You didn’t implement your current CRM by saying, “today, I am going to totally screw up our company.” It wasn’t your goal to add more work for your sales team. You didn’t decide to implement a software system that was not in alignment with your company goals and vision. You didn’t say to yourself that culture and process have nothing to do with CRM. No. You implemented with visions of CRM success. So what happened? Continue reading →
I can say very accurately that over 90% of companies that have implemented a CRM system have failed in the education of their users in relation to the CRM system. How do I know this? Through my observation of CRM implementations since 1998. My bet is that your company is among those that have failed. Let me prove it to you … Continue reading →
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 →
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.
I cannot remember how many times I have sat in meetings with sales management discussing their need to see what their sales team is doing. They want sales call and activity reports accounting for every minute of a salesperson’s day, especially for out-of-office days. This is usually done in one or a series of spreadsheets, until they implement CRM. Then, it just makes sense to them to implement the same thing in the CRM system: 100% accounting of everything the sales person does. Their employees ultimately perform the required tasks, not out of belief in the CRM system, but out of fear. When asked, most employees think CRM is just a leash used by management to account for their time.
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.
As manufacturers put together their marketing plan for next year they often find themselves in a bit of a quandary in defining who their “real” customer is. More-often-than-not manufactures have little direct contact with the end user of their product. They sell through a distributor who sells to a purchasing agent, neither of whom are the end-user of their product. This makes putting together a marketing plan rather difficult, especially if the manufacturer’s product does not end up on a retail shelf. 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: