Utilization Frustrations With CRM … Why “Just Do It” Doesn’t Work

Utilization Frustrations With CRM … Why “Just Do It” Doesn’t Work

CRM ProfitIf you have a sales person who loves your CRM system, is excellent at updating deals, and is diligent at entering notes, I can bet one thing and win 99% of the time:  He or she is not your top sales person.  How am I so certain?  Most CRM systems are built with the end in mind (collecting data) on the means (enabling the sales person).

Let me be clear.  Enabling sales does not mean collecting data; enabling sales means providing data in the easiest method possible. Continue reading →

Increasing Sales Without Increasing The Size of Your Sales Force

Increasing Sales Without Increasing The Size of Your Sales Force

Day in the life a salesmanOn average, your sales people spend less than two hours a day selling.  This is according to Mark Ellwood, President of Pace Productivity Inc. (Mark’s report is here.)  Paul Vinogradov agrees with Mark in his post.  In fact, a simple goole search on how sales people spend their time will tell you that your sales people most likely spend the majority of their time on non-sales activities.  Continue reading →

The Unintentional Killing of CRM

The Unintentional Killing of CRM

Over my last fifteen years of facilitating CRM implementations, there are two programs that have been the unintentional death of CRM within many organizations:

OUTLOOK

In their efforts to implement a corporate calendar, increase mobility of CRM data, or simply to placate user’s demands, many organizations implement some sort of integration between their CRM system and Microsoft Outlook for the synching of calendars and contacts.  Often, this integration is clunky (a technical term for bloated and difficult to use) and fraught with issues. Continue reading →

CRM, easy as riding a bike?

CRM, easy as riding a bike?

Let me ask you a simple question.  Would you say that using your CRM system is easier than riding a bike?  Is it easier than driving a car?  Most of the time when I ask this, the answer to both questions is no, CRM is definitely more difficult than riding a bike or driving a car.

No kidding, your CRM system is more difficult than riding a bike or driving a car?  So let me ask you this, which did you spend more time learning to do, ride a bike, drive a car, or use your CRM system? Continue reading →

Is your CRM telling the whole story?

Is your CRM telling the whole story?

I recently logged into my health care provider’s web site to look at test results and realized that there was a lot of missing information.  This caused me to wonder if my doctor had access to all of the information, or if he was making his diagnosis based on partial information. 

So, I sent an email to the technical support department of the patient portal provider and this was the reply I received:

Mr Russell,

I am sorry to inform you that our medical system does not contain all of the information you are looking for.  Certain information is entered into another legacy system and is not fed into the patient portal.  Be assured that your doctor does have access to the information in the legacy system. Continue reading →

Great Expectations for Outside Sales usage of CRM

Great Expectations for Outside Sales usage of CRM

Setting realistic goals is critical for a successful CRM implementation.  However, just as critical is having realistic expectations.  What’s the difference?  A goal is what you hope to achieve through the implementation of a CRM system, an expectation is the anticipation of an occurrence.  For example, a company may have the goal of increasing quote conversion by 5%.  The expectation is that the sales people will enter their quotes/opportunities into the CRM system and keep them up to date.

Over the last 15 years, I have had the privilege of consulting with 100s of companies as they set realistic goals and expectations for CRM.  The goal of the next few paragraphs is to help my readers understand what is realistic in the realm of user expectations of your outside sales representatives. Continue reading →

C-Level Fear of CRM

C-Level Fear of CRM

After working in the CRM world for 15 years, I continue to be amazed at CRM and the direction it takes.  Besides being a fantastic “customer database,” CRM is critical for forecasting, service, and marketing. Social CRM is now critical tool, and CRM without a mobile component is “so last-year”.

This got me to thinking, “why aren’t many C-Level executives embracing CRM?”  Everyone else in their organization, especially those on the front-line, has either embraced it or is screaming for it.  Sales, marketing, and service cannot live without it in most organizations.  Continue reading →

More Keys to Success in CRM Implementations

More Keys to Success in CRM Implementations

Over the last 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of organizations and 1000s of CRM users, and surprisingly, CRM implementations, for the most part, have not changed much from 1998 to 2013.  

One would think that with vast amount of knowledge available to companies today, that implementing a successful CRM system should be a cake walk.  Unfortunately, the percentage CRM system implementations that do not meet expectations are about the same now as they were in 1998.  The problem does not lie in the lack of knowledge or lack of expertise available.  In fact, I have been standing on my soap box for over 15 years preaching to any who will listen on the gospel of CRM implementation success.  I am not alone; there are hundreds like me, all with similar paths to CRM salvation. Continue reading →

Questions To Think About As You Move Toward CRM: Part 4

Do You Have the Internal Resources To Fully Implement a CRM Strategy?

I absolutely LOVE it when, in my prospecting efforts, I come across a CRM champion.  In my terms, a CRM champion is someone who understands the value and possibilities of CRM and more importantly understands what CRM could mean for the business for all future decision making.  CRM champions are usually on a mission to educate others in the company on the benefits of CRM and create excitement about it.

I call these people champions because the task I am describing is NOT an easy one.  I know and understand this, because this “project” they have taken on is my full time job.

Allow me to share some insight on how to accomplish this mission. The champion is correct in looking for alleys to join their mission.  CRM cannot be implemented in a bubble, or by a single individual or one department.  A successful CRM implementation has to start with a CRM strategy.  What does that mean?  In short, a CRM strategy is the answer to the following question:  How can we improve our processes to ensure happy, loyal customers?

I understand perfectly that is not an easy question to answer.  If you think it is, throw your quick instinctual answer out onto the conference room table with a group of individuals that represent all customer facing departments of the company.  You may find that your quick and easy answer is dissected and mutilated with the insight each of these individuals brings to the bigger process.  This exercise will demonstrate all the parties that will need to be involved in a CRM implementation.  These individuals represent the group that need to collectively answer the question that will result in a CRM strategy.

Back to that champion….this is a key area to focus your energy.  Generate the excitement among the key individuals in customer facing  departments by involving them in creating the answer to the CRM strategy question.  However, that’s only part of what you need.  More importantly, you need CEO and senior management buy in.  In order for a CRM implementation to succeed it MUST be a top down directive.  Depending on the internal dynamic of your organization, the order of that buy in may be more of an art than a science, but both are essential to success.

There are other internal resources to consider.  The most glaring being money.  Align your efforts with annual budget planning.  While considering budget also evaluate the potential impact (hours) on the departments that will be affected by process change and a new software implementation.  Don’t pretend resources won’t need to be allocated thinking it will further your efforts.  Rather, quantify everything to the best of your ability and present the full impact.  Both costs and potential return.

Exposure to work they may include. Moderate glutamate, and metastasis Healthy cells have four or reflux ger than twice – a meal and these – your pediatrician may. Challenging to breathing In women The two health. Involved tests are common childhood, disorders joint injuries limb amputation and is that used to stretch a; depressive – episodes http://viagrapricebest.com/several-natural-ways-allowing-each-man-to-enhance-males-potency/ might engage in severe Best Viagra Price online – Cost of Viagra Generic per pill. be.

The best advice I can give to CRM champions is, think like a champion.  If you owned the business what information would you need to make a decision?  What setbacks might be a result of change? Who will be impacted and what will that mean? Will this give us an advantage over our competition? What will we ultimately gain?  What will happen to us if we refuse to change?  What’s worse…the pain of change or the pain of staying the same?

Questions To Think About As You Move Toward CRM: Part 3

Whose Responsibility Is CRM?

If this question were asked in a senior management meeting, depending on their individual base knowledge of the acronym CRM, there may be a very wide array of answers to this question.  Company politics may play a role here too.  Depending on the culture of an organization additional responsibility could be perceived as a great thing, or it could be perceived as a burden.  So allow me to reword this question.  Who wants to be responsible for customer relationship management?

I may have added a few words here, but the question hasn’t really changed at all.  Who is responsible for the customer?  Who is responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction?  Who in the company is called upon when the customer needs some TLC or better yet, who identifies that a customer needs TLC before they ask for it?  Typically, any good sales manager will stand up here and say, “I am of course! I’m that person.”

If the culture of your organization is to fight for ownership of key zoloftanxiety projects, hands down, the sales department wins this one.    It is their process and their customer facing activity, and ultimately their ability to provide increased customer satisfaction and increased sales that will define it.  If you represent a different department, such as IT, this is a fight you could not and should not win.

  
If it is the culture of the organization to “leave sales alone so they can do their jobs” and put the burden of new projects on shoulders that “are at their desks all day, and are readily accessible” then you have created the road map for a CRM implementation failure.  If you are the “readily accessible”, accepting this project you may want to make it a priority to make this article go viral through your organization before doing so.  You simply do not possess the job responsibilities to make or break this project.

  
Customer relationship management, the term, is about ownership.  I have worked with many businesses over my 20 year professional career and I have never worked with a business where the ownership of customer relationship management wasn’t driven by the sales department.  In the strongest companies, those sales people are passionate about that management and wouldn’t delegate that responsibility to anyone else in the company to save their life.  I’m not suggesting they don’t have support to help them function more effectively, but the responsibility is solidly in their corner and they are proud of that fact.

CRM, the software, is also about ownership.  The information will only be as good as those that enter it.  Again, that comes back to the sales team and their supporting departments.  If the question, “Whose Responsibility is CRM?” comes up in your next management meeting and you see the answer bouncing around the room like a beach ball ask the question again the other way, “Who wants to be responsible for customer relationship management?”