CRM and the Contact Manager

Written By: Dave Packard

from August 27, 2012

It is not often that you leave a four hour meeting feeling excited, but that is exactly what I experienced recently during a phase 1 implementation for CRM 2011. This customer was upgrading from a contact management system to CRM.

The meeting agenda was simple: cover the Sales module based on the customer’s business process and dive into basic customizations. We covered those topics but we also had more than a few diversions into other areas of CRM. With comments like “I didn’t know CRM could do that?” and “That is part of CRM out-of-the-box!” it is easy to be excited about what CRM can do.

Yes, CRM does hold contacts and if that is all it did we should discard our laptops, tablets and smartphones and buy the largest Rolodex we could find. But it is everything else CRM does that makes it a necessary tool for businesses today.

CRM captures the complete picture. Sales, Marketing and Customer Service can use one system to record all the sales calls, marketing campaigns and support cases that happen with a customer. Your front lines of communication can talk to each other without having a weekly three hour meeting.

Simply open a customer record. Sales, Marketing and Customer Service are all there. This is the holistic view of your company’s interaction with this customer. This is one of the greatest benefits of CRM.

You can track all your sales opportunities, calculate the ROI on your campaigns, and record all the support issues that arise. Add in reporting, sales forecasting, customization, process automation, and mobility and this is how you can leave a four hour business meeting and feel like you just left a rock concert.

(Ok, it wasn’t quite like a rock concert, but you get the picture.)