|recommend this sitefaqdedicationsite map|
Contents of this newsletter:
1. CRM and major account sellingwhat's the buzz?
How familiar are you with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the role that it can and does play in major account selling? If youre not, and you are in the major account selling game, youd better make a concentrated effort to get up to speed pretty soon. Because the CRM tsunami is rolling in and its a mighty big wave that will sweep a lot of deadwood out in its backwash. Make sure that you and your company ride the wave and not the backwash. Begin to reengineer all of your customer relationship processes especially your major accounts.
Why is CRM (previously known as Sales Force Automation) so important? CRM takes an integrated or holistic approach to customer relationships. It synthesizes (under a single software-driven system) the three principal areas of customer focused business processes: sales, marketing and customer service.
Hey, that sounds like the stuff of... Yep. Major account selling. As noted here often in the past, a good major accounts program is almost always staffed with customer teams composed of senior account representatives from each of these three areas:
CRM rolls it all up into a single universe which includes the organization, planning, executing, measuring, and accountability aspects that have been the focus of major account activity. And, most importantly, it enhances each of them individually by integrating and automating all three into a single interlocking, measurable system.
CRM does for the sales, marketing and customer service functions in 1999 what the spreadsheet did for accounting in the early 1980s. It doesnt discover or invent new things to do but rather streamlines and optimizes the way they have been handled (or mishandled) individually in the past.
Back in pre-historic times (the 1970s) there was a popular expression that highlighted this lack of cohesion: "Marketing doesnt talk to sales, sales thinks customer service exists to do its dirty work, and customer service thinks that customers who call are a bunch of disgruntled troublemakers." In compartmentalized silos each was able to insulate itself and "ping pong" responsibility for the absence of customer satisfaction. With CRM, the silos have been detonated. Everybody plays the game out in the open, together. Customer focused and customer driven and most of all, accountable!
The business improvement process that results in successful implementation of CRM is so significant that it provides those who make it with that elusive and infamous benefit of "competitive advantage." The folks who do it well are going to beat the socks off of the folks who do it poorly or dont do it at all.
There is a high profile consultant by the name of Jim Dickie in the CRM space that best summarizes the situation with regard to what you do about CRM. He says, "Its not easy. Its not cheap. And its not optional."
I have my own words of wisdom on the subject. Before you "CRM" your major account selling process, make certain that you have a major account selling process.
Valuable links on CRM:
2. Sales and Field Force Automation Magazine
The mother lode of CRM. The definitive monthly magazine online.
3. DCI's CRM conferences and exhibits
DCI has led the pack for years in producing major conferences, exhibits, and events
4. C3i white paper
Cost/benefit analysis for technology enabled selling
Free discussion list on aspects of CRM from Bob
Thompson of Front Line Solutions
Also, from Front Line Solutions, a CRM survey
6. Computerworldquick study
Multiple aspects of technology enabled selling.
Major Accounts Bulletin archives: Subscribe to the Major Accounts Bulletin (if you
Subscribe to the Major Accounts Bulletin (if you don't already)
All contents. Copyrightę1997-1999, Mentor Associates, Inc.
e-mail: Jack Carroll, Webmaster