One reason that’s not often cited but that might be a major cause for concern is the focus of the CRM system after it has been implemented. Too often, organizations focus heavily on numbers and results when in fact, the customer should be the main focus of the CRM system. Focusing on the wrong place can result in a CRM system that’s ineffective and useless to the sales staff.
Numbers Are Important But…
Metrics don’t make the world go ‘round, but they do make it easier to measure how quickly the world moves, how much change occurs from day to day, and what the impact of all that movement might be. The problem with focusing too closely on metrics is that people often lose perspective, with the goal becoming a fuzzy shape in the background. The metric becomes what’s important rather than the success of whatever efforts are being undertaken.
To translate that into the effectiveness of a CRM system, consider this. If a salesperson opens his or her CRM dashboard to consider which customers to contact, that salesperson may be presented with one of two options: which customers he or she should focus on from a monetary perspective or which customers he or she should focus on from a relationship perspective.
Focusing solely on the monetary perspective shows the salesperson which customers have made purchases, what those purchases are, and how long it has been since the last purchase. Focusing on the relationship status might show the salesperson needs-based information from previous conversations with the customer. The difference in the information changes the way the salesperson approaches the customer.
Customers Want Vendors That Care
The difference between the two focuses can take customer relationships to a whole new level. Customers want vendors that care enough to focus on their needs, not just on meeting corporate quotas. Customers want to be more than a number or an entry in an accounting ledger. That’s where having a CRM system focused on the right metrics and information can make all the difference.
When salespeople view customers as people and not as a means of meeting a required quota, they’re more likely to work toward making the relationships better. The CRM system that puts that information front and center makes it possible for sales staff to focus on the customer. Quotas are important—it’s necessary to measure efforts to ensure that sales staff aren’t spinning their wheels in unproductive activity—but quotas should come secondary to meeting the needs of the customer. The organization that can focus its CRM system on what matters—the customer—will give sales staff the tools needed to improve customer relationships, making it easier to meet quotas.
Focus on the right metrics—the metrics that improve customer metrics. Organizations that can do that will have CRM systems that are effective and sales staff who know how to keep customers happy.