From our CRM Connect Magazine:

Our partner Basil of Blytheco kindly shared his advice on handling Sage CRM quotes.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) isn’t new to the wonderful world of business. Unlike Disney World, CRM isn’t the happiest place on Earth. It’s a known destination that can be as

equally frustrating as it can be rewarding. So why the disparity?

How can some businesses tout that CRM is the “lifeline” or “backbone” of how they do business while others struggle to get user adoption? How can an organization arrive at a place of nirvana where they’re seeing things like:

  • Between $5.60 and $8.71 ROI for each $1 spent on CRM
  • Sales revenue increases of up to 29%
  • Up to 41% increase in revenue sales for each salesperson
  • Increased customer retention rates of up to 27%

The simplest answer is that those numbers all come from businesses that place CRM at the heart of their business’s operations.

 

CRM as an Operations Tool

To truly be called a “CRM” system, it must – at the very least – encompass sales, marketing, and customer service operations.

That definition creates a misnomer. While CRM can touch those areas, not every organization has a need to do so. Pain points and pain factors vary from business to business and industry to industry.

Operations, or how a business engages its employees to follow business processes, is where CRM opens doors to endless value.

Yes, technically sales, marketing, and customer service has its own processes; however, breaking apart the various processes within each functional department becomes paramount.

 

Process Analysis and Workflow

When business processes are brought into a CRM, insight is gained.

  • Which users follow processes consistently?
  • Where do operational bottlenecks occur within each process or subset of processes?
  • What opportunities exist to either implement better workflows versus allocating more resources to specific areas that create or cause process inefficiencies?

 

Implementing processes within a CRM provides the insight necessary to analyze and act. If users want to use the system, it speaks to the software’s validity. If they don’t, it tells an equally important story that the system’s architecture does not provide the needed value for users to adopt it.

 

Leveraging CRM to Win

  • Identify an area of business that struggles with reporting, performance, visibility, or business tools.
  • Hyperfocus on this segment of the business.
  • Break each process within this area down to its granular steps, and rigidly identify where each step connects or potentially overlays another process. Continue to do this until there is a clear “Start” and “End” point, and every “if, then, else” scenario is covered as best as possible.
  • Which steps require data input or manual involvement?
  • Which steps could be automated based on specific conditions from one step to another?
  • Which steps, if automated, threaten diluting the culture of the company?
  • Which steps instill a perception of excellence with its end users?

From that exercise, there now exists a diagram of processes for that segment of the business. Additionally, there are known steps that can be automated or streamlined to eliminate operational

waste without risking the business’s brand, reputation, or culture.

 

Taking Action

Using the diagram created makes the task of selecting a CRM solution that provides the price point and features needed to recreate the processes within the CRM platform easier.

Sage CRM offers a low per user, per month cost while delivering the necessary features required to continue with the exercise. There are others, but each organization should do its due diligence and research to ensure the correct CRM gets selected.

Leveraging the process flows within the chosen CRM,

  • Digitize each business process,
  • Roll it out to a user group for proper User Acceptance Testing,
  • Make changes based on feedback,
  • Deploy to the entire business unit.

That’s not the end of the road. This shiny new process and CRM solution must continue its evolution to achieve maximal results. Continue collecting feedback over time from users, and implement changes to the process where it yields additional efficiency.  A governance committee or a group of users creates a proper panel that will maintain a vested interest in the CRM’s success.

Once one area of the organization has been conquered, the CRM solution can expand its scope to the next business unit.

 

The Journey

CRM systems rarely succeed in triumphant fashion. The companies that truly embrace CRM and achieve the values outlined earlier in this article are the ones that exercise patience and consistency. Trial and error, wireframes, testing, reassessing, tweaking, undoing, redoing, and repeating several of the steps in this article is the only sure-fire way to ensure a CRM unlocks the full potential of an organization.

There are no band-aids or quick fixes to undo years of complacency or the “that’s just how we’ve always done it” mentality. It will take time, patience, and perseverance to arrive at an outcome that yields the most value.

Each organization will experience its own unique journey relating to CRM. Commit to the journey, and the benefits touted by the organizations that swear by its CRM can be obtained in time.

 

 

 


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