Is Your CRM Wish List for the New Year Missing Something(one)?


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Holiday shopping until a few years ago was actually an event I used to look forward to. There was much excitement around everyone’s wish list for holiday gifts. Bringing home the treasures was another adventure; sneak ’em in and hide them well until it’s time to hand them out. Or place them discreetly where your loved ones will run eagerly to look for them on the big day. Surprises came in bigger packages; bigger the better.

In recent years, the Internet has changed all that. Shoppers can sit bleary-eyed at some insane hour of the night and order gadgets, gizmos and geek delights online. Smaller, the better (only in package size, mind you; not the price tag!).

It’s the same story in the corporate world—companies are busy making lists of all the cool, new technologies they would like to persuade management to budget for in the New Year. We see it all the time. Sales and marketing automation systems top the list of “must-haves” as marketers fool themselves into believing their sales will skyrocket with these “magical gifts”. They forget that with every new corporate gadget (aka complex CRM tool) comes the need for a geek squad that can show you how to use it. That geek “squad” may come in the form of a few high-profile technicians or a single, swashbuckling CRM consultant. Either way, to bring in this human component that can facilitate the seamless integration of the new technology platform and tools into your existing business operations will demand a princely sum. And you have already spent a hefty sum on this expensive gift that you’re not even sure you can use or for how long; and when the return on investment will pay off (if at all).

A quick reminder also about the opportunity cost factor of bringing in the wrong CRM tool—one that is unsuitable for your business environment and incompatible with your current operating systems. A fundamental flaw in automation tool implementation is the absence of a solid interim plan. Every organization needs one to bridge the gap that is bound to occur as old systems get phased out and retired to make place for a new one.

Traditional Lead Generation Leverages the Experience of Your Marketing & Sales Stalwarts

Think of how the big bucks you’ve invested in sales automation could have been better utilized towards more effective, albeit traditional means of lead generation. Now, I am not averse to technology and I do marvel at the excellence in innovation we see all around, every day, in the tech world. My only advice to companies, particularly in the B2B marketing space is to always remember that technology is only a driver, a means to an end. It never was and never can be a substitute for the human component. If it were or even had the potential to be, we would need no holidays, there would be no wish lists and leads would just fall down the chimney shoots into our flaming hot sales cycles. Sounds like the stuff that dreams are made of, right?

Well, it’s time to get real I say—bring out the best in your sales and marketing teams, thump their backs, give them the resources they need to optimize efficiencies and watch your lead funnel bulge, your conversions escalate and your sales soar.

What is your company’s holiday wish list? Make sure it’s not missing the holiday heroes lost behind a maze of electronic and technological wizardry.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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