CRM “Customer Relationship Management” is a business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase revenue, through streamlined processes and improved customer satisfaction. It provides a holistic view of the customer, enabling the sales/customer service teams to make informed decisions.
CRM software has evolved through the need to put the customer at the centre of the strategy. Once the strategy has been defined, typically CRM “products” such as SalesForce.com or Microsoft Dynamics are introduced.
These “horizontal” products are customised throughout the implementation. This process is often underestimated, resulting in poor integration with internal systems and manual or duplicated processes.
For a CRM strategy to succeed it requires companywide user adoption; which will only happen if the implementation is successful, delivering immediate benefit to the user.
In the media industry there are additional complexities. The SOP “Sales Order Processing Systems” are very complex, particularly advertising. These complexities include the management of customers, copy, orders, packages, building advertising, managing materials, planning, billing and AR.
The answer is not to replicate the SOP functionality in the CRM, but instead create a “mashup”. Elements of user interface from two or more solutions are combined into one consolidated user interface.
For example, by embedding a leading browser based advertising solution in a leading CRM solution, you provide the user with the benefits of two leading solutions in one GUI “Graphical User Interface”.
This tight integration is possible when both products are built on open standards and adopt SOA “Service Oriented Architecture”.
Sales data can be combined from multiple SOP’s and displayed on a dashboard, providing a real-time overview of the business.
It is important to observe key performance indicators throughout the implementation to enable successful process change.
With an increased likelihood that there will be user adoption, it will be possible to realise the CRM business strategy.