DSC Tech Library
Customer Relationship Management
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to CRM Vendors and Customer relationship management software and products. Providing customer service is vital to maintaining successful business relationships. Accurate and timely information provided in a professional manner is the key to any business and service operation.
Telemation, our CRM software application, was built on this foundation. But the flexibility to change is just as important in this dynamic business environment.
Telemation call center software was designed with this concept from the very beginning.
That is why so many call center managers, with unique and changing requirements, have chosen and continue to use Telemation CRM software as their solution.
Our Telemation CRM solution is ideally suited for call center service bureaus.
The following is an article relating to the CRM industry.
CRM, Success, and Best Practices (CRM and Success)
By: Glen S. Petersen, GSP & Associates, Inc.
CRM and Success
Rather than trying to craft still another definition for CRM, the following statements will describe its attributes:
One could dwell on comparing and contrasting this definition format versus literally hundreds of others that have been offered over the years. However, the purpose here is to provide a definition that will help to position statistically-based research that clearly defines the success and the best practices that are highly correlated with achieving success.
- CRM, from a user interface perspective, offers a series of software applications that address the needs of customer facing functions.
- From a management standpoint, CRM provides a database and analytical applications that facilitate the creation of a 360 degree view of each customer plus the ability to identify patterns of behavior that suggest trends and relationships that guide development of products, services, programs, and policies that leverage financial performance.
- CRM introduces change into the organization through the introduction of a customer perspective that embraces the metrics of customer profitability and lifetime value.
- Success is ultimately defined as ROI. There is likely to be intangible benefits involved but if CRM is truly an operational strategy, then ROI should not be problematic to measure.
The most recent study of this nature was conducted by IBM Business Consulting Services. A summary of this study was published in Customer Relationship Management magazine (July 2004). The study identified five key drivers of CRM success:
The IBM teamís claim is that focusing on these five factors can boost the success rate from 15 to 80 percent.
- CRM strategy and value proposition development
- Budget process management
- Change management
- Process change
The researchers at CRMGuru.com have conducted a similar study and published a report titled The Blueprint For CRM Success. This study identified correlations between user organization approach and financial results. The key drivers (in order of impact) included
The study also emphasized four items that did not predict success:
- Pursuit of a customer centric strategy
- Line level training and support
- Managing organizational change
- The statistical measurement of goals
Lest the reader interpret these results as implying that discipline in vendor selection and quality of implementation are unimportant, what the researchers are suggesting is that these factors are necessary but not sufficient to achieve success. The reference to culture change is that the organization needs to start moving toward the customer focus before it starts implementing CRM. In other words, the direction precedes the deployment of technology; in this context, the technology is viewed as an enabler and not the focus.
- Brand of software
- Technology related steps
- Intensive process reengineering
- Culture change
The earliest research of this nature was conducted in Europe by QCi, a consulting and research organization that is now a division of Ogilvy One Worldwide. QCiís approach was to use a panel of independent experts to assess the business performance of each organization it studied and compare this impact with a broad set of practices that QCi thought were essential to achieving success (financial performance). This analysis was used to create an assessment tool that has a .8 correlation with business performance. Of the various components of QCiís model, the four priorities consist of
Given that the objective of CRM is to improve long-term profitability, these statistically-based studies provide a consistent message to user organizations that wish to be counted on the success side of the CRM ledger:
- The right leadership with clear customer management objectives
- Performance measures that link customer behavior with financial objectives
- Sensible (balanced) customer management practices
- Infrastructure and processes that support these priorities
These results should not really come as a surprise. Are we really so naÔve to think that the deployment of a highly sophisticated and costly set of applications is going to suddenly lead to an energized and super competitive organization? Unfortunately, CRM has been positioned and sold as a technology and senior management many times views the initiative as simply a deployment of a group of applications. Project managers are given the instructions to implement and another company gets logged on the wrong side of the ledger. The problem is that senior management does not recognize its role relative to success and project management people feel ill-equipped to seek the level of leadership and engagement that are required for success.
- Having a clear strategy and goals are top priorities. This is the domain of senior management.
- Allocation of appropriate resources for support and training of users is key. If CRM is approached as an essential strategy with clear performance goals, then committing to proper levels of user support is a lesser issue.
- Change management is an essential component of CRM. However, the change in focus should precede the deployment. CRM must be positioned as a means to an end and not an end unto itself.
- Defining success is essential to the governance of the initiative and maintaining focus on the right issues.
Defining a New Set of Best Practices
One answer to this dilemma is to use best practices in an assessment context to interact with senior management and thereby discover the need for their leadership and involvement. This article is the first installment of a two-part series that will describe how to assess the position of the organization regardless of its position relative to the deployment of CRM.
The next part of this article will introduce the reader to the framework for the model and will define its sections.
It will include the assessment and discuss scoring. This set of articles will arm the reader with the tools required to get senior management properly engaged in the initiative and thereby significantly raise the potential for success.
About GSP & Associates
GSP & Associates, Inc. is a consultancy that is dedicated to helping user organizations to
leverage their investment in CRM related tools. The company provides expertise in the strategic
and operational application of CRM tools, sales tools, sales process modeling, and business case
development and ROI analysis.
About The Author
Glen S. Petersen is an internationally recognized speaker, writer,
practitioner, and thought leader in the Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) and e-Business industries. Mr. Petersen has
held senior level management positions with systems integration and
end user organizations. As a visionary and early adopter of Sales
Force Automation (SFA), in 1986 Mr. Petersen led one of the first
successful national implementations of SFA in the United States.
Realizing the tremendous future of this new technology,
Mr. Petersen joined a SFA software start-up company in 1988 and had the pleasure of working
with many of the pioneering organizations that deployed sales force automation at a time when
most organizations were unaware of its existence. In 1991, Mr. Petersen left the vendor
community to do consulting. This experience combined with his background in operational and
strategic planning places Mr. Petersen in a unique position to advise and assist clients in this
challenging area of change management and technology integration. During this period, Mr.
Petersen has developed a number of proprietary facilitation techniques, which help organizations
to better understand the potential of these technologies, and how to rally the organization around
a single threaded, phased implementation approach. Prior to founding GSP & Associates, Mr.
Petersen was Senior Vice President at ONE, Inc. and Ameridata, a $1.3B provider of hardware,
software, and services. In these positions, Mr. Petersen sold and directed operational strategy
engagements and helped major corporations articulate and justify their CRM and e-Business
Mr. Petersen is the author of six books:
Mr. Petersen can be reached at 505-771-1956 or email@example.com
- High-Impact Sales Force Automation: A Strategic Perspective
- CRMS: ROI & Results Measurement
- CRM Leadership and Alignment in a Customer Centric World
- ROI: Building the CRM Business Case
- CRM Best Practices: Self Assessment
- Making CRM An Operational Reality