Category Archives: CRM Sales Process

The Clean CRM and the Intervention vs. Automation Decision

Man vs machine

What and when to automate and when to intervene is one of the most far reaching decisions you will make on the journey to a clean CRM.  In fact, this automation vs. intervention decision quandary will impact all processes in your business.  Instead of an in-depth how-to-clean your CRM tutorial, I thought I’d share some simple axioms that I base my decisions on when bringing efficiency and automation to a process.

#1 Don’t confuse automation with efficiency

Efficiency is how fast and how cheap a process can be done. Automation is applying non-human processes into a system.  It is a subtle difference and that is why people get confused.   For example: lead assignment can be automated, but if it is being done poorly or incorrect, it is not efficient.  This is a natural lead in to #2.

#2.  Never automate an unsuccessful process.

People can make mistakes, but to really screw up you need a computer.  Make sure your processes work correctly, regardless of how fast.  Once you have your process down, then apply automation.

#3.  Automate a single process at a time.

There are exceptions and sometimes you can’t avoid doing a few things at once.  The reason for this is immutably tied to #4.

#4.  Measure what you automate.

Define what success is so that you can recognize it when it happens. When successful, automate something else and measure again.

#5  Complex systems are constantly redesigned

No one that I know can design a complex CRM system that stays 100% to the original design.  Why do major software implementations fail and go over budget?  Simple, the initial design did not encompass the complexities of the real world.   Balance design with diving in and checking your premises.   Be agile, be creative and get user feedback at critical milestones.


An Intro to Cleaning your CRM

Realization.  It does not happen in the first 6 months of having a new CRM.  Your CRM sales rep did not tell you about it.  It was not something that was on your mind.  Your CRM is dirty and it is costing you revenue.  CRM Deduplication is starting to become a probem.

If you approach your CRM vendor six months after you started, they will point you into two possible chasms.  (1) Professional services to clean your data (2) Data deduplication tools that will clean your data.  I am here to tell you that both are sink-holes for your cash.  Unless they provide you a solution that will stop the dirty data, you will be coming back to the pay the piper on a regular basis.  Think about it:  Data deduplication vendors want to fix your data, but they also know it will get dirty again.  Reoccurring revenue trumps solving problems?  They want you forever.

Is there a better way?

Next post: CRM’s are not built to keep your data clean