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The Velos Group Newsletter JULY 2013

In This Issue
Why Enthusiastic CRM System Adoption Matters
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Why Enthusiastic CRM System  
Adoption Matters  

Okay, you may never get real enthusiastic sales adoption for your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, but you can get willing adoption by incorporating the following Best Practices, which are based on my own proven case work over several decades.


Ensure Executive Sponsorship is Absolute and On-Going:

If senior management expects this project to be successful, the entire organization must know about and understand the company's new operating vision. Under no circumstance can a user be given the impression the use of the new system is "optional". All vital projects merit close scrutiny; an Executive Sponsor responsible for ensuring the proper budget and resources are allocated and who can remove obstacles that might impede its success should be designated. This ensures the team collectively overcomes any project obstructions.


It's one thing to successfully manage the project and to set up the software correctly. If, however, the management team does not monitor the system's usage and hold Marketing, Sales and Customer Service accountable for their use and software accuracy, the project is doomed to fail. 


If, on the other hand, the system's users see a consistent and on-going management commitment to the software along with the reporting it generates, the project participants will be much more motivated to use it.  


Optimize Sales-Marketing-Customer Service Procedures:


Fundamentally, the decision to implement a CRM system is not a software decision; it is a commitment to run the company efficiently and effectively and ensuring that the customer base satisfaction level remains extremely high.  


Many companies have not allocated enough time to review the way they process leads and manage their status as they make their way through the Sales process. They haven't determined the most efficient way to initiate, process and resolve Customer Service issues and communicate with their customers.  


As we've mentioned in previous articles, a CRM system should support and reinforce the company's optimal requirements in these critical business areas. If these processes have not been optimized, the CRM system implementation will expose weaknesses very quickly - the implementation is doomed to fail.  

Design from the Bottom Up:


A CRM system should be designed to help make the user more productive and successful. While this may seem intuitive, my experience is that in order to justify the expense of a CRM system, management loads up the data collection requirements that actually inhibit the user's success. Even though establishing comprehensive Account and Contact profile data collection is important, determining what information is critical and who will enter and keep it up-to-date is vital too.


This doesn't mean that management requirements are not taken into account; we're recommending these requirements be well analyzed and prioritized. Then, additional review should identify which department(s) is required to provide the information. In many cases, marketing can provide much of the information through skillful mining of the company's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or third party databases (Jigsaw, Dun & Bradstreet, InfoUSA and the Harte-Hanks Technology Database).


Total Solution Design:


When designing a CRM system, one of the primary objectives is to keep the user in one system that enables them to accomplish as much of their job responsibilities as possible.  We recommend routinely incorporating the following information into the CRM system environment:

  1. Customer Order History
  2. Customer Accounts Payable Status, especially overdue accounts
  3. Expense Reports
  4. Mapping applications for Field users - Sales and Service
  5. Installed Assets - for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service usage
  6. Applicable Contracts
  7. Marketing Collateral
  8. Knowledge Base information for Customer Service

These systems can either be built from scratch or purchased and integrated into the existing CRM system. When evaluating the Cost/Benefit factor, include the productivity dynamic of the user processing information in one system versus distractions of multiple system log-in and navigation to do their job.  


Manage by Aggressive Reporting:


Create reports that:

  1. Reinforce key performance metrics to be accomplished
  2. Eliminate off line reporting requirements such as Pipeline and Call Report spreadsheets.
  3. Help Users see how they are performing on a real-time basis against their assigned metrics, whether it is sales quotas, number of qualified leads accepted by sales or number of first-call-case-closed.
  4. Enable comprehensive account segmentation reporting to create targeted groupings for more effective marketing communications in support of sales
  5. Enable detailed analysis of case statistics to:
    • Identify product issues and trends before they become big issues.
    • Determine proper staffing and skill set requirements

When these reports are created, Management needs to share all relevant information within each constituent group. A great way to reinforce the adoption of the CRM system is to show these reports from the system itself during scheduled staff meetings.


Carrot & Stick Approach 


Create Incentives to encourage CRM and include CRM usage as a factor in performance evaluations.  As an Example: During the initial roll-out phase, decide what behavior you want to reward most (such as proposals, on-site demos or Single Call Cases Closed) and then reward the top performers as part of a game or contest; or even award top performers redeemable points for worthwhile prizes.


Once the initial roll-out phase has been completed and operational issue changes are made, you are prepared to incorporate the CRM system into your job descriptions and performance evaluations.  You can also adopt the mantra, "If it's not in CRM, it doesn't exist..." This is an easy way to ensure user behavior aligns with your business objectives.


Incorporating these approaches during and after a CRM implementation will significantly improve CRM adoption percentage. This adoption will drive more sales, profits and customer satisfaction and allow a company to enjoy a quick ROI on their sizable investment.  Why not begin today.  Take the first step - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Mark Friedman
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