So the first white paper to tackle The Recession tips up in the Reg Library. As with all vendor-produced papers – this one is from Sage - there is an underlying pitch. To whit: small and medium-sized companies should invest in CRM systems (and hopefully Sage's CRM technology), even as they cut costs. Cost reductions are not …
Three Strikes and you're Out are the Rules of the Game *
"Business Secretary Lord Mandelson says that British banks have left businesses 'high and dry' as they cut back on lending.
Speaking on BBC's Panorama programme tonight, he says: "It's not possible for the government to become a banker."" .... http://www.shout99.com/contractors/showarticle.pl?id=59316;n=250
Err...... well, that is quite errant nonsense from Lord Mandelson whenever the simple award of a government contract instantly transforms them into a bank. Why even only yesterday was there such speculation of him and his chum Mr Deripaska for the gift of £40,000,000 to one of his failing ventures and then to stick/launder the private credit arrangement as Public debt to reflect the Ignorance of Nations and Leaderhips in the Workings/Machinations of Idle Imprudent Wealth and Fool Impertinent Investments.
* Ok ...so who Plays by Rules whenever they are, and have always been since time immemorial , just made up to Server a Particular and Peculiar Personal Interest. And not many realise that tasty morsel of fact.
Sugarcrm to Dynamics
We use SugarCRM at the moment and it is pretty good - good enough that it convinced us of the areas we wanted to focus on - so we are moving to MS Dynamics which we have available for free as an MS Partner.
As a small company ourselves it was a shock to the system to embrace the linear approach of a CRM (you will do it MY WAY) - but it has definitely made a difference over the last 6 months. We now have sales pipelines for courses, consulting engagements, partners & executive coaching.
The thing that had an even bigger impact on us was dealing with time management. We thought we were good. We are very successful at what we do but there is this leadership development funding available to companies in the UK from train 2 gain.
We called in CGA Management and they ran a course for us and at the end of 1 day we had pulled back 5 hours a week of time. Each. I think that is going to have an even bigger impact on us than the CRM but together it is pretty spectacular!
Web based apps can be a key component in Controlling Costs and Increasing Revenues
Sage's whitepaper makes some good points, and the benefits of sharing data and truly collaborative working with tools like web based (available anywhere) CRM systems should not be underestimated, especially in an economic downturn.
You mentioned salesforce.com, but haven't said anything about some of the open source alternatives, like SugarCRM. And it's not just CRM that can be web based, and offers collaboration and business model benefits. We offer a fully integrated accounting, CRM, e-commerce and communications product in the software as a service model, and for a lot less than the per user cost of products like SF.com or Sage CRM.
I won't name our company (this is not a sales pitch) but how about some air time for smaller UK businesses offering great value, and not just the giants like saleforce.com or Sage ?
CRM is useful
I don't deny this. I do a lot of the Tech work for a very well known CRM supplier. However, the real strength is in data capture and reporting. History per se means nothing compared to knowing what people out there are thinking right now. (Though history is needed, to identify changes in trends.)
The average sales bod, isn't a logical genius. They know what they want, but what they want is wrong, it isn't going to identify prospects or complex trends. For this you need tie in to your site, and other complex guesses.
Even then, the best results come from a complex mining of behaviour. I believe every big sales organisation should have a super brainy data guy in it doing a googly one day a week working on his own hobbies. (Although, putting super brainy people into place is my solution for everything.)
...is surprisingly lucid today - time to renew your 'prescription' methinks.
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