Just like your first love, despite the hopes, excitement and expectation, a mixture of naivety and youthful exuberance means that a company’s first foray into CRM is unlikely to stand the test of time. Organisations need to dust themselves off and try again. Learning from the good and bad aspects of that first experience is the key to getting it right:
- Good reasoning: don’t spend time and energy on the wrong things. Keep focus on the real objectives. Why is the business investing in CRM? To increase revenue, to cut costs, or both?
- Right partner: no relationship will succeed if there’s a mismatch. Choose a partner who is able to deliver the right outcome(s): does it merely reduce the administrative overhead or is it crucially able to deliver improved client relationships or enhanced lead generation for example?
- Avoid distractions: Extra features such as mobile access, social media integration make any CRM far more usable, but not if they distract from core objectives. For cross-selling and up-selling, it might be better to improve understanding of existing clients and what they have bought to improve the relevance of new offers.
- Take responsibility: any relationship is doomed for failure if partners take a part-time approach. Assigning sole responsibility to an individual will ensure CRM remains on track.
- Learn from the past: first time failure is a high probability, but at worst it’s a huge learning opportunity. Take the positives from the first experience and be objective about the negatives.
John Cheney, CEO at Workbooks - a suite of Business Applications specifically designed for small and mid-size organisations and are delivered via Software-as-a-Service, removing the traditional requirements of having hardware to maintain and software to install and support, a joined-up approach to business means Workbooks CRM and Workbooks Business can help to streamline the whole business.