CRM – are you solving your Relationship Management problems or simply automating them?

Do you want to .........
Annoy and upset more customers?
Give out wrong information faster?
Pass the caller to the wrong extension efficiently?
Get your customers' name wrong with increasing frequency?
Handle complaints with no empathy?
Keep your customers on hold for as long as possible?
Generate sales leads you don't contact for ages?
Completely screw up your sales forecasting?
Then you need...........
A Customer Relationship Management system.
There are many benefits to installing and using properly a CRM solution, on premise, in the Cloud, a few users or thousands of users CRM can be an absolute boom to any company.  In fact we have been CRM centric for 20 years except when we started out it was called "Sales Force Automation (SFA)" or "Automated Contact Management and Prospect Tracking".
Whether upgrading from an old or less sophisticated system or going into CRM for the first time (yes some companies DO NOT have CRM) most organizations see CRM as the answer to all their problems.  Sadly what most end up doing is not solving their customer information, customer management, prospect tracking or service problems they automate them, inadvertently delivering even poorer service even faster.
So how do you avoid this?  Here are some considerations:
Firstly think of CRM as business solution based on technology, don't leave your CRM solution entirely in the hands of the IT folks.  The project lead / sponsor should be a sales, marketing or service advocate.
Secondly have a project and change management approach that analyses and maps out your present lead generation, sales, order, implementation, service processes and then with all the appropriate stakeholders map out what you would like those processes to be.  No matter how simple draw a flow chart of the process and at each stage what the outcomes or deliverable s should be for each process.
Next engage some change management principles define how the new CRM will be used to achieve the business change  you need, define what the usage rules (governance) are going to be,  write up and publish the Standard Operating  Procedures.  Have a roll out plan with dates and goals, arrange training and familiarization workshops.  The system may look simple but looks can be deceiving.
Finally explain to everyone WHY you are changing the system.  Some sales and service people see CRM as a necessary evil (enlightened professionals see it as a sales, marketing  and service tool) and if your CRM is either automating the problems or a simply a glorified rolodex then ALL your sales, marketing  and customer service people will see it as evil but not necessary.

Tagged as business development, CEM, CRM.

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