If one were to succinctly summarize the very real struggle that CRM companies are faced with today; it would be termed as haplessness in dealing with the tons of data that their systems churn out daily – a regular uphill task in sifting out qualitative information from quantitative data.
Most businesses get sucked in by the lure of functionalities and the promise of not missing out on even one byte of data. But there’s more to CRM than data generated by machines. It lies in the name – Customer Relationship Management – and there is no dearth of examples in business of one simple idea or observation from the man on the ground turning a business on its head.
So, where am I getting with all this? Let us break it down into issues. One is the amount of data, if you don’t control it then for all practical purposes you have a GIGO situation, i.e. garbage in garbage out. The second is a decision on what constitutes superfluous information, excess to the knowledge you need for your core objectives decision making and for creating a streamlined automated workflow. And finally, having the right men at the right place, including the top leadership.
With respect to the first point of data, ensure that your primary focus is on getting data that can be contextualized and auctioned. It will involve building a process chart backwards from your intended objective to what is required. Once you have the pieces in place you can think in terms of how to go about getting that data and this is where the software tools come in.
Second, this point builds on the first point. Have only as much data fields that enable you to arrive at the right decisions. Keep data current and keep it clean. Work on eliminating repetitive tasks, this will leave you free to work on process plans and approach your CRM objectives in a creative manner.
Finally, the with respect to having the right men on the job, it will no doubt be easy once you have a set process and know how to react to recurring situations. But consumer preferences can mutate fast and in a subtle manner, much like a tricky microbe developing medicine-resistant strains. If you fail to read the signals that emanate from consumer aspirations, their perceptions about your offering, and the general direction in which the market is headed then you are forever destined to play second or even third fiddle to the first movers in your market. http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/struggling-with-crm-time-for-a-strategy-rethink/ http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/struggling-with-crm-time-for-a-strategy-rethink/ http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/struggling-with-crm-time-for-a-strategy-rethink/ http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/struggling-with-crm-time-for-a-strategy-rethink/The remedy is to have the right men in the right place. Men who are capable of absorbing signals and extracting insight from them, at the top you need men with access to macro signals and on the floor there should be staff that can interact with real people and draw lessons, this is contribution at the micro level.
If your company is in the process of evaluating your CRM strategy for 2014, then consider the points mentioned above.