CRM Implementation – Part 2 – Automation


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In my previous article, CRM Implementation – Part 1 – Process Evaluation, I addressed the importance of understanding and defining your existing customer facing processes and being able to define and track the results of those processes.

Process Evaluation is capturing the “what is” of our tactical daily business. Through that process evaluation you hopefully found a few areas in your processes that needed some fine tuning and created greater efficiencies for your organization. Perhaps, you were able to define to someone in the company who does the same thing every day without question, why they do what they do because you formally defined the expected result of one of your company’s processes. Perhaps defining the process and the expected result forced you to add some very valuable steps that will allow you to quantify your efforts in the future.

In the article previously mentioned we captured the reality of “what is”. In this article we will talk more about “what can be”. If you followed the simplistic, yet effective, recommendations of my previous article you created a flow chart style documentation of your customer facing processes. You may have used sticky notes on a wall, or a software program such as Visio, or maybe you used pencil and paper (with a large eraser nearby). If you have documented your process flow and by doing so created efficiencies in your organization, then congratulations! You are far ahead of a lot of companies by having completed that exercise. There is a second part to this process evaluation assignment however. Step two is about defining places where automation can further improve your processes and efficiencies.

Gather the same individuals that were needed for the definition and evaluation exercise and ask them this question:

Can the process be improved and be more efficient by automating steps?

Expand on that question. Dig deep. Ask questions like…”If we could send an auto email here, what would happen?”, or “If the receipt of document X created the next step to happen automatically, what would the process look like?” Think big and think efficient. Sometimes I even tell people (if they are not the imaginative types), to pretend magic is a possibility. Where would you wave the magic wand?

This is where CRM software comes into play. CRM software can automate many steps in a process (and track ALL the steps in a process) making it even more efficient that you can imagine today. That’s why it’s important to think outside the box.

You will need to imagine the ability to see all steps of the process simultaneously and how that ability would impact not only the steps of the process today but your decision making ability along the way. How would that decision (or even the ability to make it) impact the next step. The next thing you know, you will begin adding more valuable services, features and benefits to your customer facing processes because you can do it without adding resources, while simultaneously quantifying the results of doing so. That my friends is where the real magic happens.

Automating as many steps in a tactical work process as possible free up valuable human resources (the most expensive company resource, by the way) to focus on strictly revenue generating activities while providing them the visibility to manage the tactical with an ease they have not previously experienced.

Use CRM software to transform your business practices and motivate your employees through providing them visibility into the big picture. Demonstrate to them the importance of the single step they take in the bigger picture and ask them to continue to contribute suggestions and ideas to streamline and automate the processes they touch every day!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kym Riedel
Kym Riedel, Sales Director at Resolv, Inc., is responsible for business development, working with current customers on new projects and identifying companies that might need a new partner to help maximize their CRM investment.Prior to joining Resolv, Kym worked for manufactured consumer products companies in both the crafting and food industries. Kym has worked at internationally branded companies including ColorbÖk, Fiskars and Rondele Specialty Foods where she held marketing management and sales account management positions.Kym has Bachelor degrees in both marketing and business management.


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