Secrets of Successful CRM Practitioners

Here’s a good post I came across on written by Wendy Close.

Enterprises with a successful CRM strategy truly reap the benefits: “Through 2010, enterprises that deploy CRM strategies will return at least 25 percent better financial metrics than those that don’t.”  —Source: Gartner, Inc., “Ten Secrets for Creating a Customer-Centric Enterprise,” by Scott Nelson, VP and Distinguished Analyst, December 2005.

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Improving Sales Through Customer Satisfaction

Sales not where you want them no matter what you do? So how do we fix the problem? Just about everyone out there with a sales force has had this problem at one time or another, and there are tools to increase sales through customer satisfaction.

This customer satisfaction will depend a whole lot on your sales force obtaining the money, time and recognition they feel they deserve, and frankly, unless you buy into the project, you will be the only loser.

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CRM Failures: Are They Real?

CRM implementations are also affected by a number of underlying forces that impact the perceived success of a CRM initiative. A company should consider a number of CRM realities to help ground the organizational mindset, establish realistic expectations, and give a CRM implementation an even playing field on which to succeed.

These often unspoken realities are:

  • Few implementations completely fail (or succeed), but offer degrees of success–since perception is reality, managing the perceived value of the CRM initiative is critical.
  • Very (very) few salespeople actually like using CRM systems–blasphemy for someone who makes a living providing CRM products and services. Since Sales Management 101 dictates that we “blame poor sales results on the CRM system”, don’t expect lots of “this is really great” from your salespeople. Build other measures to gauge the value the CRM system is providing.
  • If end-users don’t use the CRM system, the CRM initiative has indeed failed.
  • If adoption hooks aren’t built into the CRM system, your end-users won’t use the system. Adoption hooks provide incentives for end-users to use the CRM system. Continue reading “CRM Failures: Are They Real?”

The Three Es of CRM

Successful organizations need to deliver experience, execution, and equity to continue evolving strategies and capabilities.

As products become indistinguishable and markets and geographies converge, it will be the experience that differentiates and drives retention and loyalty among customers.

Consider this example: an entrepreneurial manufacturer who is bringing garage-shop motorcycle design to the mainstream market. In his technology-driven business model, he will provide customers the opportunity to design form-fitting bikes complete with the most intricate artwork and details from custom handlebars to custom gas caps. Before the customer commits to a purchase, one of his approved dealers will provide a digitally created, online, 3D concept model of the bike. The dealer will also provide a simulated ride that mirrors the unique bike design. All the digital information about each design is saved. In addition, he will capture the entire design, build, and delivery experience in a personalized coffee table book that the customer can share with friends and other motorcycle enthusiasts.      

This business model delivers on the three core capabilities of experience management. From the personalized design to the visualization of the bike’s design and ride characteristics, the manufacturer has created a unique buying experience. The real hidden asset is the book. Through the book, the manufacturer can define a localized market of potential customers with a built-in advocate, building a customer colony. Colonization is distinguished by a high-touch interaction–a dialogue–that shapes the market and creates new opportunities to collaborate with distinct customer segments.

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Surviving CRM

The maelstrom of customer relationship management and how to navigate it

Ariba has just gone on demand, and says that it has some customers who have gone from perpetual licensing to on demand. That got me thinking about customer relationship management (CRM), in which we saw Worldspan take the same approach with Siebel. That, in turn, led me to think about the perennial CRM "problem" and how hosting is one approach to it.

After nearly a year fraught with getting budget approvals and executive sign-offs, evaluating a boatload of vendors, and tying enterprise systems together, a bleary-eyed Paula Casey flipped the switch on her company’s new CRM (customer relationship management) system. "I’ve heard about CRM as a buzzword for a long time," says Casey, director of sales operations at high-tech manufacturer Polycom. "But only recently have I learned a lot about CRM and what it can really do." Click here to find out more!

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Avoiding CRM Failure

Customer relationship management (CRM) has consistently been perceived as a high-risk, high-reward application area within e-business, thanks to the myriad benefits on the one hand and the specter of CRM failure on the other.

If you’re evaluating a CRM suite in particular, you may have heard a lot of horror stories about CRM investments going to waste. Rest assured, it’s not the technology; cases of outright technology failure are rare in e-business, and their heyday was years ago, when a lot of applications were in their early generations.

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The Secret to CRM Success: Top Down or Bottoms Up?

Fortunately, there are CRM solutions that are designed with the sales person in mind, yet still provide management with the data they need to track results and manage their sales force.

Current technology provides us with the ability to communicate from anywhere—and communicate we do, in the car, on the beach, in airplanes, etc. But it is the ability to work anywhere that is revolutionizing the modern business world. The driving force behind this revolution is known as On-Demand Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short. Delivered via a true wireless device, CRM is changing the way salespeople operate in the field by facilitating the instant two-way transmission of sales and customer information. As a result, wireless CRM is replacing the cords of yesterday’s desktop PC’s with the cords of managerial expectation. Managers expect to see results, they expect to be able to work directly with sales teams, and therefore they implement CRM solutions that they believe will help salespeople produce the information they need. But not all CRM solutions are created equal … and it appears that the large investments in CRM have yet to truly pay off; in fact, a recent Butler Group report found that 70% of all CRM implementations fail!

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CRM Planning: Keys for Project Success

Whether you’re updating, upgrading, jump-starting, or restarting your CRM efforts, some basic steps will help keep you on the path to a positive ROI.

Thinking about the potential ROI of your customer relationship management (CRM) project should start during the selection process. Before you write an RFP or start talking to vendors, you need to do some homework to ensure that you’re on the right track to maximize ROI.

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Is Your CRM System Destined To Fail?

It’s time to put your trusty CRM software to work; to let it earn its keep. You’re about to blast an email out to several thousand potential customers. First you run a search of people and companies you want to target. You soon realize something’s wrong when your list is far smaller than anticipated. A quick check reveals many profiles have not been filled in or are missing email addresses. Further inspection shows numerous records are incorrect; others are riddled with typos. And that’s just for starters. With a sinking feeling, you realize this email blast isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Time for some damage control or preventative maintenance
Fortunately one of the most common reasons cited for the high failure rate of CRM systems – poor data quality – is also one of the easiest to avoid. Your CRM software is only as good as the information it contains. As the old programmers motto goes ‘garbage in, garbage out’. So how can you avoid incomplete, incorrect, irrelevant or out-of-date and generally unfit-for-use data from permeating your CRM software?

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