Every small to mid-sized business owner would love to know how to effectively keep a pulse on their marketing and customer service efforts. The common barrier that all companies run into is how to cost effectively measure and control this process.
How will you keep track of the marketing and sales efforts of every department so you don’t create redundant work for everyone? From the inception of a marketing campaign to the lead; from the lead to the opportunity; from the opportunity to support issues, how are you monitoring this process universally at your company today?
Think of it: you could pin down how many times you talked to a potential customer; how many times you shook their hand; how many deals you’ve won or lost. After all, if you cannot measure your marketing campaigns and support issues, you will not be able to effectively improve or control your business processes, making it difficult to drive your business to the next level.
The answer to this business process challenge for most companies has been to use CRM software (Customer Relationship Management). Using a CRM enables you to manage relationships with the people you meet and service.
But before you run off to look into the CRM solution for your company, you must consider the five following most common pitfalls associated with this methodology in order to plan accordingly so you can effectively build the relationships that drive sales.
Upper management must believe in why this initiative is taking place. They must express to the rest of the company how important the process is so that everyone in the company takes an active role in making the CRM solution a success
In order to understand how the system will function, it’s critical to put together a company “task force”. This group should consist of the employee’s that will be using the CRM on a daily basis in order to put together a list of requirements. Make them feel apart of the process so they will welcome the change once the CRM is put into place and be excited to use it.
Proper training on effectively using the CRM is crucial to your success.
Honoring and respecting the CRM is key. The more information you put into the CRM, the better your reporting will be.
Enforce policy by making the users accountable for quantitative results they produce. Let them know that performance will be measured by the informational reports that come out of the CRM, such as whether people are hitting quotas, setting realistic projections, or addressing customer support issues in a timely manner.
Achieve break through performance to the common barriers of cross-communication in your organization. Cost effectively measure and control the most important asset every business owner must understand: your customers. After all, if you are not effectively measuring weak areas, you will not have the critical information you need to improve and control.
Anthony Licate is the President of Spidernet Technical Consulting, LLC (http://www.spidernetconsulting.com ), a computer consulting firm located outside Philadelphia, PA. If you have further questions regarding whether a CRM is right for your company, feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 215.508.1036.