Looking for an optimized return on your CRM investment

By: Ravi Kumar Director CRM Consulting at Cubastion Consulting

CRM Solutions is one of the most imperative tools for a business organization. Apart from external prospective of customers, these solutions penetrate deep within the organization extending service and loyalty to clients, reducing cost and in internal strategies to improve profit. As customers are the end points of a business, its success is ingrained deeply withthe success of CRM. The more a CRM becomes integrated to internal business processes, the more it is improvised to offer upgraded range of services to customers. These tools require integrating the diverse customer touch points to facilitate a 360-degree customer view. Hence, apart from structure and design of a CRM application, the functional formation and advantages offered should be leveraged to obtain an optimal result.

For a successful CRM implementation, active involvement of IT and business is required. The decision making process of CRM deployment has to be a collaboration of technical and business experts. Consideration of technical complexities with cost requirement, the extent of scalability, clearly defined business objectivesas well as exact definition of its scope needs to match up with each other for a powerful and dependable CRM application. Once deployed, a CRM application transforms into a base of thebusiness. It becomes an information storage related to the most important stakeholder of a business, the customers. The primary transaction of information between the company and customers is through CRM.

Deployment of CRM solution should be such that it ensures reaching the goals of an organization, both long term and short term. Optimization of CRMs should follow a set of right practices ensuring effective utilization of resources and offering adaptability. The primary aspects that need to be focused while implementing a CRM are identification of CRM goals, defining business processes and constant evaluation.This acts as the road map to derive and utilize the best functionalities of any CRM platform. For instance, a clear idea of the type of information from client’s end assists to formulate efficient strategies for sales and marketing. The idea is as simple as knowing where one need to arrive makes it easier to work out how to reach the same. As enterprises are collaborations of numbers of processes, it is necessary to involve the CRM program with every individual business processes that are relevant. For this, the business goals will have to be aligned with the scope of CRM. The processes will have to move hand in hand with the application. A smooth flow of CRM program can be ascertained only by integrating the application to every key processes and employees throughout diverse departments. Defining business goals will also help to identify and eliminate any unnecessary steps while implementing a CRM system.

An important feature of any CRM is its flexibility. CRM programs should be scalable enough so that they can adapt to process dynamics. A CRM process that works fine now may not be productive enough in the future. Hence, to keep up with changes in business processes, these programs need an ongoing evaluation. Reviewing the features and productivity of CRM programs at regular intervals is crucial. They should evolve along with evolving business processes and strategies.

CRM Solutions available in the market offers wide ranges of features and amenities. The enterprise market is dominated by solutions such as Sales force, SAP AG, Oracle and Microsoft. The set of features offered by each of them excels in diverse areas of the domain. For instance, Sales force CRMs, being open source and cloud based, fits into the requirements of small and medium businesses efficiently. On the other hand, Oracle Siebe loffers more on security, stability and scalability front. As per studies by Forrester Research, enterprises that outgrow mid market offering can easily transform to Siebel CRMs. Scalability of functions is one of the best advantage this platform offers.

Siebel has the capability to offer a 360-degree view of customer. Since, the subject is critical for any business organization; to enable this aspect will be a productive stunt for any business enterprise. This CRM platform is premier in assisting enterprises to achieve 360-degree view of customers. It allows enterprises to manage the wide range of customer touch points through a single window. The system allows managing marketing, sales as well as services via a single data model. An integrated framework offered by Siebel enables using Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) services, which is an efficient platform to connect with customers via Social Media Channels.

It would be expedient for enterprises and business organizations to review carefully the objectives, requirements and expectations from a CRM program. A systematic approach to planning will deliver better returns on such investments. Alignment of the platform with visions and long-term goal of the organization is an utmost necessity. It must be understood that business requirements can be fulfilled only by addressing the unique requirements of its process. These requirements can be best fulfilled through innovative approaches and optimal use of techniques as well as resources.


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