Effective CEOs Run their CRM Initiative and Business with Equal Vigor

The business market today is deluged by stories of contemporary leaders who have made use of CRM solutions to effectively grow their organizational sales. This has significantly picked up the interest in this strategy over the past four or five years. However, what has differentiated these success stories from the failures has been the one word ‘CRM Strategy’. 

Many corporate executives and decision makers have somehow misunderstood CRM as just a software which reflects its results as soon as it is purchased. However, only a fraction of CRM success depends on the initial stage; that of buying the software, while a large part of it relies on how constructively and intelligently the CRM strategy is being developed and executed around the software.

A successful CRM solution is that which becomes an ideology of the company and is integrated into the mundane working of the organization. In other words, every department is made to feel the value of the organization’s CRM strategy and that is effectively percolated into their conscience and their style of working.  
Hence, while an effective and high quality CRM could do the trick for your organization; a commitment to organizational change is imperative to make it assume larger proportions and start reflecting on the long term potential of the organization. That will happen when corporate executives and CEOs will dedicate equal efforts strategizing for their CRM strategies as they do for their business. It is their initiative, dedication and devoted time which will cascade through to motivate the subordinates and bring about an organizational change.

Creating the right balance
Here are critical CEO best practices for competitive organizations that can integrate their CRM initiative and business performance, with equal importance to both:

Dedicate equal time to both: While you are trying to make your CRM solution strategy work, there could be two lopsided schedules that you might get into. One might be when you are spending extensive time on your business and little on the CRM while the other could be the complete reverse of it. It is, therefore, important that forward looking CEOs are emphasizing letting their organizations be customer oriented and at the same time concentrate on making their business offerings reach new highs. In other words, one has to emphasize on both these elements of an enterprise with equal dedication and vigor.

Blend technology and ideation: CRM is much more than a plain software which collects information about customers and helps in serving them with ease. It offers areas of strategizing and ideation. Therefore, a considerable amount of time has to be spent on trying to analyze the numbers that are being reflected in the software. You might reach to certain trends arising in the industry or a brief understanding of the likes and / or dislikes of your audience. An interesting approach to CRM can be developed when you compare it with a mobile phone. Similar to how mobile phones can help you communicate, CRM can offer insights about your customers. In the same spirit, like you have to decide how and what to communicate through the mobile phone, even with CRM; it has to be you who decide on how the data has to be unravelled and used.

Generating value: Not only do the CEOs and top level executives need to spend additional time on decoding the results of implementing a CRM software solution; the middle and junior management has to learn the ropes too. CRM, as mentioned above, has to be an organizational value which has to cascade down to all the levels of organizational hierarchy. An approach of being customer friendly has to be developed. If there are customer insights that are being developed, organizations should make an attempt to keep the junior and middle management abreast with the same as they are the ones who deal directly with the customers, at the grass root level.

Embracing discomfort: Those contemporary executives and organizations, which have accepted CRM as the core value and deliverable of their organization, have realized, the hard way, that customer centric approach does not come easy. It requires all hierarchies of an organization to go through discomfort to be able to completely satisfy a customer. It requires an enterprise wise commitment. It is you who could initiate this commitment through information sharing and motivation of the employees.

Leadership: Finally, what makes the all important difference is your style of leadership. Depending upon how willing you are to take the initiative to adopting CRM solutions as a long term organizational strategy, your subordinates will follow suit sooner or later. You, therefore, have to be totally committed to the cause and lead from the front in terms of making your organization a customer focussed one. Your support to your employees will be significant too as you have to keep them motivated through the initial tough times.

All these activities might require time and dedication, but they would reap unprecedented results in the long run.