Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Companies who have a sound CRM strategy combined with the best technology aren't statisfied with their CRM projects because of dirty data.
The number of personnel changes, address changes, company acquisitions along with customer records with missing or incorrect information means a whole lot of bad data.
Change and error are both constants in life and they make customer data managment seems like a hopelesss cause.
There is hope. Forward-thinking companies appoint a customer data individual who is reponsible for data management and data quality. Typical tasks might include determining data security measures and working to resolve data integrity issues. Some companies tie in incentives to the integrity of the data - the higher the data quality, the more the individual is compensated.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Consider your choice of CRM software carefully. Here are some buying tips for CRM applications:
- Integration: CRM software should integrate with your current software applications.
- Mobile Connectivity: Your sales force needs to be able to connect to CRM software via cell phone, PDA, web and more.
- Reporting: The CRM application needs to be easy to use and intuitive. If it's not logical or easy to use, your sales and customer service staff will not use it.
- Technical Support Costs: Some CRM software packages are deceptively inexpensive, but have high support costs. Understand what you are purchasing before you commit to the software.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Create a Short List
Look beyond spec sheets and feature lists. Examine factors such as a company's target market and product-delivery models. The short list should contain between three and five CRM companies to compare, any more will cause confusion.
Find Out What's in it for Your Company
Once the short list is created, discuss the variables with each vendor such a pricing, product features and implementation. A detailed list of questions will prompt vendors to show how a particular product can benefit a company's unique business needs.
Involve Senior Management
Your IT team may back your choice of a CRM vendor, but your C-level executive needs to have input in the CRM decision.
Many companies mistakenly believe that selecting the right CRM solution is what makes or breaks a CRM project. CRM success hinges on picking a well-suited vendor as well as selecting an appropriate product suite.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Most CRM failures are the result of poor implementations rather than a problem with the technology.
The four key factors related to a successful implementation are:
Adopt a customer-centric strategy: Customers know they have a choice in the company they choose so they demand more from sellers. Companies need to truly re-orientate the company to focus on the customer.
Engage sales and customer service staff: Properly educating staff about the business benefits of CRM and training them to use it correctly increase the chances of achieving success.
Be willing to adjust the organization: Willingness to change the company to take advantage of CRM is beneficial. Organizations need to realize all the benefits of CRM software and be willing to rely on the application.
Set measurable goals: For most companies, the financial benefit of CRM software comes from the CRM projects that keep customers from leaving and encouraging them to increase the amount the spend.