Education Current Events

18 Requirements For Success With CRM – Business Relationship Management System

Organizations rarely go it alone when they implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy and its supporting technology. That’s because it can get overwhelming: business strategies, technology, budgets, operational processes, change management issues, and more.
Good CRM practices and principles apply to companies across many industries. One core tenet of CRM is customer centricity.
Companies must instill a customer-centric focus throughout the organization to make a CRM initiative successful and to get the most “bang for the buck.” Essentially, companies must not only focus on cutting costs and improving productivity, they must also enhance the experience of customers across all customer touch points.
To obtain the success you deserve with CRM- consider the following requirements:
1. Get Executive Buy-In
Management must believe in a new CRM system and lead by using the system themselves. Support throughout all echelons of upper management affirms the company’s commitment to the initiative, which will motivate all stakeholders below management. Success will come for a manager who realizes the value of CRM, understands the problems it’s going to solve, and dedicates time and energy to making it happen. It’s incredibly important to be involved directly.
2. Establish Measurable Business Goals.
Define specific business benefits that you expect the CRM initiative to deliver. Is it to decrease the customer churn rate or decrease the sales cycle time by a specific percent? Is it to increase the win-to-loss ratio of sales opportunities? Maybe it’s to decrease the time that a service/support request is unresolved.
3. Let Business Goals Drive Functionality
Will a particular feature help your company better serve customers, improve efficiency in business processes, and lead to results that over-achieve the goals? Convert that big list of ‘features’ to benefits you hope to obtain by achieving the desired goals.
4. Avoid Automating Chaos
CRM Project leaders need to gain a 360-degree view of their own business first. Which business processes need to be rebuilt or simply need a little touch-up? What derails CRM initiatives very often is the lack of focus on the people and business processes.
Make sure you are not using technology to automate the same old ‘cow-path’.
5. Consider All the Stakeholders Affected by the System
Understand what everyone stands to gain or lose. Actively involve end users in the solution design. Solicit and act upon end user input by providing WIIFT–“What’s In It For Them.” A change to being “customer-centric” from product- or operations-centric involves management of the change process among all users. Make sure the whole team knows what it means to deliver customer value.
6. Align All Departmental Strategies
Each department, whether customer service, marketing team, or sales force, has its own requirements and goals. They are also, however, all part of an entity that should communicate a consistent message and brand experience across all customer touch points. Make sure all your departments’ strategies converge on the customer as you intend.
7. Strategy First, Technology Second
The software is there to enable implementation of a CRM strategy, not the other way around. Reorganizing business process efficiencies and bolstering revenue are good drivers of a CRM strategy. Find out how your company’s customer touch points can maximize those ideas, then give customers applications that work with them.
8. First, Use as Much Out-of-Box Functionality as You Can
Then customize for additional needs. By getting up to speed with core functionality you get faster ROI. By learning the CRM’s functionality you’ll be able to determine if there is a business process that needs changing or if customization is required. Refer to #4.
9. Use Experienced, Expert CRM Consultants
Your business success comes from knowing what you do best. Likewise CRM consultants live and breathe CRM and know what works and what doesn’t. Ask the expert when faced with a problem, whether it’s customization, functionality, or deployment strategy. CRM-specific knowledge will produce ROI faster.
10. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Keep people informed of the goals, objectives, and progress. People feel better during the management of this big business change if they know what’s going on. Communicate the “quick wins” as they occur to fuel enthusiasm.
11. Invest in Training
Training helps to empower end users and helps them become involved. Training should not merely focus on demonstrating how to use the software’s features. Instead, training should teach employees how to effectively execute the business process enabled by the CRM system. Give your end-users as much time as needed with the new solution before going live – it makes the transition much easier. Over time, additional reinforcement training will provide even more benefits.
12. Phase-In the Roll-Out
Focus each phase on a specific CRM objective that’s designed to produce a “quick win” – that is, meaningful results in a reasonable amount of time. Smaller, more manageable phases can yield more momentum and higher end-user adoption. You are building a holistic approach, using a step-by-step process.
13. Start with and Maintain Quality Customer information
Behavioral data is the lifeblood of CRM. CRM requires accurate customer information, so start by cleaning up any migrated data and duplications. Do this before a roll-out. Make it easier for people to tackle the tough job of data quality, access, and maintenance.
Enhance personalization by identifying the customer’s social network links – identify their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter handles.
14. Minimize Financial Risks
It’s important that executives come to grips with the fact that CRM is not a one-time investment. As more and more users access the system, additional functionality will be found useful and other benefits become evident. CRM is a journey not a destination.
15. Consider Migration Paths
Understand where your company is heading. Make sure the software vendor you’ve selected can provide the additional functionality you might need in two or three years. Select one that will enable your CRM software to grow as your company grows. Make sure it can be customized for your business and personalized for the desired customer’s experience.
16. Plan for Disruptions – Companies Change
Companies change. They make acquisitions or they get acquired, sections are sold off or outsourced, and executives get replaced. When implementing a CRM strategy, management must be ready for these kinds of changes. Refer to #15.
17. Measure, Monitor, and Track
Once the system goes live, your company must measure, monitor, and track the system’s effectiveness, with an eye to continuously improving performance. Changing behavior is a long-term process, so monitor to track progress.
18. Choose a Champion of Change
When you’re making a full-suite implementation, start with a single department and let the dominoes fall into place. Choose a department with a manager who’s behind the implementation, realizes its benefits, and whose department will also find the most success early on. Nothing jump-starts a CRM implementation more than a manager who always has that can-do attitude. CRM success can be contagious.

Department Of Education Website

Business Tip – Execute Your Plan With Confidence

You have heard the principle, “give a person a fish, they will eat for a day… teach a person to fish, they will eat for a lifetime”. Do you believe in it?
There are plenty of tools, resources, products, and services available all over the internet and in your own backyard to help you be successful. Are you taking advantage of them to implement the proven strategies into your own business? Or, are you still “winging it” like most business owners?
You can only build your business to your own level of competency. In order to grow further, you have to increase your knowledge and therefore your competency.
What is your plan? Do you have a plan for your business? In addition, do you have a plan for yourself? You need a plan to increase your knowledge and raise your business competency level. This needs to be in writing and thoroughly thought out.
Your knowledge is a direct reflection to how may books you read. What does your written plan say about how many books you read per month? If you are not a reader… then get the audiobook version. There… I just solved your objection.
The more knowledge you have, the more confidence you will gain. The more confidence you have, the greater chance that you will take action and execute your plans.
Execute your plan with confidence! Take action today to achieve your goals. If you find yourself in a comfort zone, then do something to stretch yourself. If you are uncomfortable with where you are today, then that is good. Now, go do something about it.
Profitable results in your business is a reflection of the action that you take. The action you take is a reflection of the confidence that you have obtained. The confidence that you have is a reflection of the knowledge that you have gained.
Gain more knowledge today!
To Your Success!

Public Education

Computer Problems Can Kill Your Online Business

It has recently been brought to my attention that one of the major obstacles that some people have to making money online is a serious lack of computer knowledge and expertise that often leads to computer problems. Not so much that they are “computer stupid” as some have told me, but as I tell them, they are simply uninformed. I have seen a few get a brand new computer and boldly go out there with nothing to protect them from viruses, adware, malware and the mirad of things out there that plague us all.
They get out here on the net, totally uninformed that these dangers exist and want to get started in an online business. They figure it out right away that the internet is a golden opportunity to start up an online business with very little start up costs and they end up with computers so virused that they can’t do anything except stare at a screen offering them an anti-virus program that is actually a part of the virus that infected them in the first place, or their computer is so slowed down by adware that their brand new computer can barely move from one page to another.
Now that is good for me on the one hand, because as a side line, I fix their problems for a nominal fee, but on the other hand, you know it would be so much nicer for everyone if they never had the problems at all.
I’ve had to tell some that they needed to take their computer into a specialist to remove all of the virus from their computer before any anti virus program could be added to their computer. (After all, how many can I fix in a day?) A few of them I have cleaned myself, but more often than not, I have reformatted the hard drives and reinstalled windows for them and helped them to set up to not have the issue again. Some of the newest bugs out there are just that nasty.
When it comes to your anti virus program, personally, I hate the freebies. You know that some tools are only worth what you pay for them and if they are free and something goes wrong, you know that the freebie can’t afford a support desk to help out the customer.
My personal favorites for anti-virus programs are McAfee and Norton. They are still the top two out there and when it comes to anti-virus, personally, I wouldn’t mess around with anything less than one of the best. A good anti virus will take care of spyware, and adware plus have a good firewall to keep trojans at bay. I have found these two over the years to be all that I needed for all of the intrusion issues.
When it comes to my registry and other issues, I use some free toys, but I also use the reasonably priced things that there are out there. Cleaning your registry at least once a month is one way to keep things moving smoothly on your computer as the registry is the tool that tells your computer where the files are stored. It tells it how a file relates to a program and where to find it. Basically, the registry is a map your computer follows to a file or folder or dll that tells it either what to do next or what file to bring up for you. It would really be sad to try to bring up a picture of Aunt Jane and have a picture of Uncle George come up instead, as an example. Now what if you remove that program and the registry doesn’t get the changed? Or you moved all of your pictures from your hard drive to a back up system or another device? Using a registry cleaner will remove all of the invalid paths that can result and speed up your computer by the virtue that it is no longer searching or tripping over maps to files that are no longer in the same place.
In summary, it doesn’t matter if you are planning an online business or not. Take care of your computer with a great anti virus program and just some general maintenance tools. It will keep you happier with the performance of your computer, and save you and probably a good technician a lot of time being frustrated with a computer that has just gotten all kinds of mucked up.

Education Policy

Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management

Basically, Knowledge Management (KM) describes how processes participants (particularly decision processes) utilize all resources (particularly information resources) to achieve their goals with precision, accuracy, on time and on budget inside every organization. In order to reach this objective, Knowledge Management comprises Information Systems for capture and shows participants or users best expertise, Human Resources Administration for selecting, take and learn their best talents and expertise in their knowledge areas, documented and undocumented procedures with business rules for standardize organization’s activities and Finance for quantifying their talent and expertise value, performance and importance for the organization.
From this point of view, Knowledge Management is focused in how every key employee of an organization executes her key activities timely, without errors, following business rules (or not), how this business rules are efficient and effective (or not) and how this employee make decisions: which information pieces support this decisions and how this information pieces can configure some behaviors (or not).
Additionally from this perspective, Business Intelligence is a tool, a resource to be used for participants to make decisions. BI describes how organization is making business and how much focused is organization about achieving its goals.
Business Intelligence is about organization’s performance, Knowledge Management is about organization’s behavior in order to obtain the best way to make best business activities (particularly decisions). Here is the key about these two definitions. Other way to understand these definitions, differences and relationships is: BI describes the performance of organization’s activities and KM describes the organization’s components activities that produce the obtained performance. BI captures and tries to improve business results, KM captures and tries to improve organization processes and activities.
Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management together are capable to dramatically improve overall performance of any organization, but it is necessary to understand, plan and apply every implementation carefully. All BI and KM implementations must be fully supported by all organization’s stakeholders and executive levels. With their full commitment, these tools can boost all organization’s personnel productivity and, of course, profitability.

Education College

Still Doing Business With Pen and Paper Only

That’s right, you heard me. There are still a ton of people all over the world that are only conducting their business with a pen and paper. They are not using any type of computer system whatsoever. Even though we are here in 2011, they simply refuse to move ahead with technology. Now, I understand how someone could get overwhelmed by a computer when working tracking invoices and taxes, but I’m talking about people that are so out of tune with technology that they do not even use email. It’s Crazy!
I promise, I am not making this stuff up. I personally know a guy very close to me that absolutely refuses to use the computer. He often refers to it as a “labor saver” machine and it just confuses him. Well, of course it does. A car confused me the first time I ever got in one. Eating confused me when I was a baby. Walking beat me for nearly a year. The fact is, it is always going to confuse you until you jump in there and learn some things.
The guy I am talking about has been in business for himself for right around 30 years. He has never used a computer, although his secretary did have one throughout the last few years. And, when tax time comes around, he would simply turn all his information in to his accountant and pay them to take care of it. I mean, this guy could go back and double check the accountant on how he did the taxes and could point out mistakes that the accountant made, meaning he was a very smart guy, but he would have no idea how to navigate to his email. As a matter of fact, I am sure he could eventually find the power button on the computer, but that is as far as I think he could ever take it.
The fact is, he has never HAD to use the computer. He has always had his secretary or other hired help to do those things for him. So what does that mean? In my opinion, the man will never learn how to use the computer. He doesn’t want to, and that is OK. It obviously means that you don’t have to have great computer knowledge to run a business and back many years ago, a computer wasn’t needed, but in this day and age it most likely is. So, you don’t have to have that specific knowledge to run a business just as long as you have the right people in place to take care of those things. Whether it is done in-house, or outsourced to another firm, the point is, it is needed to conduct business.

Education Issues

Lack of Professional Development Can Hurt Your Business

Imagine what it would be like if you were required to do all your paperwork with only the use of a quill pen, ink well and coal oil lamp. You probably would not like this as you know that there are far better tools to do the job.
But perhaps there are other areas of your business that you think you have the newest equipment and knowledge when you really are not up to date.
If you are so busy doing the work, without attending courses or doing research, you might actually be very much behind the times.
It is a rather sad, but at the same time funny thing to consider that my grandchildren think I am rather archaic because I still use email. They don’t usually even open theirs unless I sent them a text message or call them with a request that they check to see what I have sent them.
They would be shocked to meet the people who I know who don’t even know how to use email. Some people don’t even have a computer!
Well, you can be as determined (or stubborn) as you like, but the fact is that if you are not learning about the options that are available to you, chances are you are losing both time and energy every day.
Professional development is designed to help you develop knowledge, skills and abilities to improve your career and business. Most training is backed by the latest research and designed to offer you steps for implementation. Besides the formal learning, however, is the opportunity to learn from others who are in the group.
But professional development does not occur unless you make an effort to capture it.
Last night I flew home from four days in Calgary where I was studying to be a Parenting Coordinator. While waiting for the flight, I met a woman who I used to work with and she asked question after question about technology. She was trying to figure out what piece of equipment she should buy to take on her extensive travels. She wanted a light and easy to use device but did not seem to have any idea about the iPhone or how it might be useful for her.
It was interesting to watch her as she extended her training by asking the fellow in the next seat on the airplane for his advice. She had set up her own little professional development seminar and, because she was willing to ask the questions without embarrassment, she was learning – without charge.
When you do not have a good professional development plan your business could be hurt. Decades ago, this might occur slowly but today, with the rapid development of technology and research, you might find that it is only a few months and you will be far behind the competition.