Where's the ROI in your CRM? It's in the process

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I’m down to the last chapter of The Commonwealth of Self Interest: Customer Engagement, Business Benefit and then have some editing to do. But I want to make sure that you keep getting some good reading in while I finish this. A couple of months ago at CRM Magazine’s CRM Evolution Conference, I ran across a guy named Brian Gardner who was speaking on sales process at the event. I loved what he was saying about it and I thought, “hmmm, it would be smart to get this guy in front of the people who read my stuff so they can either learn something about how to think about contemporary sales process OR if they are among my super rock star type readers, get a refresher course from a guy who just knows. Brian not only can write but he’s got some cred: He’s the founder and lead evangelist of SalesProcess360, which helps companies get ROI from CRM. He is also the author of ROI from CRM: It’s About Sales Process, Not Just Technology, available from MDM.com and Amazon. Brian’s got more than 25 years in sales management and CRM.

One thing, though: What he calls CRM is what I call Sales Process Automation (SFA). My CRM has three pillars — sales, marketing, customer service. Since most of you know that about me, know that what he is referring to in my vernacular is SFA.

Take it away, my good man!

CRM is Not a Four-Letter Word

Why after the past 18 years of working with companies on CRM does it still feel like CRM is considered a four-letter word? It is often viewed as a curse throughout a company…

  • Outside sales (“Big Brother is going to micro-manage me.”)
  • Inside sales (“I don’t have time to log information into this other system.”)
  • Management (“I know I need this but I am tired of fighting the team to get them to use it.”)
  • Marketing (“If only I could be tied to the sales team with the system…”)
  • IT (“It’s just another system to manage.”)

When I give talks on CRM and sales process, I usually start off with two simple questions.