Posted by: superduperadmin on Aug 3, 2009
CRBM is a buzz in the marketplace and your competitive advantage in a slumped economy
In any given business week customer relationship management (CRM) is growing significantly in the blogosphere buzz and interest of business managers. The typical customer relationship management business processes involve collaboration between many folks across various roles within
your organization. It is a tall order for any technology solution to bridge these gaps and create a user experience that unique people in unique roles can easily adapt to if they are accustom to particular processes. Most folks like to figure out their job, get good at it and then coast for a while once they get comfortable. If you are the one pushing a new process, technology solution and more stuff for them to learn and think about then you are not always appreciated for the value you can bring them.
Do you realize how important CRM is to survival in a global economy?
Most workers are not aware of the importance customer relationship business management crm systems have toward the overall success and competitive advantage you can have. "It is not a matter of whether your competition will use CRM and that you have a need for CRM but what matters is how well and efficiently you can use yours." This means that if your team is disciplined, driven and focused on making your CRM system a cornerstone for your organizations success you will not only see significant cost savings across the board but you will outperform your competition and gain groundswell in the marketplace.
CRM with Business Management integrations
Business customer relationship management crm or as we call it "Customer Relationship Business Management" or " CRBM" is really a whole virtual office system designed for the next generation business model where companies large and small will take advantage of and embrace globalization vs running from it. The tool suite for this new virtual office approach has to cover a much broader capability. With systems consolidation as a top priority for IT personnel and company leadership it is important your system is positioned for growth and flexibility as your needs and priorities will have to respond to market conditions. "Sometimes it is just being prepared for the things that happen while you are making plans."
The typical customer relationship business management crm software has many tools but most often they are geared to pieces of the overall business need and do not have the whole pie. A good customer relationship management business acumen will make sure it takes into account the many complexities and dynamics of an organization and tailors and merges the customization and business processes into a cohesive marriage.
Getting the best Value out of your CRM technologies
To address the need for increased value and return on investment with our troubled economy, we have developed a customer relationship management business methodology we call Value Building. This practice is built off of proven processes and real world experience. There are many myths and mantras in the industry and with any complex technology implementation there are always risks for failure. Cost avoidance and return on investment are just as important as how your workforce adopts the system. It is very easy to look at the tech specs of applications or see a rich graphic user interface and think everything else is going to fall into place. This is just not the case if you drop the ball on training and strategic deployment. With the open source code base of our CRBM Platform we offer flexibility to grow and customize your web based infrastructure. This also reduces the cost of entry for the actual software and will allow you to balance your deployment program with better training and support services. Our customer relationship metrics business management consultants focus on helping you and your teams establish clear priorities and a well defined roadmap for success.
Significant Gaps between enterprise and SMB - so where is the axis of best return?
Our consulting practice and deployment team specializes in deployments of customer relationship management for small business. There is a significant difference and gap between how a CRM system is deployed for small business vs a larger organization. Where a smaller organization say 5-10 seats usually has the CEO or owner directly involved in the hands on management of the system as opposed to an IT manager. The larger organization usually has either a committee or a group more involved in the decision making process. This impacts not only the sales cycle and cost of sale for the vender but also the type of resources required to implement effectively. A consulting practice geared at large implementations (100-200 seats) cannot always effectively meet the needs of smaller organizations from a price point, logistics or customer service. Make sure you assess the deployment plan and pricing to make sure that both the vendor's service model and your budget and commitment levels to the project match.
CRBM is now within reach but make sure your expectations are realistic.
We assume you understand the potential and necessity of going down the path of a consolidated business and customer relationship management system. Your key to success will be how you manage expectations and direct your resources. While the technology of robust CRM systems has been out of reach for many SMB's until recent years there are a few considerations many SMB's need to think about prior to jumping in an ocean filled with sharks. First of all most of software solutions and technology to support it is coming down in price so there is a real enticement here and it can now be cost effective to employ these technologies. However the software often is the smallest portion of your total cost of ownership. In addition to your teams time and mental bandwidth the real cost is in training and associated consulting and technical support.
Pick a CRBM platform that can future proof your business
As far as software goes, there are a lot of robust systems out there but make sure when selecting the software/technology that it has a foundation for growth and expandability over the long haul. I am fond of systems built on an open source code base. This can allow you unlimited freedom to expand your infrastructure to meet your needs. Try to anticipate what you will need 5 years from now. What tends to be the largest investment in this kind of transition to either a new system or a consolidation of systems integrations is the knowledge and expertise to blend your often bricks and mortar-ish organization into a virtual CRM web space A small group may buy the software and educate their team on the systems but this can be a long lonely road and you better make sure the person leading the project has the right skill set. It can cost you dearly if and when you make mistakes treading into unknown territories. A corrupt DB can be a very time consuming challenge and painful process to troubleshoot if the right steps have not been taken along the way. Find a good partner to get and keep you on track both technically and strategicly.
Good mentorship and hands on involvement helps you get the best value and ROI
To achieve the true value of your system requires subject matter expertise, product expertise for the specific software, a good strategy, a quality training program and ongoing technical support. This is going to mean you will have to team with a consulting group that can help Jump Start your initiatives. It will be important to integrate as well as continue to align your team with the technology in a way that keeps you on target with your highest priorities. So just because you can afford the software does not mean you can afford the collateral expenses. Make sure your team is ready to be patient and disciplined and that this initiative comes from the top down within your organization. If you do not plan for these things in your strategy you could have a nice car but run out of gas before you get anywhere. Unless you plan carefully, budget wisely and make this part of your business model you can easily pour money in to a whole and lose time through continued failures in your business processes. It is important that you are determined with your plan to make CRM a foundation for growing your business. Make sure your people are prepared and motivated with the right objectives, priorities and that your technology meets the needs of your business processes now and for the future. If you can do all of these things, I truly believe Customer Relationship Business Management (CRBM) is an amazing opportunity for any Small Businesses to prosper against any competitor.