By Dick Wooden on November 19, 2013 at 7:30 AM
People Come First - What CRM Can Do
In the introduction: 7 Keys to Success with CRM - People Always Come First, I mentioned that the three areas of your business affected by effective CRM are sales, marketing and customer service.
Success with CRM follows a 60-30-10 rule. Sixty percent of a successful CRM implementation is People. Thirty percent is a good Process. And 10 percent is the computer Program you use for CRM. Infor CRM (formally Saleslogix) and bpm'online are both adaptable CRM software platforms designed from the ground up to be customizable to different kinds of businesses.
"Customer Relationship Management is a business strategy to learn about the needs and behaviors of customers and prospects in order to build strong relationships and earn their loyalty."
Every business interacts with its customers constantly, often on many levels and with different personnel. Every interaction generates information about the customer or prospect’s needs and desires and your business level of success in meeting those needs and desires. What a CRM system does is allow your business to capture that information. Once the information is captured, it is then available for analysis. And based on that analysis, your business can adapt to better satisfy the customer.
Some of that analysis can be used to improve your business’s ability to generate qualified leads in greater quality and quantity. Leads may come from relationships with existing customers or from insights and correlations observed from existing customers. One customer’s need may suggest another customer has a similar need. Understanding how leads pan out and why can increase the success of your marketing efforts.
Effective CRM can help turn those leads you generated into successful selling opportunities. Understanding the needs of the customer increases the key buying habits of the customer and provides talking points that address the situation from the customer’s point of view.
Implementing CRM can increase the velocity of your sales effort. CRM-based knowledge can provide access to the real decision makers in the customer’s organization. It can aid in winning head-to-head battles with competitors. And it can boost success by increasing the size of sales, reducing sales cycle time and reducing administrative tasks that steal from relationship-building time with customers.
Effective CRM can help with customer retention. Your sales people can better stay on top of what the customer really wants and how well you are satisfying their needs. Identifying problem areas heads off potential dissatisfaction and may identify additional opportunities as well. It can also avoid embarrassing disconnects such as different sales people selling the same product for different prices. The sales history can be available at the fingertips of the sales force immediately.
Finally, CRM can provide the data you need to make informed business decisions. It can identify the challenges posed by competitors and changing market conditions. It can find key service issues and product performance factors that can lead to improvements and better responsiveness to the customer. It can identify productive areas for future investment while teasing out the business elements that are a dead end. Access to knowledge allows your business decisions to be proactive instead of reactive. You want your business to cause change, instead of having to cope with it.
Lining Up the People to Achieve Success with CRM
Success starts at the top of any organization, so it’s critical to get buy-in from the executives in charge of implementing the CRM. This can’t be faked. Employees can sense when management is truly behind something and will take their cues accordingly. The key to getting executive support is showing how implementing CRM will enhance their success. That success will come from managers who understand the potential of CRM and the problems it can solve. They will then, as believers, dedicate the time and energy to make it happen.
Part of this comes from making sure that all the stakeholders are listened to and their concerns addressed. Actively solicit input from end users. Determine what is in it for them and show them how it helps them achieve their goals. Align all departments so that their goals focus on the customer. This means identifying roadblocks that may get in the way and designing incentives to reach those goals.
Communication is vital as the CRM implementation gathers steam. Keep everyone informed of the goals, intermediate objectives and their progress. Listen to input and adjust as necessary. People have to be engaged with the tool to use the tool and get value from it.
Training is also vital for a truly successful CRM Program. It’s not self-executing. People have to make it work, and making sure they are properly trained in the CRM Process will help make the transition smooth and make sure that it “sticks.” Investing in reinforcement training will help solidify the role of CRM in the company’s way of operating.
Choosing a “Champion of Change” can be a way to jump-start the CRM implementation. Having a manager and a department committed to making the implementation work with a can-do attitude can lead the way for the entire organization.
We like to say that a successful CRM Implementation is not a destination, it’s a journey. Download the ebook today.
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