Revitalizing a CRM Strategy

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"We are succeeding, and there is effectiveness to [SFA] and business intelligence," The Yankee Group CRM Program Manager Sheryl Kingstone said during a recent presentation on using CRM to improve business performance. "But there's a lot of negativeness around CRM, which is frustrating, because if you ask [executives] what they're trying to do with their customer base, it's all really about being customer-centric. "The shortcoming of CRM was that there was too much M [management]. It was all very management-level, it didn't go out to the employee, and the relationship was very limited, it didn't provide in-context information that would enhance the relationship." Kingstone discussed the importance of using enterprisewide analytics to bring the cross-discipline insight needed to successfully execute integrated sales, service, and marketing plans. "If you don't have integrated insight, you can't answer the question of which processes [lead to] the most profitable customer." In a year when some CRM providers have become Wall Street darlings, why is there any concern about the state of CRM? "There is still disillusionment, because [enterprises] haven't been able to optimize customer interaction at the point of contact," Kingstone told CRM magazine. True change to customer-centric thinking can only come about when businesses structure their KPIs around customer lifecycles. "[Companies] are still looking at KPIs by individual silos, and sometimes even the silos aren't measuring the right KPIs," she said. "A sales-driven organization [may] just be looking at revenue per salesperson or ramp-up time, but do they look at the average number of calls to close a deal or the presentations per proposal? There may be some best practices, and that information needs to be fed back to marketing."
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