Intuitive CRM

October 25, 2012 in Attitudes & Behaviours, Brand & Reputation, Complex Selling & Transactional Selling, CRM

‘Intuitive Customer Centric CRM’ was voted by our readers as the number 10 Sales Trend of the 12 Sales Trends of 2012.  The goal of a CRM solution should be to drive growth (i.e. revenue) and maximize efficiencies (i.e. profit) in business practices and processes developing relationship management (sales) with customers at the centre of every decision. 

However, for too long CRMs and sales automation have essentially been technological concepts foisted on salespeople by IT specialists who convinced management (not sales) that CRMs and SAs would improve sales.

As Ray Wang of the Altimeter Group – a leading global CRM and technology expert recently acknowledged – “the promise of closer relationships between buyers and sellers; of more effective selling supposedly delivered by CRM, has failed”.  
No more than a year or so ago, Ray spoke about the rules of relationship management. He admitted that CRM developers were only now beginning to figure out the relationship part of CRM. He acknowledge that CRM has, until now really focused on the management part of the equation, and little else.

Well even these IT boffins, most of whom, like management, make their living from something other than selling, have had to concede that the answer to re-engaging the customer and rebuilding relationships is in building trust through meaningful interactions and “social insights” not simply by inadequately fed data.

In 2012 we are seeing CRMs move away from being a contacts database and pipeline / forecast management tool to becoming the system that places customers at the core of a company’s operation.

This means integrating marketing, sales, service and support to provide a single view of the customer as they move through the engagement lifecycle.

Relationship Experience
Value of the client Companies value to the Client
View from Company View from Client
System and Transactions People and Interactions

CRMs are out and are being replaced in Sales Enabled organisations with the more strategic Marketing Intelligence Central Knowledge Base that embraces a 360 degree view of the customers’ total experience with suppliers and their supply chain. This means that CRMs finally have to do what they originally promised. In turn, that means getting technology experts out of the way and including sales specialists in the solution.

Now that may seem like revolutionary talk in an environment such as this. But the reality is that IT experts, architects and programmers understand technology. Salespeople understand the sales process and the people involved in it. Together there is the potential for a strong partnership. Separately there is even more potential for a greater and costly disaster.

In 2012 and beyond smart companies will make sure their CRM has a simple, intuitive interface easily configured for integration to finance and legacy systems presenting a single source of t truth concerning customers. In fact CRM is likely to be renamed as CEM – Customer Experience Management to reflect their true role.  Your CRM/CEM will also easily embed social media to aggregate all content concerning a customer. As for employee productivity it also needs to be mobile to give staff flexibility to access and update information efficiently while they’re on the move. And in 2012 and beyond, CRM/CEM goes where you go.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

Author: Sue Barrett,  

Intuitive CRM

One Comment

    1. Peter Holland says:

      CRM / CEM is completely useless if the data gained from a sales person is not viewed by the managers who have implemented the system in the first place.

      I was using a CRM system in my last role, building leads, opportunities and pipelines, and, as I was an administrator of the CRM system (I have the skills to enable changes to standard templates) I could see who was and who wasn’t using the system.

      It came as no surprise that the people who were using it consisted solely of me – not that it concerned me much, as a Salesperson, I like to have tools that allow me to track tasks, make changes and be in control of my activities.

      The downside is that management had no real idea of where I was working, what I was doing day to day and it is pretty hard to draw conclusions as to the validity of a CRM system if it is not being used.

      This is the fundamental point. If you are going to deploy a method of tracking and monitoring your sales team, at least be able to check it now and again to gauge their progress, their success and failures and be able to draw an informed conclusion as to where there may be problems, or information that can be used in the rest of the company.

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Intuitive CRM

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