CRM was touted as the silver bullet in the 1990’s. Many have since learnt it was a major failure… and continues to be so. Even now with latest technologies offering so much more functionality and intelligence, businesses still mismanage their buyers.
Here’s some views into why.
Firstly, “off-the-shelf” CRM products do not offer a true end-to-end buyer journey. CRM vendors are often broken into three types of functions which help manage; Marketing, Sales and Finance. The truly meaningful insights an organisation wants is often captured in these types of disparate systems. Granted some vendors offer a truly aligned solution and most are built for those with bigger budgets.
But from what we have seen during our implementations over the last several years, even those with bigger budgets are not that much more developed in their ability to improve revenue performance.
The second view, we share is that of adoption or use. Users of these systems are hardly ever consulted during the purchase process. Come time to implement, especially in selling teams, CRM installers are often met with a less than positive welcome, and this makes perfect sense. If the end users are not engaged, they’ll feel un-important and the result is damaging. They don’t actively adopt the technology, thus rendering the data captured within of poor relevance.
The absolute purpose of investing in CRM and technology, is to capture and use the data contained within to make better business decisions.
The third and most compelling view is the misuse of “time”. Most CRM systems do track “date & time” stamped records. Assuming the system has accurate data entered, either manually or automated, being able to view your buyer’s cycle becomes a highlight into revenue performance. Learn more about the buyer cycle here.
So if CRM is to be positioned as the must have, the use of data an absolute, a sales team with the key skills, a marketing team focused on inbound marketing, the right people employed, and you retain all of your customers, success is surely guaranteed, right? Ok, pardon the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm but it is most likely to be wrong!
The point being that CRM is an enabler, not a magic wand. If it is poorly scoped against the “business” needs, it’ll be poorly integrated and adopted by users, and it will offer little value. Imagine the reality when the business starts looking at the ROI of the CRM system? And that isn’t the worst result… that is the inability to know how your business is performing against it’s potential.
Leaders will make decisions, some very tough ones, using reports and data. They truly want to make decisions that fall into the glass half full view. Growth, innovation, new channels, opportunity etc.
CRM can add value even if “off-the-shelf”, albeit small value. To get the best out of your investment in CRM, here are a few metrics to consider;
- Cost of Lead
- Value of Lead
- Counts of leads
- Cost of Sale
- Average value of order
- Counts of opportunities
- Count of leads rejected
- Percentage of Marketing generated leads converted
- Cost of Serve
- Customer lifetime value
- Product mix
- Behavioural segmentation
Overall, the secret is to use “time” as an indicator of buyer velocity. The cost, count and conversion of start to finish is the purpose.
Many purists will debate the simplicity of the above, and they will have a point… after all Marketing is a 4 year degree. The reality however, is that if your organisation wants to improve revenue performance, CRM will be of use. How your business wants to use CRM, is now the more important question.