By Dick Wooden on September 20, 2010 at 8:30 AM
5 key benefits a CRM system can deliver to business success.
As a Business Implementation partner for CRM systems and small business entrepreneur focused on our clients' success, we strive to understand our clients' desired outcomes, both short term and long term, when they are selecting and implementing a CRM system.
The CRM system must capture information that various users need to get their work done and provide insights to manage the business wisely. Reporting must be easily accessible and presented so that more informed business decisions can be made, faster and simpler.
My 18 Requirements for Business Success with CRM, covers factors for selecting, implementing and supporting a successful CRM business strategy and implementation system. For the business owner, a successful CRM system is an appreciating asset.
In a related post, Dave Wallace from Infor CRM lists "Common Themes for Successful CRM Deployments based on his observations and a panel of CRM system implementers. His full post is found here.
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, which delivers technology research to technology business leaders to make informed decisions on key initiatives, calls this concept “Cornerstone Apps.” These apps are capable of providing real time data access from multiple systems without making the user leave their place of work. The technologies that 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 users want to see. 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 using Visual Analyzer.
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 pattern falls out of tolerance.
Give management what they need.
It’s important to give management what they need to manage the business. The number one way we saw 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.
Account summary reports rolled up 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. Also important to adoption was to make sure that as end-users did their work such as email, their email history would get captured automatically as part of their daily email management.
Right on! Thanks Dave for your post.
What themes / factors have you found helpful in successful deployment of CRM systems?