Marketing Side

ABC’s Of CRM Success: J-L

So Catch This…

The ABC’s of CRM: J-L

Jocular, Kinetic, and Lethargy

Whether you are planning net new CRM installation, or an upgrade to the latest release of your existing CRM products, our ABC’s of planning and executing your implementation/upgrade will apply.

With the ProfessionalCRM “ABC’s of CRM” series, we have fun with words.  This installment highlights J, K, and L: We will poke fun at the jocular state of many, so called, ‘CRM systems’ today. If you are stuck with a CRM that doesn’t work with your firm: get kinetic, and make a move. Lethargy is your enemy in this case. Don’t be satisfied with an unsatisfactory CRM system. Being lethargic, will never lead to a kinetic move in the right direction. You will get out of your CRM system, what you put into it.

Jocular (adjective):

given to, characterized by, intended for, or suited to joking or jesting; waggish; facetious: jocular remarks about reality TV “stars.”

Jocular

For our purpose let’s face it many of today’s professional service CRM systems, if you define them on true CRM system terms, are a joke.  What started out as a strategic purchase intended for: solving contact management issues, providing relationship intelligence and supporting business development activities, has devolved into an overly expensive, manually staffed rolodex/contact database with out of date data, poor utilization and as one of our clients characterized her prior system as “an expensive label maker.”

If this characterization fits for your firm, don’t be the butt of the CRM joke.  There is a path to success with the right product, a viable plan and supporting CRM success tactics.  “Yes Virginia[1], there is a successful professional service firm CRM installation.”

Kinetic (adjective):

pertaining to motion, caused by motion, characterized by movement.  Leaving your failed CRM product behind would be a kinetic activity.

For our purpose I talk to firms every day and,  although they completely understand Einstein’s definition of insanity, they continue investing in the failed CRM Implementations/products. Investing in the human resources required to maintain it, the drag it places on staying current with other technologies, et al: all based on the excuse of past investment (this must be looked at as sunk costs). So stop with the insanity; realize past investments in failed products must be looked at as sunk costs, and get Kinetic: make a move.

As leaders in our firms, we must challenge the status quo, and in that challenge, take the time to truly make a business case that includes not just the cost of software and services to implement, but ALL the associated costs; real $$$, and also human resource waste. When talking Human resource waste, I am referring to the person/people, who are well paid to do mind numbing tasks that any CRM worth its salt will have automated.  These folks would give their right arm to actually perform strategic marketing tasks. It is your revenue generators (partners and associates and their support staff as well.  Just ask them!)

Getting off my soap box now…  Probably 80% of the firms with existing CRM system should be evaluating the market to understand if there are better systems available.  The past is the past. Sunk costs, are just that; forget about them.  Focus on your needs and available ROI in current marketing/business development technology.

Lethargy (noun):

Lethargy

the quality or state of being drowsy and dull, listless and non-energetic, or indifferent and lazy; apathetic or sluggish inactivity.

For our purpose diametrically opposed to kinetic energy, lethargy is rampant in professional service firms CRM projects, where apathy abounds.  Mentioned above and throughout this document are many discussion points about the energy required and the need for the user base to be active, not settling for the lack of success.  You will get out of your CRM project what you put into it.  Too many firms simply refer to CRM success in professional services as a locution that produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect.

So get out in the lead and make it happen! 

Catch Ya Later…

[1] I was informed by my proofreader that I am showing my age, for context you may get a history lesson here…  http://www.newseum.org/exhibits/online/yes-virginia/

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