New CRM chronicles

For my first contribution to the Gestisoft team’s blog, I had thought I would create a flashy piece, a perspective full of nuances and strong views and offer an inspiring, unifying vision. But now that the longest federal election campaign in the history of Canada is over, I’ve decided to drop the hollow sentences and empty slogans and focus on content!

I’ve been working in the world of CRM for over a decade. As a trusted consultant, I have had a chance to rub shoulders with CEOs, vice-presidents of sales, chief marketing officers (CMOs) and other customer service and experience managers. Each of those individuals, and their companies, chose to take the challenge of adopting customer relationship management strategies, processes and solutions, and transitioning to a customer centric approach.

Every situation is unique, but one thing remains constant: implementing a CRM tool reflects a desire to optimize (processes), improve (efficiency), simplify (practices) and centralize (data).

Every context is different, but shares similarities with others: a CRM project is the solution to a key business problem and a strategic initiative that has tactical components.

Every CRM project is distinct from all the others, but they are always highly visible and highly risky and invariably stir up passions.

I’d like to use this article to share my experience and suggest solutions and responses to typical problems that I have encountered during my professional travels through the CRM ecosystem.

Statistics don’t lie: consumers are increasingly savvy and are constantly looking for sources of content and original, new and relevant information. In fact—in B2B—75% of consumers have done their research before they even contact a vendor.

So I’d like to speak to you directly and try to help you with your research using the means I have at my disposal, to give you information, answer some of your questions and offer you something to think about.

In a first series of articles, I will take advantage of the Q4 half-time to talk about managing sales in a CRM solution, along with the benefits and challenges that implementing a CRM solution may represent for your company.

  • How can a CRM strategy go from a product oriented strategy to a customer oriented strategy?
  • Does a sales methodology have to be adopted, adapted or invented to structure sales and see the forecasts?
  • Where can I find a methodology that meets current or future needs and how do I choose one?
  • How can I integrate that methodology with a CRM tool without making it even harder to use?
  • Does that mean acquiring complex tools, or rather oversimplifying in order to plan and monitor business objectives?
  • What trends are being followed by the big sales organizations? Should I adapt their practices to my company’s reality?

My articles will examine and question some of the established truisms, and propose a realistic approach to applying theoretical concepts set against a company’s business reality.

Various analyses indicate that the ROI for a CRM project is $5 for every dollar invested, and that such a return can be measured in dollars and cents in a few months to a few years.

How do can I be sure the CRM investment will pay off for my company?

A CRM solution can help optimize your sales force’s efforts. Imagine needing less time to perform low value added tasks so you can focus more closely on profitable sales activities.

In real life, on the ground, how can a CRM solution help the sales team and save it time?

I hope I’ve got your attention. See you in my next installment!

 

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