Anyone who is a parent (or has friends who are parents) surely has heard stories regarding the good and sometimes difficult parts involved with raising a child, and being responsible for the life of another human being. It’s a daunting task, no doubt. One gives birth to life and then instinctually nurtures their offspring until the child becomes old enough to stand on their own two feet in the world and make their own decisions. Until that point, a parent or guardian is absolutely necessary to take care of the child.
When I think about CRM, I like to use the analogy of a child. After the initial deployment, a new CRM system is in many ways like a newborn, unable to manage or take care of itself, no matter how much money one spends on baby food, toys and cute little outfits. The fact remains that the child is dependent on its parents to provide that which will sustain its life. CRM works the same way. If you do not dedicate a great deal of time and energy to the CRM process, it won’t be able to grow into a valuable source of information and business intelligence. A child alone in the world cannot take care of itself, and neither can a CRM.
CRM software can be a precious resource when utilized correctly. It is a tool that:
Allows a flow of information about business relationships to become Leads
These Leads in turn become Opportunities
Opportunities turn into Sales and finally, satisfied clients
In order for this to happen, someone in your organization, perhaps someone who is willing to act as the CRM Guardian, needs to take initiative and make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the processes involved in utilizing the CRM system. With so much valuable business intelligence being gathered, it would be a shame to allow it to fall into disarray.
The designated CRM “Mama” (or “Papa”) must be willing to ensure that the database is primed and ready for immediate action. This person must also be on top of when processes need to be kicked into high gear for marketing – to ensure that no customer is without a “next step” by the designated Account Manager or representative. In addition to this, the CRM Manager should be on the lookout for individuals who aren’t pulling their weight and be willing and able to give them a push in the right direction if need be.
In a sense, CRM can help to turn an organization or business into a cohesive unit, like a family, by providing the infrastructure necessary to raise the CRM efforts from infancy to its glorious days of giving back to those who gave so much to it. Continuing with my analogy, CRM is like a child that must be treated with care. You’ll need a plan for how to raise and care for your CRM system, as well as provide a nurturing environment that is conducive to allowing its growth into a mature and dependable ally.