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BRIAN: "Is it fair to say that rest of your organization really has no visibility to what is going on with you and prospect/customer either?" JIM: "Pretty much. I sent in a report monthly of my activity to my boss, but that is about it."
BRIAN: "How about any financial information? Do you have access to any of that?" JIM: "Quarterly we get a spreadsheet from corporate. I compare my personal spreadsheet to theirs just to make sure that my commission is right."
Perhaps some of you can relate to this situation. It is not that uncommon, but more and more companies are realizing benefits of moving towards being a customer centric organization through a CRM initiative.
I went on to begin to paint a different picture for Jim about how his life could be made a lot easier and how he could be more productive with his time. Below are just 4 ways that integrating department silos, and disparate applications and data could improve a salesperson's life. I could expand and share a similar list about each end user of a CRM system, but I think that you can probably draw some conclusions on your own about how integrating information would help Sales Managers, Customer Service Personnel, Technical Support representatives, and Accounts Receivable specialists.
1. What if you could turn a quote into an order with push of a button, and have it automatically inserted into your ERP/Financial system? Wouldn't that cut down on time and errors spent entering orders in two systems?
2. What if you had visibility about all open tech support or other customer service issues that your customer had called about, and you were able to proactively contact them, instead of being blindsided when you are trying to sell them additional products or services? Do you think they might be impressed with your level of service and attentiveness? Do you think that your unsolicited follow up might communicate to them that even when things go wrong, you are truly interested in helping them?
3. What if you had access to see how much a customer had spent over past year, products they had purchased, and whether they were on time with their payments? Do you think this might give you increased visibility to who your most valuable customers are? Do you think it might help prioritze who you should be calling on?
4. What if you could sort your customers easily by product line, and easily market to them with complimentary products and services that you offer? Do you think it might help enhance collaboration between Sales and Marketing departments in cross selling efforts? ****************************************
"An effective CRM implementation will have to be able to account for an entire spectrum of customer-based systems and how they interact with customers themselves. This is likely to include conventional personal interactions, paper-based transactions, Web site browsing, e-commerce, telephone contact or voice/data interaction via wireless technology. Organizations must be able to manage and maintain these multiple points of interaction to say they have an effective CRM system." says Charles Saunders in September 24, 2001 edition of EAI Journal.
Outlook can be effective for managing your day to day tasks. But how much time is spent on phone, through email, looking at 4 different spreadsheets to gather fragmented, out of date information? No wonder so many people are frustrated.
To learn more about how Initium Technology can help integrate your applications, data, and information silos into an efficient customer relationship system, please call us at 1-800-250-5732, or visit our website http://www.initiumtech.com/rfi.htm
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend! Be sure and take time to express your love to special people in your life!
Brian Vellmure Initium Technology firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2003 Initium, LLC. All Rights Reserved
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Brian Vellmure is CEO and Founder of Initium Technology, a strategic technology consulting firm specializing in CRM, ERP, EAI, and custom Web and Portal Design.