It seems that many users say they get little value from their company’s CRM.

This topic tends to polarise peoples thinking – perhaps the fact many organisation do get little value has been proliferated by the “CRM is easy – getting it up and running is a snap – no software – just log onto the cloud and have a crack – you can do most of it yourself” messaging. This might be the case for experienced hands but for the inexperienced that lack guidance, its no wonder CRM gets a bad wrap.

So are there better ways that will deliver consistently GREAT value from CRM?

I’ve never had a CRM which helps me with this …Best Practice Process… though – they are all too rigid, demand too much time and deliver too little insight.

A good CRM design will deliver more time to adopt and apply best practice methodologies which in turn will provide more accurate forecasts and improved outcomes.

A scenario based on the CustomerCentricSelling approach would go – use champion letters 100% of the time to document conversations on goals, roadblocks to achieving, impact of not achieving, mission or capabilities required and the potential impact. Emailing this after meetings/discussions and using email integration means these summaries get automatically logged into the CRM. As the process progresses these are quickly and easily consolidated into a Summary of Findings which again get attached to the CRM opportunity as a by-product of emailing.

With some discipline in updating opportunities/proposals the CRM provides everything at users finger tips to streamline meeting and presentation preparation, proposal generation and to manage next steps and progression.

Good design goes hand in hand with good process – but don’t over complicate it.

Current CRM seems to be used an historical recording system that requires too much effort from too many people.

Traditionally CRM was about entering information – whilst there still needs to be a commitment to enter accurate information the ability use workflow, action tracks, business process management – call it what you will – streamlines basic processes and improves communication across the organisation. This can save a lot of time on the basic tasks freeing people up to do what they love doing and are paid to do – and to help motivate. It also keeps finance, marketing and management happy as a result. It’s simple but it’s not easy – it requires GREAT design and guidance from experienced people.

CRM is only as good as the design that MUST be a priority at the beginning of every CRM project – led by those experienced in successful CRM outcomes in a specific sector.

Too many implementations miss this and a symptom is that it is of little value and used for historical record keeping.

However with good design, CRM can streamline processes, improve communications and leverage a broader set of relationships that adds value to the whole organisation.

Ultimately it can help people do the right things at the right time to achieve an outcome – in less time.

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