Strategic Goals: The Real Meaning of Objectively Better CRM

Objectively Better CRM

The technology industry is failing enterprise organizations. The truth of that statement lies in the fact that so many businesses, initially promised the wonders of seamless automation, are slogging along with – and stymied by – poor processes, static data, and rotten user adoption. Businesses deserve objectively better CRM. So why is it so hard to come by?

But don’t blame the game; blame the players. 

OBJECTIVELY BETTER CRM FOR BUSINESS 

CRM is designed as a business strategy with the foundational purpose of entering data into the system, then moving that data to all the places it needs to go to support marketing and operational initiatives like customer acquisition and retentionlead demographic analysis, employee training, product development, you name itThere is so much power in that little piece of data and its movement throughout the CRM. The problem is that most implementations take a technology-heavy approach, rather than one of process design. There is a focus on technology and not on the people and organization using it. 

Dynamics  365 Sales, as a technology, quite literally has all the bells and whistles any business might need in moving the needle forward. Why so many CRMs underperform (and ultimately fail the organization) has much more to do with poor process architecture – a human error – rather than flaws in the technology itself.  

Let’s use the old analogy of going on a road trip, perhaps to Miami. You jump in your Tesla, start down the road, but you never make it to your destination. Why? Poor road trip process design. You forgot to check your tire pressure, you didn’t bring money for a toll, you headed West instead of East. In short, you failed to create a comprehensive plan on where you were going and how you were going to get there. At this point, that state-of-the-art vehicle is irrelevant.  

It wasn’t the technology that failed you, it was poor planning. 

Same goes for CRM. It is an amazing technology, but without smart process design, you and your data will get a flat tire somewhere between Nashville and non-functional, rather than basking on the beach and soaking up performance. 

So objectively better CRM has everything to do with creating smart process design that moves your organization forward. It is a holistic approach where the company takes a step back from being enamored with this bell and that whistle and zeroing in on what business problems are we solving with CRM? What are the company objectives we are trying to achieve? 

JUST LIKE PEAS AND CARROTS 

Again, when we refer to CRM, we are really talking about the world champion tag team of Technology and Process Design that, together, create solutions to business problems and pathways for organizational growth. Without one, the other is kneecapped at best.  

A recent CRM client told me his organization was simply not impressed with the performance of their CRM and insisted they needed an equipment upgrade (and was ready and willing to budget for one). But with a simple look under the hood, it was more than obvious this organization had all the CRM technology they could possibly need for years to come. After a comprehensive Strategy Assessment, it was clear that their process design – or flow of data – was, quite honestly, a hot mess. Don’t worry, we took care of them. But they are not alone. 

Process redesigns have become a mainstay in the industry, with true process gurus cleaning up the costly messes CRM technology pitchmen sold unsuspecting customers. Again, it is the symbiosis of the nuts-and-bolts CRM technology and the creative process design that delivers the enhanced functionality and automation that spurs growth. 

OBJECTIVELY BETTER CRM OFFERS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS ADVANTAGE 

If you are using your current CRM as little more than a glorified email platform or newsletter blaster, then your organization is missing out. Big time. It would be like only driving that Tesla to the end of the driveway. 

A well-tuned, process-heavy CRM implementation offers organizations a strategic business advantage and a leg up in multiple departments. The following are three areas in which CRM can exponentially move the needle forward: 

  • Sales Team Productivity: By leveraging an enhanced CRM process, your salespeople can safely store and access contacts, manage their own workflow, create activity reports, understand where leads are in their customer journey, and what to do next to convert that lead into a closed deal. 
  • Customer InsightCRM is instrumental in understanding who your customer is, how they found you, where they live, how they prefer to communicate, what their buying patterns are and literally anything else you can possibly dream of tracking. To know thy customer is to know thy brand. 
  • Product DevelopmentAlmost by definition, building a brand involves product development –and there is no better way to understand what your customers want than by turning to the data in your CRM. By tracking your customer’s actions and interactions with your organization, you gain clarity on what product features are working for them and which are leaving them uninspired (and less likely to buy) 

For all those organizations just getting by on underperforming CRM, it is time to change things up. It is time to make your data and your technology sing.  

It is time for Objectively Better CRM.

Christopher Smith, Empellor CRM Founder & Principal, is a leading CRM design process expert and host of the Sales Lead Dog podcast. 

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