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Lessons Learned From Talking With Customers 6 CRM INSIGHTS
W hen it comes to CRM adoption, the dierence between highly successful and simply average organizations is small. Like an Olympic 100-yard sprint, the gap between the companies that end up on the medal stand and those that end up forgotten can come down to a few tiny mistakes. Some mistakes crop up quite often, and we’d like to tackle a few of those errors here. At CustomerTRAX, we learn a lot by speaking with business owners. After a recent peer group discussion, we came away with a set of six insights from companies that are soaring with Handle CRM software. Insight 1: If you can’t explain it, neither can anyone else. The most successful organizations can articulate their reasoning for CRM adoption quickly and clearly. Those companies see CRM as an approach to business, rather than just an application. You’ll never create consensus among your team if your purpose isn’t crystal clear, compelling, and consistent. Insight 2: It’s not an insurance plan. A lot of companies see CRM as a way to protect
increasing the eciency and value of each piece of contact, not raising the raw number of calls. Insight 5: It’s about what you do with information. Information is only powerful when you use it to drive results. Every piece of data you collect should relate back to your purpose for adoption. All the information in the world can’t add value to your business without a plan to use that information to improve processes. Insight 6: CRM is a moving target that should change with your market. Markets change all the time, and your CRM goals should change along with them. Without a willingness to adapt your goals and strategies, you’ll only have old solutions to new problems. You have to spot hurdles as they appear, and develop a strategy to clear them. Ask yourself if your company can apply any of these insights today. The faster you can identify an area for improvement, the faster you can sprint to the nish line in rst place. – Gordon Hilleque
against an employee leaving. While CRM does this, it cannot be your driving reason for implementation. If you’re not using CRM to identify opportunities for improvement, you’re not getting the most out of it. CRM shouldn’t be about limiting the damage from turnover; it should be about growing your business. Insight 3: Do not make ANY assumptions. If you’re not willing to take a hard look at your processes, how do you expect them to improve? If you assume there’s a hole in your sales process, you need the data to back it up. You cannot always take people’s word for what is happening. Look at things rsthand, or you’ll never get the whole picture. Insight 4: Not all things are created equal. Creating more contact is a common goal, often in the form of wanting to see more sales calls. With every contact or call, the objective should be clear, and, ideally, it should provide value to the customer. Without this value, your organization will not be seen dierently than the competition. If you focus on quantity without quality, you will not become more ecient. The goal should be
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THE REPEAT TEST Create Strategies to Improve Work Performance
Every professional has those moments when they can’t seem to focus. No one means to waste time at their job, but it’s often a struggle to climb that hill when you have nomotivation to do so. To get your work done, you need to come up with strategies that prevent you fromwasting precious time in your workday. The repeat test is a great tool to see where you waste time in a day. Using a spreadsheet, make a column of numbers representing the hours of the day that you are awake. Your columnmay start at 6 a.m. and go as late as 11 p.m. After you have created the rst column, create a second column that is considerably wider
tomake themselves more productive by thinking consciously about how they spend their time. Each executive was able to dramatically increase their productivity by cutting desk work by an average of 6 hours a week andmeeting time by an average of 2 hours a week. One executive, Lotta Laitinen, a manager at If, evaluated her time and chose to abandonmeetings and administrative tasks in order to spendmore time supporting her team. It led to a 5 percent increase in sales by her unit over a three-week period!
Exploring the six pillars of CRM adoption, we’ve spoken about process, strategy, and routine. This month, we’ll be taking a look at the fourth pillar: results. This step is crucial for making sure the leadership team of your organization is aligned prior to implementation throughout the entire company. During this process, it’s important to hammer down exactly what you want to achieve, and how you plan to go about achieving it. Organizations that implement CRM less successfully usually think of results in terms of application use. If people put information in the software, they consider it a success. These companies, who we call “trackers,” don’t get the most out of CRM because they fail to relate raw numbers to the impact they have on processes. Exceptional companies, which we call “developers,” focus instead on generating results that actually improve operations. As an example, one goal we often hear companies talk about is increasing customer satisfaction. A noble goal, but not a well-dened one. CRM oers than the rst. At the top of every hour, stop for 1 minute and consider how you spent the last hour. Jot down your notes in the second column next to the appropriate hour. Youmight write, “Department meeting accomplished very little. Twenty people in one room is toomany.” Using this test is a great way to improve your own performance. If you noted that an hour was wasted, you have specic notes as to why. Use your notes tomake changes in your routine so that you can create strategies that allow you to be productive. The technique of evaluating productivity and committing to change is not new, but it has yet to gain popularity. In 2013, Harvard Business Review researchers asked 15 business executives
Try the Repeat Test for a few days to see how it feels for you. At the very least, you will gain immediate insight into the ways that you use your time. If you keep at it, the test will give you a valuable record of how you spent your week, month, or year. THE 6 PILLARS OF CRM ADOPTION
Part 4: Results
the specicity to segment markets and processes, meaning you can select a group of customers or a step in the sales process you hope to better. As you hone the results you want from CRM adoption, you should also reect back on your initial purpose for acquiring CRM software in the rst place. The more closely these goals align, the more relevant your results will be. Before you begin rolling out CRM, now is the time to ask two questions. What is this going to achieve? Howwill you know it’s working? Asking these questions lays bare just howmuch results and purpose go hand in hand. Holding a meeting with the entire leadership teamof your organization is a great way tomake sure everyone is on the same page. Without consensus from the top down, you can never expect a full buy-in from your sta. It’s obvious that you begin CRM implementation with the hope of getting results. These results, though, have to be specic to your company, and they have to relate to your goals. Without that synergy, successful adoption will be an uphill battle.
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MAKE A PERFECT MATCH Automated Trade Matching in Handle
requests. You can input ranges for hours, price, year, and horsepower based on what a customer desires. Category, manufacturer, model, and condition can also be specied. Criteria can be left blank in order to yield a wider variety of matches. The system is exible enough to provide options for customers, while still allowing enough specicity that you won’t waste time trying to t a square peg into a round hole. If a customer’s needs change, criteria can be updated on the y. Once a request is created, matches are found by pairing customers looking to sell with those wanting to buy. When a potential quote meets the request criteria, you can propose a match. If it’s accepted, you can move onto fullling the request. With Handle’s automated trade matching, your organization will become a used equipment matchmaker with ease.
hand that fullls all of their needs. Finding the product they are looking for can be the dierence between a satised customer and losing their business to a competitor. But how will you know when the opportunity for a potential sale presents itself weeks or months after the initial customer request? Here at CustomerTRAX, we are making the sales process easier for businesses and customers. The automated trade-matching tool in Handle is our latest innovation in facilitating used equipment transactions. The trade-matching tool allows you to log in the specic details of a customer’s request and be alerted to parties selling equipment that meets their needs. Creating the search criteria will allow you to develop a detailed prole of customer
Dealing in used equipment often means finding the right fit for a specific customer. When someone is in the market for a product, they often have a set of criteria they are hoping to meet. Invariably, there will be instances when you don’t have an item on
ON US! HAVE A LAUGH
SIMPLE SUMMER Brown Butter and Corn Pasta
Ingredients There are a lot more ways to enjoy fresh summer corn than just on the cob. Try this simple, delicious pasta dish and up your summer game!
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 medium ears corn
¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 pound pasta
6 tablespoons butter
heat to medium, add corn, and cook about 2 minutes, or until corn is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add corn mixture, Parmesan, basil, and reserved cooking water. Stir until combined and adjust seasonings as needed. Enjoy!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut kernels o ears of corn; set aside. Cook pasta according to package instructions and reserve ¼ cup cooking water. While pasta cooks, melt butter on medium- high in 3-quart saucepan. Cook 3-4 minutes, swirling frequently, until browned and very fragrant. Reduce
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6 CRM Insights
The Repeat Test
The Fourth Pillar of CRM Adoption
Used Equipment Matchmaking
Simple Summer Brown Butter and Corn Pasta
Goofy, or Genius?
GOOFY, OR GENIUS?
When you see a “mad scientist” on TV, chances are the character is based at least a little on Nikola Tesla. Tesla was an inventor and engineer who worked around the turn of the last century, and he was a brilliant — if kooky — man. Although Tesla is known for his pioneering work in many fields, his best- known invention is the one that bears his name: the Tesla coil. Originally, Tesla developed his coil while working on a “wireless” lighting system; the idea was to build a device that could deliver power to gas light bulbs (like the fluorescent lights in your office) without any wires at all. Although other researchers were working on the same technology at the same time, Tesla was the first to see practical applications and patent his design. The Tesla coil did work, but it had some serious drawbacks. The biggest one was efficiency; Tesla coils use a lot more electricity to do the same work as electrical wiring does.
and generate electron winds, which is pretty nifty. If you want to see Nikola Tesla’s coil in action, head to YouTube. You can also call around to see if there’s a coil at a museum near you.
Tesla claimed that in theory a coil could become self-sustaining, but neither he nor anyone else was able to build one that was. Even if coils were more efficient, though, there was still the problem of range — Tesla
was never able to wirelessly transmit electricity more than a few feet, which is sort of a problem if you’re trying to light a house. Although Tesla’s coil technology is still used in a few modern applications, they’re primarily educational tools these days. Tesla coils demonstrate neat electrical principles and can be built to shoot lightning bolts
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