CRM is Not Software

September 12, 2017 Jennifer Wyne

Recently, I did an hour and a half long demonstration of our CRM software, PipelineDeals. By all standards, software demonstrations should be short and to the point. The longer you talk through your platform, your message gets diluted, bugs inevitably crop up, and eyes (or ears) glaze over. They should most certainly NOT be an hour and a half long – that’s three times as long as my target time for most demos.

The demo drug on because the prospect kept pushing back; he was from the old-school and thought CRM software was too much work. Too much data entry, it’s a pain in the butt, and his salespeople didn’t need it! He didn’t know anyone that thought much of that new-fangled software, but his employees kept bugging him about it.

Every five minutes or so, I would allude back to his points – “You’re right, John. This is extra work. Here’s the steps it’s going to take…”, in an attempt to acknowledge his frustration until I could come up with a decent way to address it.

Finally, John asks his team, “Alright guys, what do you think? Will it be a pain in the butt or will it be worth it?” One of his team members chimed in – he had to pull info from four different sources currently, having it in one place would make his life, and interactions with clients, easier.

When he mentioned his clients, a lightbulb went off in my head. I won’t call it an epiphany, to save the pretentiousness, but something happened that made me connect the very obvious dots.

CRM is not software. It’s not the list of vendors that are engaged in an arms race of features and new AI enhancements. It’s a philosophy of doing business: Customer Relationship Management. Companies were executing on this philosophy prior to software existing; software just happens to make that execution a lot easier for the businesses that are motivated to improve the health of their customer relationships.

To that end, CRM initiatives are not about making a salesperson’s life easier. It’s also not about providing pretty charts to executives. If they can do that, too, great, but CRM initiatives should focus on monitoring and improving the health of your business relationships with your customers – prospective or current.

Like any relationship, that will sometimes require extra work. Just like in other relationships, however, the extra work is almost always worth the effort. It’s appreciated and reciprocated.

So, as a salesperson or other user of a CRM software, the next time you feel like it’s just a lot of work for nothing, think of your relationship with your customers without it. That’s who pays the bills, after all. Delivering them better service is worth a little more work, wouldn’t you agree?

Today’s post is by guest author, Luke Floyd, Strategic Account Executive for PipelineDeals, a customer relationship management and sales CRM software to organize, track, and manage your deals, leads, and contacts.

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