Do you need to choose the right CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Solution for you business?
Do you understand the philosophy behind CRM and what CRM actually is?
If so, keep reading as I will explain you why you should understand the philosophy behind developing the right CRM solution for your business.
In choosing a CRM solution, the philosophy behind its development may be the very last thing on a company’s list of factors for consideration, if it’s on that list at all. But in taking a closer look, that developmental philosophy may have a profound impact on how the resulting CRM solution works within your company—or how it doesn’t.
Classic CRM Design
CRM solutions have classically been designed to work from the “top down” with a rather centralized approach. CRM makes it possible to synchronize various departments in the company—sales, marketing, tech support, customer service and others—and facilitate more centralized management of these various areas.
There have been many quotes going back to biblical times about trying to “be all things to all people”. It’s an approach that generally fails. This is no less true with CRM—in trying to encompass and coordinate many areas of a company, it actually slights them. And worst of all, it neglects the one department it should be helping the most: sales.
What is CRM & Who Is A CRM Solution For?
What is CRM, what CRM stands for?
CRM is short for customer relationship management, and therein lies the primary clue to the reason for its existence. While all of the areas listed above have relationships with customers, the most important of these is sales.
This is not meant as a slight on any of these other departments—they are important, too, and a company certainly cannot operate without them. But who is it that creates and nurtures these relationships in the first place? Who is it that is charged with getting customers to buy, and makes sure that they do? Who is it that maintains relationships with customers—after the same people have made them customers—so that they can be sold to yet again? Yes, that is salespeople.
CRM stands to reason, then, that a CRM solution should be designed to assist and even empower sales reps to make those sales. It should be an intuitive set of tools—meaning that it is laid out logically, ideally following the company’s sales process. A sales rep should be able to utilize CRM as an automated assistant in prioritizing a day’s or a week’s work, in getting an overall view of his or her pipeline, and in raising the number of closes.
For these and many other reasons, CRM should also be very easy to learn and use. A salesperson’s time is valuable, hence they should spend as little time as possible entering data and creating reports—while still being able to accomplish these important tasks as they are needed.
Impact on Rest of Company
You might then ask: If a CRM solution is designed primarily for salespeople, how will it impact all of the other concerned parties throughout the enterprise?
The interesting thing is, when CRM is designed to be intuitive and logical for the salespeople, the remainder of the company will find it far easier to interact with also. In that it mirrors a company’s plan of operations, and other employees are of course familiar with that plan, they will also be able to enter, locate and retrieve the data they need from their positions.
For sales management as well as salespeople themselves, considerable time can be saved on otherwise cumbersome reporting. With a logical, intuitive CRM solution, data that was previously sought after by sales management through reports—or even verbally—can now be easily located within CRM, so the salesperson needn’t be bothered. This also facilitates easier reporting from sales management upward, and makes it possible for departments such as finance, tech support, customer service and marketing to rapidly enter and extract accurate data as well.
So yes, it is quite worthwhile to discover the philosophy behind the development of your CRM solution. It could make the difference between CRM being a “necessary evil” and a highly beneficial asset.
Watch for further articles in our series on CRM solutions.