My colleague, Jeff Richards & I, got around to a "chat over a long drink" a while ago. We ended up talking about the important role our reseller partners can provide in doing 'good CRM' for customers. I recorded the chat, initially as making notes, but then thought it would make a good blog series. Through the magic of online transcription, here it is - with the ummms, ahhhs and other interruptions edited out, of course! We both hope you enjoy it!
[DAVID] Alright - a starter for ten - what could 'trusted advisor' mean to customers?
[JEFF] I think there are three themes to think about here
1. Managing Employee engagement & CRM strategies
2. Learning from CRM specialists from their years of experience
3. Building a successful business by leading with Sage CRM
[DAVID] OK, let's do some unpacking of each point. First one - Managing Employee engagement & CRM strategies - what are we saying? I'd say it's executing a CRM strategy so that everybody really "gets it". Essentially, it's driving engagement from employees & how leverage it inside a CRM deployment. My working assumption is - by the way - that most businesses are looking to stay (or become) competitive and/or differentiate themselves. And they do this - increasingly - by competing with knowledge-based skills - e.g., delivering service excellence to acquire & retain customers. And developing, harnessing or improving knowledge-based skills means having engaged employees.
[JEFF] Why is that relevant to success with CRM projects?
[DAVID] Three reasons. First, employees need to understand company goals & how they are measured. Second, they need to feel they matter, want to work with the right processes and, third, want control over the flow of their jobs.
[JEFF] I would add that, in my experience, the best implementations are where TWO key points are addressed. First, the outcome of the CRM implementation are linked to a company's goals, right across the organisation. These are outcomes that both define "CRM system success" + are connected to company KPIs, whatever they are. Secondly, CRM users have direct input to the CRM system design. In scoping requirements, the implementation cycle & daily usage within the organisation.
[DAVID] Yes - and as most business processes DO CROSS more than one department, enabling "good CRM" in just one department doesn't really fix "whole processes". With that, collaboration falters & a typical customer journey is interrupted. So, I agree: Any CRM strategy needs to be company-wide & have employees at its' heart. Anything less just dilutes strategic effort & spend.
In the next part of this four part series, Jeff & I will consider what people really mean when they say "a CRM projects didn't work in my company"