In 1972 Fram Oil Filters ran commercials on television talking about their oil filters. A mechanic was usually under a car working. He talks about how a Fram Oil filter costs $4.00 and the cost of the repairs he was doing on the car that didn’t replace their oil filter was $200.00. He ends by holding up a Fram Oil Filter and says “You can pay me now,” then holds up a piston and says, “or, you can pay me later.” The ad was a huge success, and makes a great point: Not properly doing the small things typically leads to bigger things. Continue reading →
Over the last 18 years of CRM consulting and software implementations and integrations, I have come to learn several truths. The most basic of these is the role software plays in a CRM implementation. And over the last 14 of the 18 years I have been sharing this CRM implementation chart. The funny thing is that at least 95% of the executives I share this with agree that a CRM implementation is about so much more than technology. In fact, I believe it is roughly 10% technology, 30% process and 60% culture (or people).
With 95% of the executives I speak to agreeing that CRM is so much more encompassing than software, how many of them truly believe it? How many of them actually spend the time to analyze their processes and people in relation to CRM? How many of them actually make a plan for incorporating CRM into the Process and Culture of their organization? Less than 5%! Continue reading →
In my earlier blog post, CRM Selection in 4 (Huge) Steps, I gave a brief overview of the four main steps to CRM selection. Since that post, I have been in several discussions as to whether the first step, defining your CRM strategy, is needed. I will attempt to highlight what a CRM strategy is and why you need it.
My biggest argument for developing a CRM strategy is the age-old adage, “if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you will hit it every time.” I have said it may times, if your goal is to implement CRM, implementing CRM will be the accomplishment of that goal; however, your company may see little or no benefit from the action of implementing CRM.
Implementing CRM is not the same as implementing an accounting package or an email system. An accounting system is used for tracking financial information for internal and legal reporting purposes. The number of users is generally limited to those who understand accounting practices, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are the foundation for the implementation. Email on the other hand is a communication tool, and also adheres to standards. CRM, on the other hand, is the wild-wild west of implementations. While there are some standards in the CRM industry, most of a CRM strategy is custom to the company implementing CRM. This makes buying a CRM system a custom process.
The first thing I tell my customers is this, “don’t implement a CRM system, if you don’t have a plan and honest, straight-forward goals for CRM.” Why? It will be a huge waste of time and money, since CRM is so much more than an address book or a quote tracking tool.
Recently I was sitting in a cigar lounge enjoying a conversation with a professional-looking couple in town from San Diego. They had come to Green Bay to attend the Packers/Chargers game. Through billowing puffs of smoke, the question came up, as it typically does, “what do you do?” I replied with my standard, fifteen second answer, “I facilitate the adoption and implementation of CRM systems.” “I’ve heard of CRM,” he blurted, “that’s an electronic account list.”
I was aghast. I thought this guy was a professional. Surely he didn’t just say that CRM is an “electronic account list.” This man, a professional, or so I thought, turned out to be a CRM redneck. I was certain the next words out of his mouth were going to be “yuuuup,” and “get’r done.” All I thought about the rest of the evening was Jeff Foxworthy type jokes, except that instead of, “you might be a redneck,” jokes, they were “you might not understand CRM,” jokes.
There is a story about a farmer who had a dog. One day the farmer’s neighbor came over to borrow a tool, and while they were talking the farmer’s dog was howling. As they talked, the dog continued to howl. It was distracting to the neighbor, and he was finding it hard to carry on the conversation with the farmer while the dog was howling. Finally he asked the farmer, “what’s wrong with your dog?” To which the farmer replied, “he’s lying on a nail.” This puzzled the neighbor, and he asked, “why doesn’t he move?” The farmer’s response: “he’s comfortable.” Continue reading →
The topic CRM (Customer Relationship Management) success is riddled with anecdotes and do-it-yourself tips for ensuring that success. My simple advice is “get a trusted adviser.” It’s like I always say, “even the king has advisers.” Continue reading →
I have blogged in the past about business strategy, and C-level buy-in. I’ve been on my soap-box talking about reasonable expectations of sales people. I’ve even been so bold as to say that many of your current CRM issues are not technical issues. This blog is going to take a bit of a turn.
Over the course of the last 16 years of CRM consulting, I have noticed a trend, but have been unable to put my finger on just what the trend is. Whether it is because I am sometimes slow to grasp things, or because it is so easy I didn’t think it could be a “magic bullet,” I am uncertain. However here is what I see to be one CRM system trend that is debilitating, if not fatal to CRM success. What is this trend: OVER COMPLICATION! Continue reading →
We have two great webinars for you!
Choosing the right CRM for your organization
Whether you are implementing CRM for the first time, or looking to replace an existing CRM application, this webinar is for you. During the webinar we will discuss the foundation for a successful CRM software implementation.
During this 1 hour webinar we will discuss:
- How to define your sales strategy and processes
- Realistic goals for CRM
- How to best achieve your goals
The main learning points for this webinar are:
- Define the process of CRM selection
- List pitfalls many organizations fall into while looking for CRM
- Understand the different delivery options for CRM
- Discuss when to integrate accounting data into CRM
Getting more out of Salesforce (or any CRM)
In this one hour webinar we will review how to achieve maximum utilization of your CRM system. We will discuss how to ensure CRM is in alignment with your corporate goals, processes, and culture.
With optimized CRM you will experience:
- Maximized user adoption
- Effective processes
- Increased customer retention
- Improved customer service
- Greater employee satisfaction
Indicators that you could use your CRM system more fully:
- There are many disconnected databases
- There are still a lot of manual processes
- There are still many Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or Microsoft Access databases in use
- Real time data is a distant dream – the data you see is old by the time you see it
- There is a lack of interoffice communication regarding customer data
- There is no one place to see all that you need to know about a customer
The main learning points for this webinar are:
- Look at reasons for CRM “failure”
- Discuss increasing user adoption
- Understand CRM strategy
- 3 tips to accelerating your CRM in the next 3 months
It may be that you cannot wait for a webinar. That is fine, let us guide you through your CRM journey. Contact us at 920-730-1300 to discuss the next step in your CRM roadmap.
Register for a webinar below:
Subtitle: Does the Cloud Have A Magical Silver Lining?
More companies are looking to the cloud for a fast implementation of CRM. Recently even Sage PLC (the makers of Sage CRM) announced they are moving to SalesForce.com (http://www.sage.com/media/press-releases/2015/02/26/the-sage-group-plc-announces-global-agreement-with-salesforce). When confronted with the news, my brother and work colleague commented, “aaah, but the Cloud has a magical silver lining that fixes broken processes too.” Continue reading →