Monthly Archives: December 2016

Why leaders like us should make CRM a way of life & not a product you buy

Why leaders like us should make CRM a way of life & not a product you buy
Let's explore our digital options... CRM, SEO, RSS, LOLThe most frequent (and also the most irritating) question our associate David Fagan get’s asked is “Which CRM product should we buy?”. We approached David for advice since an appropriate level of digital maturity is a key to a thriving SME (and big business) in the 21-century.

‘My answer is always the same’, says David:
Successful CRM is all about creating and implementing a business strategy to:

  • GET new customers
  • KEEP existing customers
  • GROW existing customers

CRM is a philosophy, a way of thinking, a way of life – not a product you can buy. What frustrates me most is that my point of view is not new.

My ideas on exploiting technology for business advantage began to form after taking part in an MIT research programme back in the 1980s. The findings of the whole research programme were published in the book “The corporation of the 1990s: Information technology and organizational transformation” (which was edited by Michael S. Scott Morton)1.

Technology has evolved dramatically since this book was published, yet organisations and people are still making the same mistakes now as they were in the 1980s…
The key finding from this research is that successful business normally results from a good business strategy that is also:

  • properly supported by the organisational structure,
  • enabled by management processes,
  • and executed by individuals in clearly defined roles.

Technology only assists the organisational structure, management processes, and people (roles/individuals).

Looking at the recent successes of companies like Uber and Airbnb this research is still valid.

Uber and Airbnb are successful because they focus absolutely on delivering what their consumers want and need. They do this via business strategies that are disruptive (in their market sectors) and make possible a paradigm shift in the value propositions they can offer.

Supporting their business strategies, their organisational structures, management processes, and people are all optimised and aligned on achieving their business objectives.

Uber and Airbnb use technology that anybody can buy. Technology that many companies (including their competitors) are already using. They use apps. Many companies (including their competitors) use apps!

So the technology Uber and Airbnb have is not key to their success – it’s how they use their technology that makes them successful.

So when it comes to CRM, how you use technology is actually far more important than the technology itself.

CRM is a philosophy, a way of thinking, a way of life – not a product you can buy.

(Mads here) David’s point above is that CRM has to be embedded in your purpose and strategy, supported by the structure and processes in your business and enabled by dedicated resources and clear roles and responsibilities.
We all want to

  • GET new customers!
  • KEEP existing customers!
  • GROW existing customers!

Next up – a case study to illustrate the point:)

Warmest regards
Source: 1 “The corporation of the 1990s: Information technology and organizational transformation”.
This is the final report of a major research programme at the MIT Sloan School. The programme was initiated in 1984, under extensive corporate sponsorship, to explore the influence of Information Technology (IT) on the way in which organizations will be able to survive and prosper in the competitive environment of the 1990s and beyond. The book contains an introduction by Michael Scott Morton, and covers the following topics: the IT platform, IT and strategic management, IT and the new organization, IT and human dynamics, and IT impact on organization change and implementation.

Publisher: Oxford University Press,
ISBN-10: 0195063589, ISBN-13: 978-0195063585

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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Business

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