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CRM: Customer Service Loves it, Sales Tolerates it, and Marketing Hates it

Posted by Indusa Admin on November 22, 2016 8:28 am

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I don’t recall when I arrived at this conclusion, but over the course my twenty-five years serving the CRM industry across all horizontal practices, and within many industries, I have come to a realization about the enterprise disciplines and their attitude towards CRM.  Every department has a completely different attitude towards CRM – while customer service loves CRM, the sales teams only tolerate it and the marketing team hates it. The three entirely different attitudes dictate three approaches to CRM from inside your business.  And all three of these business-driving stakeholder groups must be at the table in support of your CRM strategy and execution. Let’s take a look at each of these attitudes in detail:

Customer-Service

Customer Service

The reason customer service practitioners adore CRM is because for decades they have lived with the alternative: a hodge-podge of dis-articulated systems and knowledge sets that must be accessed under the pressure of phone sessions, where call agents feel they must have squid-like appendages to navigate all the screens and tools needed to drive information and transactions. Whether a customer service representative or a manager in customer care or call center sales settings, there is universal gratitude and excitement for a holistic platform that delivers information and process across the business.  Customer service cannot survive without CRM.

CRM delivers customer service functionality such as:

  • Unified Service Desk – for call centers so that agents can get a unified view of the customer data stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Intuitive knowledge base – to quickly turn customer feedback and issues into knowledge articles
  • Predictive, suggestive and smart assistance – to deliver the right content and a more personalized experience to customers
  • Interactive scripting – provides an intuitive interface that unifies important customer information in one place
  • Dynamic offers and care – making every customer engagement an intelligent one, so you can sell effectively and market smarter
  • Real-time workflows to model and automate real world business processes
  • Cross-channel collaborative communications
  • Voice of Customer to capture customer feedback regarding the product or service from CRM

Sales

The sales teams are open to the idea of CRM, provided it serves their interests. Most sellers are two things: 1) coin operated, and 2) seek the path of least resistance.  The last thing they want is a system that causes them to become market research, data entry folks.  The problem with sales agents in CRM is that if the system is not elegant, fast, responsive, mobile, cloud-enabled, and informative, they will simply bypass it. Sales teams seek empowerment, not control. And since they hold the keys to the inner doors of the customer, if their needs are not served, the enterprise will never know of conversations and opportunities that are being cultivated because the data will never be shared.

Sellers need:

  • Access to pricing, digital literature, and offers that are relevant, fast to deliver, and accurate
  • The cleanest and fastest UI to help encourage data capture
  • Mobile/cloud for anywhere access
  • Tight integration with email and text messaging for faster communication
  • Tracking that serves their interests to deepen contact relationships in an information habitat that is secure and accountable
  • Personalization features
  • Tracking contact networks and news feeds
  • Goals and sales performance so sellers wish to see and achieve clear goals and celebrate wins
  • Dashboards and data quality support
  • Automatic leads scoring based on contact interaction records to have sales ready (qualified) leads
  • Process automation for back-office support for their mission to make it rain

Marketing

And now for the most difficult team to satisfy. Interestingly, CRM is great as a campaign management and transactional tool to drive complex, structured, marketing program management, and serves as the enterprise hub in support of marketing campaign management and delivery. But in the digital age, markets need a whole lot of other tools that have traditionally been missing from integrated CRM.   Since marketers are not sellers, they don’t want to be forced to use the same tools sales resources use.  They see themselves as needing unique capabilities across many fractured channels.  Digital has driven so much of their attention, including content marketing. Moreover, email and SMS requires special attention in order to optimize response and avoid the risks of black-listing.

Consequently, CRM is seen as a boat anchor to marketers, who prefer to be innovative, rapid, analytics-driven, volume-oriented, and creative.  But enterprise CRM wants to integrate marketers with the rest of the business to drive smart campaigns and share improvements to the way selling is done in the downstream funnel.

Marketers need:

  • Access to clean, reliable, natural data points to drive segmentation
  • Intuitive response tracking analytics
  • A system of record that manages all interactions across all channels
  • Campaign development, workflow development, resource coordination and planning tools
  • Delivery automation by helping sales and delivery teams deliver projects on time
  • Content and visual support
  • A/B or Multivariate testing capabilities, a place to experiment
  • Modeling and scoring capabilities
  • Habitat for improved lead qualification, drip marketing, and retargeting
  • Cross-channel Voice of Customer to earn customers for life
  • Price-performance implementation
  • Social integration

Blending the Attitudes, Taking a Holistic Approach

The power of a good CRM is that it brings the three attitudes to work harmoniously together, rather than taking a siloed approach of focusing on only one business area. In real life, marketing, sales, and customer service have many overlapping elements as they all try to build relationships with potential customers, maintain the trust of existing customers, and communicate the key aspects of your company’s product or service. The right CRM will allow you to tackle all these challenges within one system. Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to those not focused. By taking a holistic approach to the customer lifecycle, you could actually blend the attitudes and build a lasting relationship with your customers.

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Kjell Kahlenberg
About the Author – Kjell Kahlenberg

Kjell is a CRM expert helping businesses improve customer-facing processes, including customer acquisition, engagement, customer care, and revenue generation through direct & digital marketing processes. At Indusa he manages client engagement and solution architecting, program management, client solution planning, and delivery management.

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Contributing Writer: Neha Kumar