Required Reading: To Lead, Know Where to Go
Establish executive buy-in and find a champion of change--two very important pieces of advice companies should follow when implementing and/or managing a CRM system. To that end, companies need and want authentic leaders who know where the organization needs to go and how to convince employees to follow them. In Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?
Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones of the London Business School draw from more than 25 years of research and consulting work to present the merits of authentic business leaders. CRM's Colin Beasty spoke with Goffee and Jones about their latest book and how it relates to good CRM.
In the book you state that leaders must sharpen their situation awareness. What do you mean by that?
Effective leaders understand that there are no universals, no guaranteed ways of ensuring their leadership impact. Being sensitive to certain perspectives enables leaders to detect which way the wind is blowing. Good leaders have good situation sensing and are adept at sensing the dynamics at work in different situations. A perfect example of that is a company's IT department. Ensuring end user buy-in on IT projects, such as CRM, can be difficult. Leaders need to stay in touch with these projects. They can have a far-reaching impact on both the company and their employees.
You say one way to ensure situation awareness is for executives to find sources of honest feedback. Why is that?
To be honest, it can be lonely at the top for executives. Even worse, managers and other C-levels that report to an executive might not be completely truthful because everybody always wants to report positive news to executives. It is essential, therefore, that leaders have sources of safe, critical, honest information and feedback. Again, that's critical when you're talking about implementing a CRM system. A leader needs to be able to accurately gauge how the project is proceeding to effectively manage any changes that need to be made or buttons pushed to find success.
Other Page Turners:
Charles Green demonstrates in Trust-Based Selling why the sales process is a powerful opportunity to create trust, shows how trust between buyer and seller is created, and explains how both sides can benefit from it. No matter what business is involved--law, advertising, software, or banking--behaving in a trustworthy manner during the sale creates customer trust and enhances the odds of getting the sale.
Stripped of corporate spin, blogs have opened up new lines of communication between businesses and their customers. More than 10,000 new blogs are started daily, according to The New York Times. In Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel explore how blogging has changed the rules of customer communication and reveal how businesses can use blogs to their advantage.
In Loyal for Life, author John Tschohl explains how to take unhappy customers from hell to heaven in 60 seconds or less. Every company, no matter how good its products or services are, makes mistakes. But how a company responds to those mistakes is what separates successful customer service--driven organizations from the rest of corporate America.