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Customer relationship management involves business relationship development:  To Acquire, Retain and Develop customers.

As an Infor Channel Business partner and a small business entrepreneur focused on our clients' success, we strive to understand our clients' desired outcomes both short term and long term.This is especially relevant when they are selecting a CRM system and an implementation consultant to partner with for success..

The CRM system must capture the information the various users need to get their work done and to manage the business. 
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Reporting must be easily accessible and presented so that more informed business decisions can be made faster and simpler.

Common Themes for Successful CRM Deployments. 

Provide a “one stop shop” for your users

Providing a “one stop shop” for your users to get at their data has been a goal for CRM systems since the beginning of CRM. Gartner calls this concept “Cornerstone Apps”. These applications are capable of providing real time data access from multiple systems without making the user leave their place of work. You can read more about “cornerstone apps” in Gartner’s white paper. The technology that helps to make this happen are dashboards, analytics, web services, and great end-user interface design by our panelists.

Once the data is in, make it easy to get it out

We spend lots of time designing our systems so users can input the data. We also need to design the system to allow users to get the data back out. Important reports need to summarize what the user’s wanted to see. They often used multiple reports. Reports were designed based on feedback from the user community. Other examples of getting the data out of the system were charting, top 10 lists, and advanced analytical dashboards-more here. 

If possible, do repetitive tasks automatically

All panelists mentioned that they were using a rules engine to automate some of their repetitive tasks such as email notifications to customers, capturing detail from an email, and notifying management when a business metric or patterns falls out of tolerance. Read more about business process automation, alerting and work flow

Give management what they need

It’s important to give management what they need to manage the business. The number one way to give management what they needed was through reports. Some of the reports mentioned by the panelists were activity dashboards and account summaries.

Activity dashboards were designed to allow managers to quickly view their team’s activity or work conducted by each team member. This report rolled up activities by type and by team member.

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Panelists also presented account summary reports. Account summary reports rolled up of what was happening with an account. One panelist presented a very simple, yet novel idea, which was to capture three things about an account; what’s working, what’s not working, and next steps.

Once the data is in the system, don’t make users enter the data twice

One panelist promised his users that once the data got into the system it stayed in the system. What a great way to win over your users and build trust in the system. Other examples important to adoption was to make sure end-users did their work such as email, so that the email history would get captured automatically as part of their daily email management.

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