The Multiplier Potential of CRM
Updated: Aug 12
CRM – What’s the emotion that acronym evokes?
For most people, it conjures up a vague unpleasant/unsure feeling of cumbersome data that is never adequate or accurate yet used for endless reviews and forecasts.
Yet, a well implemented CRM can increase win rates by 45%!
The problem is that a vast majority of CRM implementations resemble a Bollywood potboiler of the 80s where the chief baddy has a team of wicked scientists working on developing a ‘formula’ that will give him unconquerable power over the minions of India, all for their good! Of course, the villain here is senior management who want to know “what’s happening on the ground” and the folks in IT act as the scientists doing their bidding in implementing the fanciest available CRM at a great cost.
Unfortunately, the hero is missing in our plot and so, we have the population i.e. end-users, suffering a clunky software that makes their work life a drudgery like those poor villagers forced into bonded labour in our movies.
Twist in the tail is that there is actually a much better ‘formula’ available that the junta will be happier to lap up which actually produces much better business outcomes.
From my experience from implementing CRMs in the B2B space, here is that formula:
1. Customise, customise, customise. No CRM is any good unless it absolutely fits your business situation
2. Build workflows to reflect your target customers’ buying process rather than your selling process
3. Integrate with internal systems unique to your business. In a telecom implementation, we integrated CRM with network.
4. Provide an overlay of external data, if possible. You subscribe to industry data of any kind, democratize its use. Bring it right into CRM to be used by the frontline
5. Restrict manual data entry to not more than 33% of the CRM use by anyone in the hierarchy. As a business application, CRM must enable faster and more targeted action not become a task in itself
6. Keep it flexible and easy to update. Business needs evolve rapidly and so should your CRM. Anything that requires specialised coding skills must be seen with deep suspicion
While I have stated the above from my experience with CRMs and sales management systems, they are generally applicable to most other business applications too such as customer help desk and ticket management systems.
At Axon Networks, we differentiate ourselves not as much on the feature set of the applications we provide but on how well we integrate them with your real business processes.
I would love to know your experiences and views in the comments section please.