In business, information is power. The better and more complete the information available to your team is, the greater the potential to achieve even greater results. The same mindset is applicable with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) information. Companies will often guess that merely adding a CRM application to their technology stack will eliminate or decrease their organization’s disconnect and will be more effective in growing revenue and creating long-term, more profitable relationships. However, that is not the case. CRM is successful in pushing the company farther only if there is a culture centering the firm on CRM and encouraging its effective use. CRM is not an automatic fix-all, but needs to be encouraged by all levels of the company.
A survey conducted last year determined that 60 percent of all CRM implementations were seen as failures when ROI was measured by the company executing it. Why? The single biggest reason was that users were not utilizing its potential. CRM is most successful when all departments are participating and invested in its effective use. Successful CRM implementations catalyze the relationship between the customer/prospect and the company, and allow the company to closely track all interactions and transactions during the buyer’s journey…from discovery to lead, lead to cash and cash to delight.
A comprehensive overview of the relationship should involve all departments. Marketing should be tracking email campaign opens, clicks and interactions as well as website visits and social engagement. Sales should be inputting notes from their meetings and next steps in the funnel process. Customer Service should be managing their support issues and tracking resolutions. It is not a one-department operation or a single-leadership level interaction; every level from front line and entry level to executives should be invested in its success. The value in CRM comes from united support of the customer journey. It can be a game changer if everyone is committed. The mindset that should be adopted is that if it isn’t in the CRM system, it didn’t occur.
Total adoption encourages accountability. CRM is not about tracking for the sake of being Big Brother, but about ensuring the practices being pursued are driving customer journey results. When each individual user is leveraging CRM to its greatest potential, the results will speak for themselves.
How do you achieve this level of adoption in order to increase CRM effectiveness? By having leadership fully utilizing the tools and encouraging their direct reports to do the same. If handled correctly, the waterfall effect will create a culture of CRM effectiveness. Productivity will likely increase since details relative to the customer journey will be transparent and accessible. ROI will be measurable. Inspire a culture of success that encircles CRM. Celebrate the successes with CRM and reward the super-users who demonstrate their commitment to the entire team. When the team sees how CRM effectiveness is recognized, others will desire the recognition, too.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.