CRM – 10 Critical Factors


Getting the Design Right

The correct design should reflect the goals of your CRM strategy. These might be:

  • To help sales people manage and close opportunities
  • To give sales managers a complete view of the pipeline, and to automate sales forecasting
  • To safeguard ownership of the sales pipeline, a key company asset
  • To make sure that your organisation has a full picture of every sales process
  • To provide a complete picture of every customer to those that need it within your organisation
  • To run and track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • To provide better service for your customers

Many people will answer “all of the above”, and most “both sales and marketing”. If this is this case for you then it is best to start with the sales process and then bring the rest on line afterwards. Why? Because marketing and support teams are well disciplined people, used to and happy to accept automation, and they know that their tasks cannot be achieved without a system. Sales people, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of making a sale without a CRM system so their cooperation cannot be taken for granted. So design your system so that it meets the needs of the sales people, and then fit marketing and support/service around that.

For sales people to use the system fully, it must be both useful to them and easy to use, so don’t make the design too complicated. The more complicated the design is, the more fields you add to each screen, the more screens you have to go through to add a contact, the more barriers to successful adoption you will have erected. Every extra field you ask the sales person to complete, especially mandatory ones, the greater the chance that the sales people will enter garbage, leave fields un-entered, or simple only use the system under duress. So, take Leonardo da Vinci’s motto “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” to heart and

  1. Start with the minimum design, not the ultimate, to get people using the system
  2. Make sure that as many fields as possible have sensible defaults
  3. Make sure that key fields that you wish to capture (like marketing source) are shown on standard reports so that if they are not completed it is evident
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