My background is working for large manufacturing companies who produce Consumer Goods. In that industry we call the end user “the consumer”. By definition a consumer is one who “uses up” something or is “engrossed” or “devours”. Devour. I like that word. It’s a passionate word. In the CRM industry, we want nothing more than for the users to devour the product we provide. We want them to “use it up” everyday and come back the next day insisting to use it again.
In the CRM sales process, we typically work with senior management. As it should be. The purchase decision for a process and culture changing solution for a company should always come from the top. But who really, is the consumer for this tool? Who will devour it? Who will insist that it be there for future consumption? Depending on the organization, the answer to that question will vary. Sometimes the CEO of the company is masterful at using CRM. More often however, it’s those who have direct responsibility for the customer. It’s the sales team, it’s customer service reps, it’s marketing managers that are the CRM consumers.
In the consumer goods industry we would spend countless hours (and dollars) researching, developing and producing products that the end user, the consumer, would devour. We would allocate tremendous resources to consumer focus groups, graphic design, and marketing tag line development to create demand by the consumer. It’s not always about filling an existing need (a demand), but bringing awareness to the consumer they have a need (creating a demand).
If you have made the determination you are going to implement CRM software at your organization, who is your consumer? I mentioned earlier that the purchase decision for CRM typically comes from the top. That means a board, or a senior management committee in most cases. As a member of that board or chosen team, have you given any consideration to how you will create demand for the product you are introducing to the consumer (your employees)?
CRM is a tool that can truly revolutionize the way you go to business. It can propel you to a level of efficiency and ultimately success you have not been able to achieve in the past. Without it, your competition (who does have CRM) will capture your market share. These are compelling facts that are a very solid foundation for a consumer marketing message.
Implementing, or maximizing the use of your existing CRM, is one of the most important strategic decisions your company will make. It’s at least as important as the launch of another new product, if not more so. Shouldn’t you create an internal marketing campaign for the consumers of your CRM? Just like with the launch of a new product, it could mean the difference between success and failure.