A successful, growing business today depends on a strong, solid foundation so the value of the business appreciates and does not stall or stop dead in its tracks.
Over the years I have come across various businesses where the lack of capabilities and the stress of multiple "duct tape" type patches really caused lost employee productivity, upset customers, lost business opportunities, and a financial strain. It is important to check your business foundation. When deciding to build a business relationship development system, pick a foundation that will keep you moving positively, forward.
As you have heard many times the purpose of a business is to create a customer. Your business systems need to invite the prospect into considering doing business with you. The 'system' of processes needs to consider the various ways that prospective customers and your loyal customers interact with your employees. If you were to call in to your business as a prospect would the experience be awful, is it just 'blah', or is it remarkable?
Picking the Foundation:
There are three types of prospective clients that we come across and help in selecting their business development systems.
This is more of an introductory process of first gaining the insights of what is possible, following best practices, consider lessons learned from others, and consulting with specialists in their fields. <Let me raise my hand on that added value!>
Keeping your eyes open and defining your desired business objectives will help to clarify the path to take. Consider using an evaluation trial of the CRM system software and run through common operational processes using a sample of your real data. Ideally consider a pilot phase during implementation so that you can still modify the foundation and add that additional table to track projects, engagement details, or some new aspect of the business.
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2. Rebuild or refurbish:
Sometimes we come across a prospective client who has a pretty good system but has not been using the full capabilities. At a minimum it may be enhanced training or chair side support. It may be optimization of the existing system, adding a few enhancements or integrating it with an accounting system to gain visibility into AR. So use an update, a refurbish, or an optimization to help take a small step up to the next level.
3. Blow up and start again:
This is normally the case were a business has had a CRM system but the vendor has disappeared. Maybe it was an internal system that is now just like spaghetti and covered with duct tape. Or maybe your business success has expanded and now you have out grown what you now have.
Take the lessons learned, add in your wish list of capabilities, and connect with some more smart people as you design your ideal CRM system.
A prospective client like this is usually tougher on a CRM specialist like myself because they have the bumps and bruises of experience. But the plus side is they know what they want, they are open to better options and they make effective decisions faster.
So make an intelligent choice. Pick wisely - your business will depend upon it. Select a business development, a customer relationship system that provides a strong, solid, and adaptable foundation so your business continues to appreciate in value.
More on 'Appreciating Asset" value of CRM knowledge database system.
What stories do you have to share about picking a foundation?