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Don't Let Your IT Team Manage Your CRM

"It's a system. That would be IT's responsibility."

That's how most executives approach their CRM. Which reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what your Customer Relationship Management system is intended to be: a strategic tool.

Your CRM isn't just a database that holds information. It isn't just buttons that open customer records, order transaction information, leads or contract data. 

It should be a carefully constructed strategic tool.

Hiring an employee is a strategic move. You believe that person can achieve a specific goal that you currently are not accomplishing. Your CRM is no different, its role in your organization should be to do what you currently cannot. 

Many organizations don't think carefully about their CRM build. They set it up like what they had before, mimicing another process or system that was obsolete or innefficent. It becomes a glorified spreadsheet and that's "good enough." 

With more companies leaning on complex data analytics to get an edge over their competitors, is that good enough? Is simply recording your data enough?

Our clients don't think so. They come to us because we help them dream of what is currently impossible in their organization, and strategize of how to get there. 

"What if we cross analyze the sales numbers of these two teams for product X to see where we are underperforming?"

"Let's look at the margins for the last three FQ2's to predict what revenue we can anticipate this year with the 14% growth that's expected."

"What was the ROI from that marketing event last year? Should we run another one this year?"

"Which type of service are we the least efficient in providing? Do we need to train someone to boost productivity in that area?"

"Where should we focus our hiring efforts? Which teams need it the most?"

Does your CRM answer those questions for you? It should. But the first step might just be taking the reins of your CRM away from your IT team, to put them in the hands of the leaders, to dream about what answers would take your business to the next level.

Andrew Dunlap