Are you a CRM thought leader or consultant? May I give you some feedback as a customer or potential future customer of yours?
From reading blog posts, tweets, white papers, and articles about CRM, the average person gets the distinct impression that CRM is all about the software.
I agree with Barton Goldenberg, noted CRM thought leader, who said that CRM is 40% human, 40% business process, and 20% technology. Yet I continually see the 20% tail wagging the rest of the CRM dog.
The Big Picture
Remember, our outcome is to create and nurture effective relationships with our customers or constituents in ways that enable us to meet their needs while accomplishing our business goals.
Let’s say we install the finest CRM software and we work hard to get it accepted and used by the front line troops. Our software roll out is flawless and user adoption nears 100%.
Tell me, what happens if any one of the following happens after the data has been analyzed and the segmentation strategy has been implemented:
- The sales rep is totally unprofessional, thereby failing to create the relationship
- The sales rep is successful in creating the relationship, but Shipping continually screws up delivery to the same customer
- The local sales rep fails to update the account leaving out critical information that the national account manager needs when she calls on the corporate office
- There’s a problem but we don’t have a process in place to smoothly and effectively handle customer complaints
- The data used to segment customers is inaccurate or outdated, leading to higher opt-outs in e-mail communications dooming that particular campaign
- Your software training is boring and poorly executed
- The other (non-software) training you put your sales and marketing staff through makes no mention of the role of data capture or how it can benefit your organization, them, or your customers
The relationship between the customer and our organization ends in failure and in most cases, “CRM” will be blamed. But it’s not the fault of the software. This is an example of a weakness in other components of the CRM business strategy, yet I seldom, if ever, see this addressed.
I’m challenging every CRM thought leader and consultant to spend more time discussing all of the components of CRM. (Feel free to disagree with Mr. Goldenberg and me about their make up.)
Folks, I’ve already got the software. You are not going to sell me any more, especially in this economic recession. If you want to create or nurture a relationship with those of us responsible for CRM in organizations like mine, one great way to do it would be to start writing about some of the following topics:
- What you consider to be all the components of CRM and how they interact with one another
- The impact of customer service on an effective CRM strategy
- The role of business processes in successful CRM implementation
- How your employees’ professionalism can impact your CRM strategy
- The point at which a sales rep may be spending too much time capturing and entering data
(Do you realize you never talk about what goes on between the sales rep and the customer before, during, and after the sales call, and the impact that has on the CRM strategy?)
Go ahead, write about that. I dare you!
Follow me on Twitter. I’m txglennross