When the results realized with software are disappointing, name changes are an option:
• MRP became ERP
• SFA became CRM
• CRM may be rechristened CEM (Customer Experience Management)
With CRM, customers come first only in the name. Vendors buy CRM to gain control of pipelines, improve forecast accuracy, lower their cost of sales and sell more. CRM results have been mediocre in part due to the hype of what’s in it for buyers. CRM doesn’t manage relationships. The name is misleading.
Adopting the name CEM would further hype software’s role in buying. The critical element in a B2B customer experience is the way an average salesperson sells. While software can suggest offerings that make sense for buyers, the weak link is how these offerings are sold. Research done by Sales Benchmark Index indicates 13% of salespeople generate 87% of the revenue. Superior salespeople are in short supply. Consider that during a dining experience, an inept waiter can compromise an otherwise extraordinary meal.
I’d appreciate your input on any of the following questions:
•Do you agree it’s time to be honest about what SFA/CRM/CEM offers buyers?
•What realistic expectations for software’s role the B2B buying experience should be set?
•What is needed to positively affect B2B customer buying experiences?