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What's Happening Behind The Scenes May Be Holding Your Company Back!

I had a very interesting conversation with a business acquaintance about the importance of understanding and aligning our business process with CRM.  He then asked me a question which I had to ponder on for a moment.  “How many companies have you interacted with that actually know and have mapped out their processes?”  I sat back for a minute to think about the past conversations that I have had with business executives and realized that I have seen companies that have nothing, to those that have created complete business processes and implemented BPM (Business Process Management) strategies. 

But the truth is, in my experience, there is a significant number that do not have a business process that is shared internally, followed and used to create automated workflows to improve productivity, increase sales and strengthen customer relationships.  I remember another conversation where the VP of Sales and I started to discuss the importance of business processes when he said, “We don’t have one, it’s not a priority and talking “process” to our sales team would be non-productive.  It is not their focus”.  After a while, he did back pedal a bit and said, “Well, realistically, we probably do have a process.  We follow the same routine or procedure from lead generation to sales, through to customer support but, to start pushing it would be like sticking a needle in our sales team’s eyes”. 

I might be exaggerating a bit to make a point, but at the end of the day, if you do not conduct business in a consistent, cost-effective, productive manner internally, how in the world is a customer going to know what to expect from you?  And how are you going to identify how to improve your business and drive it forward?  You may think, “We are moving along just fine, thank you very much”. But how do you know?  It’s simple.  If you don’t measure and manage, you don’t!  You may be generating revenue but do you really know how much money you are leaving on the table?

Many companies are using CRM as an extension to Contact Management but have not spent the time to take it to the next level.  Most good CRM solutions offer a simple means to automate workflows and track its effectiveness.  With many, you can create a simple, BPM system to start measuring. 

There are many tools and resources you can use to start building your roadmap to CRM success.  Here are a few tips:
  1. Start with a pencil and paper and talk with key stakeholders:  your team and your customers.  You will find that they can sometimes give you the best insight on where you stand, and, give you some great ideas on how to improve things.
  2. Collaborate, share and make everyone feel that they are an important part of this building process. 
  3. An independent CRM business consultant can be a great asset.  Not only do they have the expertise, but they can bring an unbiased approach and dig out information that may not normally be exposed. 
  4. Use a flowchart tool such as MS Visio or an on-line BPM application like those developed by Lombardi.  They can be very useful in creating and modifying for continual improvement.
  5. Implement and leverage a CRM solution.  It will be the glue that holds it all together.

Do you think it is important to have a business process?  Read a case study from BNET, "Developing a "best in class" business process management system".

For more information on how you can build a Best-In-Class CRM solution to improve productivity, increase sales and strengthen customer relationships, contact CRM Connect at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it