Separating yourself from the competition is every firm’s goal, but it can be a tough hurdle. In our industry, CRM can be a trivial topic for end users, who primarily care about software features (such as mobile device integration, adding an elaborate new search screen, or being able to quickly associate a document with a certain individual). But CRM is more of a strategic topic for administrators, who probably care more about the data behind the scenes than about how that data is displayed and leveraged through the front end.
If your firm were to engage with a CRM vendor, you’d likely have one of two conversations. The vendor could focus on showing you front-end features and functions, or they could start a dialog with you to identify the crucial data that drives your business, and then focus on specific functionality that can maximize the benefit of your solution.
Understanding your business and what data is important helps you make the most of your investment in CRM. Knowing what data your firm wants to view, query, or even track can be a challenge. In fact, the true challenge isn’t in the functionality of a CRM solution; the most important aspect of any solution is its ability to manage and process your data. The more complex your business, the more complex the conversation around data needs to be. When SalesPage engages with firms like yours, we always have a data conversation first, and talk about CRM functionality second.
In order to understand your business needs, from the perspective of both end users and administrators, we ask: How do you plan to utilize your data? Do you know where all your data is coming from? How do you want your system to integrate with and share data between other solutions? How do you want your data presented? These are just some of the initial questions we ask our potential clients. We know that your investment with us is about much more than what will appear on your user interface—SalesPage clients rely on us because we know the industry and have a solid handle on the unique business functionality you need.
We encourage firms to focus on data first, and to understand that bell-and-whistle functionality is just icing on the cake. If you don’t have the ability to properly manage, process, and apply business logic to your data in your CRM solution, your software is useless. Firms rely heavily on accurate data to make effective decisions. Important data, especially data you are paying for, needs to be leveraged fully through your CRM solution to maximize return.
Take my advice: When considering CRM, put data first, as it is clearly the most important piece of the puzzle.