Have you ever had a dream about CRM?
Sometimes people ask me about my job. It’s hard to explain (I guess one reason is because my wife never asks things like this …). I can’t repeat all details how I’ve tried to explain what CRM really is about, but later on I thought this was rather the description of “the perfect Word of CRM”.
Now people ask me about my role in CRM and I have to explain what Account and Contact Management is about. Here I’ve tried to illustrate this a bit more …Lead- & Opportunity-Management is somehow the Heard-Beat of CRM, Activity-Management is its Breath and Account & Contact Management is the Skeleton of CRM.
For two day’s I was happy with this comparison.
Than I got the CRM Insider Newsletter … Here one question was somehow funny.
“When a company is in trouble – which one will loose his job earlier? The guy working in the Sales- or the guy working in the Marketing-Department?”
Well, I don’t have an idea, but I’m sure the guy in Sales hopes that it will be the colleague in the Marketing-Department. Typically they don’t know each other very good. That’s one reason why CRM is often only a philosophy where all employees, all processes in Marketing, Sales and Service are connected and this helps to completely know and understand your customers.
Does this work in practice?
Later on I went through the new “Star-Building” in Walldorf. There is a real cool installation in the foyer. Whenever a deal gets won, an artificial creature scurries over the ground. It looks very similar to an octopus and my next thought was “They don’t need a Skeleton!” That’s really the case. If you work in Sales you are focused to win deals. It’s not important to maintain all data related to the Account. If you have identified your potential deal, you do not need a “Skeleton” for this Account, only the “soft tissue” is sufficient.
In Marketing this is again different. Here the “Skeleton” is needed to put flesh on the bones. In other words, good account data is required to do good Market-Segmentation, to have successful campaigns and to get the right findings out of your analytics. However, in CRM all involved parties rather wants to get data out of the system and they hesitate to put data in the system.
Especially the Account Executive doesn’t want to share his information as this is somehow his equity.
Therefore it is very important to involve the real users already in the early implementation-process as this helps to have a higher acceptance for the CRM System. If a Sales Rep. doesn’t like such a solution he will find hundreds of reasons why he can’t work with this tool.
It’s also a good idea to introduce some incentives to improve Data Quality and the usage of CRM. This can’t be done just by forcing the Sales Rep. to enter complete Address- and Communication Data and to maintain Marketing Attributes in order to make Segmentation for Marketing easier.
Therefore it is also very important to eliminate (as much as possible) all hurdles for users working with CRM.
Otherwise the discrepancy between expectation and reality will be too big.