Magazine article CRM Magazine

Cricket Chirping or the Rustling of Paper

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Cricket Chirping or the Rustling of Paper

Article excerpt

"Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit."

--William Pollard

It's Friday two weeks before quarter close and as the Sales Director you're doing your weekly forecast calls. You have a CRM solution and your account teams seem to use it, however, how many times during your calls do you inquire about the status of an opportunity and you either hear the crickets chirping or the rustling of paper? Even worse there is no new information in the opportunity and you know the sales teams are meeting with customers. Why aren't your sales teams adopting the CRM solution? Is it ease of use, intuitive and do they see the value?

THE PROBLEM WITH CRM SOLUTIONS

In theory CRM solutions are a perfect solution to keep track of you customers, accounts and opportunities. After all it is Customer Relationship Management. The problem is not with the solution it's with the adoption and use of the solution. The sales teams have to populate it with relevant, useful and understandable information in a phrase it has to be 'Actionable Data'. What is Actionable Data'? It's data gathered that is used to make informed decisions, refine strategies, or facilitate actions or tasks, just to name a few.

Some of the inherent problems with effectively utilizing your CRM solution are:

* Taking notes on paper.

* Taking notes with applications, which must then be synced with your CRM system.

* Forgetting to update the opportunities

* Jumping from one application to another just to get the information into your CRM solution

* Not getting the Actionable Data' nothing of value to add to opportunity

These problems all stem from a lack of automation and integration. Without a mechanism that easily allows CRM users to populate relevant information in the CRM system in real time, Actionable Data is missed.

THE SOLUTION

The process of gathering the Actionable Data' linking it natively to your CRM solution and making it easy and appealing is the key. Let's use SaleForce.com for an example: Your teams are already using it and very comfortable navigating the solution, but Actionable Data is not finding its way into Salesforce.com. You've tried mandating the kind of data you want in each sales opportunity. …

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