The Art of CRM. A white paper by cloudfortyseven Limited. Author: Michael Fleming DipM ACIM

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1 The Art of CRM A white paper by cloudfortyseven Limited Author: Michael Fleming DipM ACIM

2 Copyright 2010 by cloudfortyseven Limited all the text, graphics, design, and other works are the copyrighted works of cloudfortyseven Limited. All Rights Reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of any materials herein is strictly prohibited without permission. About the author Michael Fleming served 11 years in the Royal Navy. In that time he learnt the importance of relationships, of living and working in close quarters with individuals and working with many different departments to achieve a cohesive unit that was fit for action at any time. In 1987, he entered into the world of Information Technology as a Communications Customer Engineer. His relationship skills were brought to the fore in providing superior customer service and working as a close knit team, providing support and assistance to colleagues to help them with their service level objectives. Breaking into sales, he created his first customer relationship database using Computer Associates SuperDb. This managed over 500 contacts related to Times Top 100 companies. The results from these activities and the ensuing sales success secured executive sponsorship to lead a pan-european project to create companywide CRM solution. An SQL-based CRM solution was chosen that had a core database accessible through different interfaces for finance, sales & marketing and customer service departments. This was his foundation experience on the value of CRM systems. Over the years, he has worked for other global companies who have successfully failed to rollout CRM solutions to their organisations. Previous experience enabled him to master Siebel, SalesLogix and SAP solutions for his own needs, but a lack of organisational education on the purpose and benefits of CRM meant for the main, they were glorified pipeline management tools. For his part Michael was able to successfully exploit the CRM systems to advantage that enabled continuous sales success.

3 Management Summary A customer relationship management system needs to be a company-wide solution, used by individuals to record customer interactions in their own unique way, with the combination of these interactions giving a definitive picture of a customer relationship that enables any user to give a superior level of customer service. A CRM system has to be highly adaptive in real time, which records meaningful information that enables the company to perform it activities in an efficient manner and provides a dashboard of information allowing sound decisions and planning actions to be made. A CRM system is a living source of information that has to be continuously fed and maintained to produce a complete picture for all that view it, and from whatever angle. It is important to be aware of the Data Protection Act 1998 relative to your CRM systems.

4 Introduction CRM Customer/Client Relationship Management is such a tangible subject and yet the outcomes of successful relationship management are almost intangible. Top sales people are not necessarily great relationship managers; it s been scientifically proven that they are really great listeners. They give their customers what they ask for, they don t sell them anything. Their relationship with customers is listening. A customer may think the salesperson has an awful personality, but if they listen and deliver that s a relationship, almost intangible though. CRM systems are not designed as sales forecasting or pipeline management tools. That s why in so many implementations they fail. CRM is about intelligence gathering. You can t buy it, you build it. If you gather intelligence over time, it will guide actions that make outcomes self-fulfilling. CRM is customisable; you need to tailor the system to suit your business. Most systems will address about 70% of your requirements out-of-the-box. But the rest is up to you. Like the intelligence it will develop over time. The key to a successful CRM implementation is being able to develop the system in real-time. If you want to gather a particular piece of intelligence you need to be able to specify it, and see that new field in the system in hours or days. Don t take IT s or your solution providers excuses about writing code, or changing configurations, its baloney! Customising a system to gather intelligence is simple and should be instant. So, a successful CRM system is one that gathers intelligence and is easily customisable? Yes, but it is only one half of the equation. Once you start gathering intelligence you then need to be able to see that information in a meaningful way so that you can act upon it. Tactically at a field level (read sales team, call centre, customer service, accounts), you will act on information based on an individual or periodic record level and this will be instantly available in the system with only a need for cognitive analysis. Strategically though, the information takes on a different value, it is looked on as a whole and it will show trends that will confirm and surprise, empowering managers to make sound decisions and give good direction. Access to reviewing the information at a strategic level shouldn t be just for management. If you do that you kill innovation. Strategic information just needs to be secure; you just need to know who s accessing it and what they are looking at.

5 So, a successful CRM system is good at gathering intelligence and the information is accessible by all. So why aren t CRM implementations successful? Management want information to make decisions. This is interpreted by sales that the management want sales information and drive the sales teams to put in all their deal information only. Marketing interpret this information requirement as details about all their campaigns and leads generated. And that s about as far as it gets. Pin pricks of information from sales about a handful of customer current interests and a pile of generic data from marketing, providing no value to the organisation. Sales forecast information is typically 20% accurate and marketing information always looks great when expressed as percentages. CRM systems are unsuccessful because people do not record real information in them! Typical failures are a lack of contact information and incomplete forms. If sales and marketing people use a CRM system purely for sales forecasting and campaign results, they will only put in the minimum amount of customer data relevant to that task. Marketing will register a campaign but will they purchase and import third party data, as the company data is incomplete and unusable. So the CRM system is doing nothing to develop the relationship. CRM systems are successful where all your customer data is continuously and accurately updated. Everything about the relationship needs to be captured. Where there is an intelligence gathering need, then create a data input field and promote the need for the data through a planned campaign. Once data is started to be gathered accurately, burdens are reduced. Management can drill into sales opportunity information without reference to the sales team, (through cadence calls/reviews, etc.). Marketing can start to segment customer data and accurately target campaigns. So, the CRM system is in place for the sales and marketing teams? A CRM system should be in place for every employee in the company. If we all put in our nuggets of information, every user will have a fairly comprehensive view of the customers. Work will become more proactive as actions are taken autonomously on the information provided, rather than seeking explanations prior to actions. One line of information in CRM could save 5 minutes each for two users not having to confer. Suddenly, the CRM application is a knowledge system. Suddenly, customers start to appear more joined up, which enables the company itself to work more joined up.

6 As an example, if Finance can see a Case about a customer satisfaction issue that relates to a sale, which relates to an outstanding invoice. They can see the contacts involved and get their finance contacts to talk to the sales contacts. Potentially you have enabled a resolution to a situation, but at the very least there is understanding! So, a CRM system is for all people in the company, where do we start? A good CRM system has to be based on reliable intelligence. From the outset the user mantra has to be you only get out, what you put in. If your data is poor, so is your intelligence. From the off contact and account data has to be cleaned. Once your contacts and accounts have been verified by your internal teams you can then request an update that will allow your contacts to view and update their own contact records and specify if they wish to opt-out of s and telephone calls. (These Opt-out preferences are only for sales and marketing activities.) From this solid foundation you can start to build a picture. What is the relationship between contacts in an account? Who reports into whom? What is their turnover, number of employees, vendor profiles, etc? What contracts exist between your companies? Building the picture can be a gradual exercise, instilling users to adopt the correct approach in using the system and keeping the information up to date, or you can undertake a dedicated activity with incentives, if you need to achieve a level of information quickly. Once a picture starts to be formed, take user feedback and develop new features they think will be useful. You could create polls on the various ideas, and based on the popularity you will be able to prioritise which features to develop first. Changes should be effected quickly and communicated to remind users of the new features and benefits they should derive from them. When users see action being taken on their suggestions, they will be motivated to continue using the system properly. Remember, the system has to deliver value to ALL users, not just management. Now all users, especially management can start to see a proper picture which you had not envisioned before, of their customer base that will; provoke questions, reveal insights and, prompt actions New value will start to be delivered through clarity of vision about your company, customers and business.

7 Congratulations, you have just successfully implemented a CRM system! What now? Two things are now possible with the system; you can communicate accurately with your customers and record those interactions, and individuals can record their daily interactions. This is where a CRM system can stall. Users need to be clear about the purpose of the system and why they have to use it. The key word here is relationship; we are trying to build our relationships. These are built through knowledge; about knowing what the customer is doing in their business and what ALL departments in your business are doing with customers. Users need to be able to use the system to interact, so it has to be capable of sending s, documents and even making phone calls from. It also needs to be able to record and store information created in other traditional and word processing applications. All this functionality needs to be only one click away, or even a parallel action to normal use. Management are not above the CRM system, they are the captains of it. A CRM system has to be driven from the top with guidance on how to change the systems intelligence to be of greater benefit to the company in developing it relationships with its customers. Whilst management are the drivers of the system, the rank and file of the organisation have to continuously maintain the system with live information about the people and companies upon which the company is so dependent for its revenues. The system needs to become addictive, where each user is dependent on other users information. Each holds information that is unique, but assembled together provides a complete jigsaw picture of each valuable customer. Properly maintained a CRM system becomes a key asset to the company, accessible by all and enabling almost any user to be able to handle any customer enquiry on a 1 st call basis. Users can make customers happy, and that happiness reflects back into the organisation, enhancing an employee s perception of the company they work for, and their own personal well being. As mentioned previously, a well managed CRM system becomes self-fulfilling. Conclusion A CRM system needs to be a companywide solution, used by individuals to record customer interactions in their own unique way, with the combination of these interactions giving a definitive picture of a customer relationship that enables any user to give a superior level of customer service. A CRM system has to be highly adaptive in real time, which records meaningful information that enables the company to perform it activities in an efficient manner and provides a dashboard of information allowing sound decisions and planning actions to be made. A CRM system is a living source of information that has to be continuously fed and maintained to produce a complete picture for all that view it, and from whatever perspective.

8 It is important to be aware of the Data Protection Act 1998 relative to your CRM systems. We have consistently talked about the accuracy of the information contained within the system. This is particularly important when recording information about individuals, and where that information can be processed and decisions made. Comments made about individuals that can be used in decision making processes also make that information relevant for information requests under the Data Protection Act. It is highly recommended that all users of a CRM system are made aware of their obligations in the recording of information about individuals, from your organisations perspective, and the Data Protection Act 1998.

9 About Us cloudfortyseven was founded in 2009 with the specific objective of only providing solutions based on Software-as-a-Service and Cloud computing technologies. We recognised that the traditional business partner business model was too cumbersome and costly for customers requiring cloud-based solutions. Our organisation is orientated to; discovering a clients exact IT environment relative to their interest in a cloud solution, identifying their migration and integration requirements, implementing the solution for the client and providing post migration support services, where required. We don t have to architect solutions for our clients, but we do know how they need to integrate to cloud solutions. Our skills and expertise provide a cost effective method of engaging cloud-based solutions, in a timely manner and getting it right first time. Currently, we provide solutions from the major vendors, Microsoft, IBM, Google and Salesforce.com. So, you can be assured you are subscribing to a solution that is designed, delivered and managed by the market leaders. cloudfortyseven are the partner that can advise you of the most relevant solution that will help you improve your costs, productivity and competitive advantage. Phone: Website: Blog: impliedtechnology.blogspot.com

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