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CRM Systems are not a Magic Bullet for Business Development

May 31, 2013

Silver BulletAs a CRM consultant for over 10 years, I learned that the main reason that companies would implement CRM was to get to know their customers better and increase sales and marketing effectivness. What stumped me the most is that companies would spend a ton of money on a CRM system and training, and then not really use it. Most companies have hundreds or thousands of contacts in their database but not really much engagement with those people.

Why is it that companies spend so much time and effort getting names to just let them fall through the cracks? The answer is a lack of business development processes. Some call it marketing but the reality is that most people think of marketing as generating leads. One of marketing's initial external touches in order to create leads but it should extend into educating those leads and getting them to want to buy. Then, once the lead becomes a customer, making sure that the customer has an awesome experience and becomes a raving fan that gives referrals. So, maybe every time I mention the word marketing, you should think of all encompassing business development.

If you have a CRM system that is keeping track of your customers, prospects and leads for goodness sakes, learn how to take advantage of it. A CRM system is only as good as you have set it up to use it. Great marketing/business development requires a system to keep it all straight. Every CRM will allow you to create groups of people and to keep track of how the people got to you. Marketing 101 requires that you know how you got every contact name. If you don’t know how you got the name, you will NEVER be able to accurately identify how your marketing dollars are working for you.

Everyone talks about using a CRM system for sales but Marketing and CRM Systems go way beyond just tracking sales opportunities.

Lead Generation

Lead Generation is usually where most marketing departments spend their time. However, if you can’t answer the following questions, you are wasting your money.

Do you know where the lead came from? When was the lead created? What was the lead interested in? Where the lead is in the buying process? If you don’t have the answer to these questions, you are missing the boat.

Customer Service

Many people mistakenly think that marketing is not a part of customer service. Wrong! One of the best places for marketing to get involved is customer service. How else will the customer be communicated with on a consistent basis at the same level, every time? How will marketing (and therefore the company) gain insight into the true things your customer value? The answer is by putting processes in place and making sure that all communications are crafted initially by marketing.

Do you know what product/service the customer bought? Where is the customer in the fulfillment process? What is the expected delivery date? Did you hit the expected delivery date? Was the customer happy with your product/service?

Referrals

Is your CRM system tracking the referrals that you are getting? Do you know how many time Joe Jones has given you referrals?

Every business has a few raving fans and gets a few referrals. But, what if you could have a process that increases the number of fans and will give you a predictable ways of getting referrals? Would you turn down having more raving fans, consistent referrals and increase revenue? Surprisingly, many people shy away from a yes because it's work. Yes, I said work.

But here is the secret....it's all work! So, doesn't it make more sense to do really strategic work that sets up the foundation versus doing half-baked (not my first choice in words) work all the time? That is the beauty of strategy and processes. Processes take complex work and break it into repeatable and definable tasks that work.

World class athletes don't do the easy stuff. Extraordinary companies don't do the just the easy stuff. Ordinary people and companies do ordinary things. In this digital age, learn to work smarter, not harder.

If you want to learn how to take advantage of your CRM to really develop business and you want to stop wasting money on marketing and business development that doesn’t work, Leading Results is here to help you.

leadingresults
Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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