also, how we can facilitate your CRM seamlessly within your Microsoft Outlook!