CRM is Better Than Water Cooler Chit Chat


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You are standing at the water cooler at work, making chit chat about what you did last weekend when the conversation slowly turns to work related topics. You find out, standing at the water cooler, the company has received knowledge about which new products a key account will be accepting . This information has an extreme impact on your day to day priorities. A new product prototype that you were responsible for developing was a key component in the presentation. You had been anxiously waiting to hear if it had been accepted, because the future development of that product were hinging on the acceptance of it by a key account as was what you would be focusing time and energy on in the upcoming months. You aren’t even breathing as this particular water cooler story is told.

“They want it?” you say, excited and a little scared. “When did we hear?” You find out the long awaited decision finally came through in the early part of last week, and that they want the product immediately. Of course they do. “Last week?” you say, “As in, we found out a week ago that they want this product right away?” You are looking dumbfounded at the sales person, who is still standing there with a large grin on his face and his chest all expanded with pride. “You realize that was a prototype you presented? You know the product doesn’t actually exist yet, right?”

That did it. The smile is gone and the chest deflates like a balloon with a gaping leak. That is when the excitement really starts. Why didn’t the salesperson know it was a prototype? Why didn’t the sales person tell product development the moment he received word the product had been accepted? Marketing had given him detailed sales materials, so he had every right to assume the product was already in inventory, right? Why did Marketing create the sell sheet already if it was still in prototype phase? Is it being manufactured overseas? How long is it going to take to get here? Oh no! How much will air freight be coming from overseas? This is a nightmare! This is a key account, we HAVE to hit the agreed upon delivery date!

As you run (literally) back to your desk to try to find answers to some of these questions while simultaneously expediting the development and shipment of this product, a thought creeps into your head. When exactly would have I found out about this if I hadn’t happened to be standing at the water cooler at that exact moment? Seriously?! The communication in this office is REALLY messed up!

Does this saga sound familiar? Who needs reality television, right? Real life is SO much more exciting! Only in real life reality, nobody wants THIS kind of drama, do they?

It really doesn’t have to be this way. CRM software provides the single platform for multiple departments to share information about key accounts and projects in a live environment. All of the communication gaps that led to this predicament could have been avoided through the use of CRM software. It is a single location for all customer facing information in an organization. Information will no longer exist in department silo’s. Individuals across the organization can make daily tactical decisions based on solid information instead of speculation. Can you imagine how empowering that would be?

In a situation like this it is not uncommon for a company, after the fire has been put out, to have a meeting. In this meeting everyone will be expected to take accountability for their part in the communication breakdown and then everyone is supposed to commit to never letting this happen again. Wouldn’t it just be easier to implement the right tools? What is worse? The cost of change or the cost of staying the same? In this case you could answer that question rather quickly. What WAS the cost of air freight?

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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