Cloud9 Insight’s CEO, Carlene Jackson outlines the key ingredients required to get the full return on your investment from your CRMCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) technology should be seen as an enabler to achieve business transformation.
Choosing the right product is only one of four ingredients for success. You should combine the following ingredients to ensure you get the full return on your investment.
- The right CRM Technology platform
- Clear goals and key performance indicators
- Great processes
- A customer-centric culture
The best CRM software doesn’t overcome process or people shortfalls. Many companies fail to understand the impact of getting the people / process / technology mix right. Invest the time upfront to make sure your people and processes are in alignment; then introduce technology to streamline those processes to realise a much higher return on your investment.
The right CRM Technology platform
It is important that you understand what problem you are trying to solve. Put the following goals in order of importance to your business to determine which CRM tool will be the most effective:
- Track Leads and Lead Activity
- Track Customer Base
- Track Opportunities and Closing Rates
- Offer Connectivity Between Teams
- Manage Relationships
- Generate Customized Reporting
- Organize Business Operations
- Increase Profitability
- Increase Productivity
Implementation – This component is key. Any time that you are changing or introducing new software, there is going to be a period of implementation. In some cases, you may need an outside consultant or a staff person who is heading up the deployment.
Mobility – Mobility is key in today’s world. Your sales force will most likely be mobile and will use a plethora of devices, from phones to tablets to laptops, to access your new CRM system. Look for a Cloud solution.
Customisation – CRM tools are created with a multitude of business processes in mind. Everyone’s processes are different. That is not a bad thing. This is what differentiates you from your competitors. It is important that your CRM is flexible enough to handle your processes. Likewise, you want a CRM that will grow with your business and will be able to adapt to your changing processes without having to be replaced.
Compatibility – While compatibility with multiple systems is becoming less of an issue as more and more applications are connected through APIs, you still want to check to ensure that the CRM system you choose can interface with other applications you already have in place.
Reporting – While all the functionality of the CRM is nice, it is the product’s reporting capabilities that can really help you surpass your competition.
Clear goals and key performance indicators
- Performance KPI’s to help drive desired behaviour
- Tangible vs intangibles
- How can your customers measure your success for you
- Examine your ‘as-is’ processes and how they can be improved – what should ‘to-be’ look like?
- Streamline and automate to drive efficiency, uniformity and freeing up time to focus on more impactful activities
- Consider your customer experience and what you would improve
- Think pragmatically and emphasise best-practice
A customer-centric culture
- User-adoption is key to accuracy of data
- Collaborate wherever possible
- Align strategic business goals to those of your customer