Hello from the other side – with and without CRM


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Unless you have been living on a deserted island you have probably heard  Adele’s most powerful song “Hello”, from her third album that was released last November. Besides breaking all kinds of historical musical sales records, the song resonates in both the strength of Adele’s wonderful voice and the powerful meaning of the words.

I must have listened to the CD a hundred times and now I’m going to take some freedom here. I’m going to relate some key phrases to what I have experienced over 30 years of consulting with owners, sales, marketing and customer service people from various types of businesses.  When I listen to Adele and hear her Hello song these phrases standout and link me back to a business with or without a successful CRM.  Hope this is worthy…


Verse 1:  “Hello, it’s me.  I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet, to go over everything.”

Now suppose you have been a customer of the person making this statement today.  You get an out of the blue phone call or email wanting to reconnect after several years.  Without a CRM system this may happen because we all tend to forget what we even had to eat last week.  But with a well-used CRM system you should have been getting regularly scheduled ‘touch’ calls and probably several  nurturing emails of helpful information that has kept your business “top of mind” with me.

Verse 2: “Hello from the other side.  I must have called a thousand times.”

Being on the other side of a missed communication, a forgotten follow up and unable to find the right information to connect with a person is what it’s like being without an easy to use CRM system.  Time and again we have seen prospective sales people not having the right process or tools to work effectively. They keep calling the main office and don’t have the full contact’s information.  They don’t have accurate prior sales history on what the customer had previously purchased.  They have to do rather rudimentary Google searches to build up intelligence about the person and business they are trying to contact.

But being on the side of a business with a well used CRM system which was adapted for their way of doing business, we have seen huge productivity and engagement gains occur from our clients. The sales person has easily accessible and intelligent information about the prospect and customer past and current interests. The customer service representative can quickly find the contact’s record, communicate the status of any open service requests or customer service issues and provide helpful answers much more quickly.  May times resolutions happen the first time and not a thousand times later.


Verse 3: “Hello, how are you?  It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry”

Yes it is easy to think about yourself and thus talk about yourself.  It is common that without a CRM system with helpful information, you just don’t have great insights to lead a conversation so ‘Me’ talk occurs

But we have found that progressive and successful businesses create a culture of “the customer first”. They build a strategy around serving the customer and providing a valuable offering.   These successful companies will implement a CRM system that serves people first – the customer and their own employees. The CRM system will incorporate proven processes that work best for their business.  Those processes that can best be automated are.  And they have key performance metrics in place to make sure the desired results are getting accomplished.  Finally technology is enabled that is appropriate to make engagement easily, work flow faster and make it fun to be helping an customer instead of saying “I’m sorry”.

Chorus:  “Hello from the outside.  At least I can say that I’ve tried.”

It is tough being on the outside without CRM….. In most small and mid-sized companies all of their customer information is compartmentalized and not accessible when it is needed. Often we see lead lists from marketing, spreadsheets from operations, customer historical purchases in the accounting system and notes from the sales team only in their Outlook, so getting the full picture of a customer is practically impossible.

Recognizing that there needs to be one place to see everything about a customer inside of a CRM is the first step. However, the challenge they often face is adoption of the tool by all the many different employees within their organization.

Recommended Solution

Here are three areas a company needs to focus on when choosing a CRM that will work for their unique needs:

1. CRM is 60% people, 30% process and 10% technology. A successful CRM integration focuses on what their people need to succeed. Next it is creating a process and flow that encourages adoption which leads to quality data. Only then do we focus on putting the technology to work.

2. Your CRM should be customizable down to the user level. It is vital that your CRM is tailored to your needs not just an out of the box solution.

3. Your CRM needs to sit inside of Outlook. Your team uses Outlook every day, so it is essential that it integrates seamlessly as well as having a simple link to customer records.

Unfortunately, most CRM systems are not tailored to the organization let alone to the individual user and the data collection is minimal and it becomes an expensive tool that drives very little ROI.

We understand that plight, and Success with CRM works with companies to leverage their CRM to attract and engage new customers and consistently maintain great relationships.

Whether or not you are currently using a CRM system, I invite you to have a conversation. Even if we never work together, I am confident our call will be full of insights that will help you track and measure your customer data more efficiently. Email me: [email protected] or call 269.445.3001

 I recommend your check out Adele, a super star of the magnitude of Elvis or the Beatles.


Yes, I’m a raving fan of this most enjoyable and real person and her powerful, moving music!  Let me know if you are…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dick Wooden
CRM specialist to help you get the answers you need with sales, service, and marketing CRM software. I help mid-sized businesses select, implement and optimize CRM so that it works the way their business needs to work. My firm is focused on client success with remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools.


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