TBS MEET A CEO
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Customer Record Management is another name, used often when the focus has been more data rather than the relationship between the two sides. CRM has to be seen as a solution and I like to think of it as follows: CRM helps the people who are helping your customers, know what they need to know, when they need to know it, to get on better with your / those clients, throughout the lifetime of the association between you and them.
CRM is the business processes by which you (and your organisation) engage with their customers / clients. It should therefore be more than sales. True CRM supports an organisations sales (from lead generation to receipt of revenue), marketing (online and offline campaigns, directed and non-directed campaigns) and support. It should also generate metrics from all of these which allow better and stronger decision making.
Many CRM projects fail – up to 85%, depending on what you read. I often get called in to help organisations who are getting less than they expected as I can often see how some small changes will deliver great returns.
Opsis offer a range of consulting and education services. One of the challenges that both clients and implementers face is that the vendors make out that CRM (regardless of the technology selected) is easy. It is simple, when you understand the process, but it is not easy.
A successful CRM implementation requires change management. Adopting the technology fully requires changes in the way many people work. People often feel threatened by these changes so change management is required.
A successful CRM implementation also requires education and training – throughout the project. These will take many forms including:
All businesses require customers. It is cheaper to look after existing customers than to find new customers. Looking after customers requires management of the supplier - customer relationship. CRM (done correctly) is the tool that makes this easier. QED.
However, while good CRM makes looking after customers easier, bad CRM just gets in the way. Too many implementations are simply bad CRM.
I got into this field by accident. Definitely a case of right result for wrong reasons. My first degree was Experimental Pathology from St Andrews (I am 10% of the total population with this degree!) in Scotland. Following this, I worked in Leukaemia Research in Cardiff, Wales. During this time, I realised my strength in educating, so following this role I did a teaching qualification. After this I was offered a training role with an IT company and then I set up my own training company. Throughout the nineties, I trained pretty much every desktop application for a large number of companies, as desktop PCs were becoming the norm.
Then I was offered a pivotal role – leading the training on two different CRM solutions across Europe for Microsoft. This led to me being headhunted to come to Australia to join a growing consultancy and in 2004 I founded Opsis. Microsoft had recently launched Microsoft CRM, and I saw the opportunity. The rest, as they say, is history.
Perhaps it is my medical background, perhaps my love of learning and education, but I have always felt that client's (which means users) results are what really matter.
The challenges have been many and varied.
Probably the biggest one is the lack of understanding in clients and prospects. This manifests itself in many ways:
People not paying because what they get is not what they expect, even when it is exactly what is specified;
Toastmasters has been fantastic for me. I joined in 2012, because I saw that I needed to make the jump from training (which I’ve done forever) to speaking. Speaking is a form of education that I see will help me expand Opsis.
However, the benefits that I have gained go far beyond this:
Published on Opsis' blog by Gill Walker
Gill Walker is many things:
Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions. We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.