Today, we have several great CRM tools to choose from. As I mentioned in some of my other blogs, my experience and preference is with SalesForce. However, you still have the challenge of taking all the massive amounts of data collected and transforming it into meaningful information. The value of this transformation will be identifying critical action items that support the goal(s) in your organization.
Additionally, each area in your company will probably have different care-abouts. It’s important to understand the goals of each group and find the right balance of information to help them become more productive. The value of this effort will have a direct impact on improving productivity and reducing overhead costs.
To fully realize the benefits of using a CRM tool, several processes will need to be standardized and incorporated in the day-to-day activities. Here are some of the key components to consider:
Once the CRM tool has been tailored to your organization, the next step is to work on how to present the data in a meaningful way to support day-to-day operations and improve efficiency.
In meeting this challenge, I worked with each of the different areas (Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Support, Admin, etc.) to understand their needs and created a custom Dashboard in SalesForce that helped to identify problem areas.
For management, accurate forecasting and predictability is critical. With so many dynamic components, having access to the right information at the right level provides a weekly (or daily) view of the overall health of the business. Additionally, standardizing the Dashboards/Reports across all business units will simply and bring more clarity in understand the information.
For sales, the biggest challenge is multi-tasking and where to put their focus. Having a custom Dasboard for each member of your sales team will highlight their progress on achieving monthly sales goals, healthy pipeline, and expanding products/services into their install base.
From a marketing perspective, they are always looking at ways to keep your customers engaged and finding new customers. CRM data can be used for inbound/outbound campaigns, new product analysis, market segments, and many others. Having accurate information available to them will make an impact on making good decisions on how best to focus their resources.
For support, managing the overall customer satisfaction will have a direct impact on renewal sales. Resolving customer issues in a timely manner and maximizing the efficiency of the support team is critical. Some examples would be highlighting critical support issues or knowing average time to resolution.
For administration (or finance), their challenge may be to “clean up” issues in the database or customer activity. They are not on the front line working with customers on a day-to-day basis, but will definitely impact the customer experience on issues like order fulfillment, billing, and understanding the current install base.
The strategy and organization on how your data is stored will impact the efficiency on moving your data into meaningful information. From my experience, this is time well spent as the benefit from improved efficiency in your operations will far exceed the time/resources spent in setting up your CRM to work effectively for you.