I think everyone knows what CRM is. (Raise your hand if you don’t.)
You’ve all heard about it. Many companies have purchased or subscribed to one of numerous excellent CRM platforms.
The truth is, there are very few bad CRM systems on the market. The difference, like all tools, is how you use it.
If you want a place to create a shared list of customers and contacts, most CRM system do that really well.
If you want to keep a log of all the times you visit a customer, almost every CRM system will let you do that (so will Outlook).
Do you want to run a mail campaign, track a lead, share opportunities with colleagues, integrate email or get an app? There are lots of great systems out there to help you do just that.
The challenge, is rarely finding a CRM with the standard functions you want. The real challenge is identifying what your business goals are, and then which CRM will help. Another way to look at it, what issues do you have? Will a CRM platform help you solve them?
CRM is a technology. Most salesmen already do the basic things CRM offers. Track customers, make a list of contacts, plan and record a calendar of visits and meetings. A CRM system will only centralize that information. Unless you take a different view of CRM.
What if you saw CRM as a system for connecting valuable knowledge in your organization to the correct customer? What if you saw CRM as an intelligent source of insight into your customer and their fleet? What if your CRM told you about opportunities you didn’t know existed?
When working with customers I often find most people are tracking, using CRM to track activity or lead status. Some are planning, as a team, processing leads or setting future activities.
Where CRM should be, for each of them, is a source of insight, a filter with which to focus knowledge and market information. The Relationship in CRM suggests that the tool can help you Relate to your customer.
For your CRM To bring you full value, it should integrate all sources of relevant data, handle your daily sales processes, analyze your customer data and provide indication of what the opportunities are for each customer.
When you consider these aspects, choosing the right CRM does get harder, but with the right implementation and focus you will get more value and enjoy a better Relationship with your Customer and with your CRM system.
In the coming months, in follow up articles, I will dive into deeper detail on how to do this. I’ll look at some of the insights that can be gleaned from even basic CRM data, and questions I ask, for example; “Do you associate time invested in each deal to understand where your valuable time is best spent?”
What is the most important aspect of CRM for your organization?
Subscribe below to be notified of new articles on this topic.