Even today, most companies in the B2B space, which actually have access to a CRM system (or a Sales Support system), use it as a very expensive address book (Rolodex). In some cases the address book is enriched with archiving Emails, quotes and maybe even some notes of what have been said and what should be done. Maybe even a mirror of the Outlook calendar.
We see an increase in companies using some kind of module for customer service. In many cases the CRM and the Customer Service modules are treated as separate parts, even though some companies actually display Customer Service data in the CRM module.
We also experience a lot of companies actually expanding their CRM system to encompass some marketing features, like mailings, and keeping track of send lists and so on in the CRM system. But still, a lot of companies still uses a different, completely separate marketing system for their mailings. In some cases, they transfer some simple data between the systems.
Still, when we talk about CRM, most people think of companies in the consumer market, B2C. Yes, they do normally have a much larger customer base, which also is more difficult to identify, but we do see the need for a CRM system also in the B2B space.
To be able to get data into the CRM system and manage it wisely, we do need a strategy and helping processes to get the relevant data into the system and then we’ll need to get this data processed and analyzed.
Before you get a software system to handle your CRM data, you do need to make a plan for how you are going to organize your data and what is relevant data. Which processes do you need to support? Are your processes up-to-date? Do they actually support your main business vision and goals? This is where your CRM strategy comes in place.
Next thing to remember is that your CRM strategy should encompass all of your business and your organization. CRM is not handled by your Sales department or Marketing department or some side kick.
The next thing we would like to stress is that the concept CRM is not really correctly descriptive to what we mean by modern standards. This is where the concept of CVM comes in to play. Customer Value Management. What we are talking about and trying to achieve is to increase the value of your Customer Portfolio. We want you to manage your customer base as your most valuable asset.
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