This week’s post is going to date me a bit, but do you remember the 80’s band Dire Straits with the MTV anthem “Money for Nothing”? This song brought me inspiration for this week’s blog post which has nothing to do with music or MTV, but everything to do with the need for process automation within CRM systems!
Many organizations scream for new and or improved CRM system and consider that purchase as a fix to all of the sales, service and marketing pains within an organization. Limited consideration is put into process definition or automation even though most companies approach the selling, service and marketing functions in different ways. CRM software should be look at as the delivery tool, and when married to strong processes can provide organization the ability to execute, measure and adjust as their business change and grow.
Today companies have many options for CRM software tools ranging from lite weight contact management solutions through enterprise class CRM suites. I would argue that most systems selected as a “leader” by Gartner Inc., within the “Magic Quadrant for CRM” will do most of what an organization needs from a core feature and function. Customers should turn their attention to the tool sets each CRM vendor provides around process automation and workflow.
Steps to insure process automation supports CRM and delivers on promise of great ROI –
- Clearly define process mapping by role type within organization that seek benefit from use of system. Seek user involvement in this stage to insure your current processes are not broken. This will also drive ownership and adoption of new system.
- Look outside of current processes by department to define other manual tasks that should be automated to provide process improvements and end-user give backs.
- Define work effort to incorporate the processes within the CRM package workflow tool sets provided.
- Insure workflow tool is easy to build, maintain and edit as your business changes. This should not require special programming but rather should be owned by power users within each department.
- Look for ways to drive process outside of the CRM system and back.
Benefit of laying strong process framework will provide a measuring tool for revenue growth, customer satisfaction and ROI on marketing campaigns. As you look at all of these take note of my favorite all time excerpts around this topic which come from a book I read many years ago called The Sales and Marketing Excellence Challenge. In chapter 56, it is stated that “The Achilles heel for CRM is that if you have a flawed process, all CRM is going to do is help you do ineffective and inefficient things faster than you have ever done them before. You need to take the time to optimize your processes before you implement a CRM system.”
This blog addresses some of the benefits of process automation management and how it can provide organizations with a competitive advantage across sales, service and marketing. Make process automation a priority at every turn in your CRM deployment and your organization will demonstrate successful, repeatable processes with performance measurements that will deliver strong CRM deployment ROI.
1 MTV referenced in this blog are for education purposes and refers to 2010 MTV Networks, © and ™ MTV Networks. All Rights Reserved.
2 Dire Straits – Money for Nothing music video from YouTube Dire Straits & “Money for Nothing” referenced in this blog are for education purposes. All Rights Reserved.
3 Gartner Inc., Magic Quadrant for CRM. The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2010 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner’s analysis of how certain vendor’s measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the “Leaders” quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
4 The Sales and Marketing Excellence Challenge: Changing How The Game Is Played by Jim Dickie & Barry Trailer Copyright 2003 Sales Mastery, Inc.