The competitive arena is evolving on a second-by-second basis and no company is free from the effect of commercial rivalry. Indeed, as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) professionals readily confess, the relentless jostling for the acquisition of new customers or the retention of existing clients has now become precise arts in their own right.
Yet, throughout the evolution of CRM, one thing has remained true; the customer is king. Industry analysts from both the technical and nontechnical arenas have predictably revamped this old-age marketing truth with phrases such as ‘Personalization,’ ‘One-to-One Marketing,’ ’Customer Experience Management” and today’s latest mantra ‘Customer-Centric’ marketing. Unfortunately, the fact remains that nothing has really changed in 20 or so years.
It’s all about who can fulfil the customers' needs cheaper, quicker and in the most personal, professional and intelligent manner.
In pursuit of this Holy Grail of CRM, many organizations have deployed the powerful CRM application, Infor CRM (Saleslogix) and brought about greater structure, meaning and professionalism to the management of their customer relationships. Furthermore, CRM systems have facilitated strong business forecasting, increased accountability and visibility of the marketing department and made a solid contribution to organizational growth.
Yet, although the success stories of CRM systems are well documented in industrial and professional circles so is CRM’s Achillies heel; its complete dependence on people.
This introduction to the Intelligent Guide to CRM seeks to highlight why the total reliance on the manual use of the company CRM system is resulting in a unnecessary risk to customer satisfaction, the loss of revenue and how the marketing automation and interactive workflow capabilities of TaskCentre® have made this solution a the ‘must have’ module for custodians of CRM application seeking CRM perfection.
Living is a Crazy Busy, Time-Crunched World
Your problem is the same as it’s always been; the ever-increasing gap between the speed of commerce and the capabilities of your staff. This is showing no sign of decreasing and your company’s core business processes are coming under increasing scrutiny from key stakeholders.
All-too-common examples that will strike a chord with companies using a CRM application include, users not creating a new client record, setting an activity, archiving sent and received e-mails, incomplete or incorrect data or simply not having enough time to identify important activities or records when contact or administrative tasks are required. The problems that are created from just these few examples are having a detrimental impact on the company’s commercial performance today.
Another major issue for CRM professionals globally is the increasing disparity between the CRM user’s ability to fulfil a request for information and the expectations of customers.
There are four possible options open to the CRM professional who is seeking to address the problem of the rapid pace of commerce, expanding workloads and ever-increasing customer expectations. These are:
- Employ more users to administer your CRM system
- Extract more value out of your existing CRM users
- Do nothing and find better ways to ‘fire-fight’ issues as they arise
- Add marketing automation and interactive workflow capabilities to your CRM application
Option: Adding marketing automation and workflow capabilities to your CRM Application:
The marketing automation and interactive workflow is rapidly becoming the most talked about approach to CRM by industrial analysts and CRM professionals alike. But what exactly is marketing automation and interactive workflow?
These two functional capabilities are the broad sweeping business benefits achievable through the addition of a pure Business Process Management (BPM) solution to CRM applications.
Through a simple drag and drop planner, CRM professionals can use BPM tools to strategically automate business process in line with company rules and procedures. Indeed, it is this flexibility and the power of BPM tools that drive CRM vendors to partner with ‘pure-play’ BPM vendors and their solutions.
Interactive workflow is the functional capability that CRM professionals have been demanding for years and through BPM technology, this need is now being met.
To illustrate how interactive workflow can help CRM users, lets use an example of the machine servicing company. Like most commercial enterprises today, the company’s web site offers potential clients the opportunity to download documents, such as brochures or price lists, in return for entering their details within a form.
Following this event/download, the CRM user would manually enter the information into the CRM application, possibly send a polite introduction/ welcome e-mail/letter and then set an activity to follow up.
By adding interactive workflow capabilities to the CRM application, this entire process can be automated and enhanced. For instance, once the web visitor has submitted their details, TaskCentre would automatically capture the information, create a new record (or add a new contact to a record if the
record already exists), send out and archive an introduction/welcome e-mail/letter and set a follow-up activity.
In addition to the above, your new CRM application module could automatically distribute e-mails, inclusive of smart tags, to senior decision-makers so that they can drill down into the new account. No manual intervention would be required thus ensuring complete compliance to company protocols.
The illustration is just one very basic example of interactive workflow module can deliver to your company.
The business benefits that a BPM solution can deliver your company are both generic to your CRM application and specific to your industry. Below are just few examples of what this technology can provide to your company:
- Higher customer acquisition and retention rates.
- Intelligent complaints handling
- Better customer lifecycle management
- Eradication of the company's manual administrative processes
- Event-driven marketing
- Reduced operational costs
- More effective use of your most important resource, your employees
- Policing, protection and enforcement of company data policies
- Failure avoidance through exception reporting
- Increased visibility of employee or company performance through automated reporting and dynamic workflow
The knowledge you will gain from this paper:
- A true clarification of what CRM professionals have been seeking for over 20 years.
- The problems that CRM professions commonly face and the historical strategies that companies have adopted in response.
- The emergence of Sales and Marketing Automation with Interactive Workflow technology for CRM applications and its empowerment of the CRM professional
- Real-life illustrations of TaskCentre® for CRM applications that will strike a chord with every CRM professional
- The business benefits of Sales and Marketing Automation and Interactive Workflow to the CRM professional
- A summary of the functionality available to the CRM professional
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