The Right Resources
Often people make an investment in technology without considering the totality of the resources they will need to succeed. Buying the software is the first cost. To get a return on your technology investments, you also need additional resources including:
Firms frequently underestimate the amount of financial resources required to successfully deploy marketing and business development technology. In addition to the purchase of licenses or subscriptions, success often requires additional investments in a number of areas such as:
- Professional services to configure and implement
- Integrations with other systems or technology
- Training of system administrators and users
- Ongoing annual service and support
- Automated and/or manual data cleansing
Clients sometimes ask us how long their technology implementation will take once they have purchased the software. Frequently, they aren’t particularly happy with the answer: forever. Implementation of a CRM system and related or integrated technology is not an initiative or a project, but rather a fundamental change – and improvement – in the way your organization manages it’s most important assets… it’s relationships. This means that it never really ‘ends.’ But the good news is that this means you have forever to get better at it.
Additionally, having the right human resources in place will also be essential to success. To support a technology implementation, proper staffing is critical. Important individuals include:
- Trainers – Training resources should be engaged early and often, as education is the key to system adoption and value. Training should be customized to the needs and requirements of select groups and/or individuals. Ongoing training should also be planned for as new features are released and new employees join.
- Data Stewards – Up to 30% of an organization’s data degrades each year, and without good data, system utilization will suffer. This means that data quality professionals must be assigned to regularly research and maintain your data.
- CRM Managers – Depending on the size of your organization, a CRM manager or administrator can be beneficial for daily maintenance of the system and handling important system tasks such as contact management, campaign distribution, event management and generating searches and reports for users.
- Business Development – The Business Development team should regularly utilize the CRM and related systems to support the professionals. They should be responsible for entering key data and liaise with the professionals to provide advice and analytics.
- Administrative Staff – Many firms leverage key staff such as secretaries or admins – many of whom may have some free time while they are working remotely – to assist the professionals in managing contacts, keeping lists updated and adding business development activities to the system.
Getting Help and Resources
As staffing and responsibilities continue to flex and evolve, outsourcing key positions can be a good option to provide temporary or long-term solutions for marketing and business development teams. These professionals are available to augment the firm’s internal team or fill a vacancy when someone leaves or is going to be out of the office for a limited or extended time.
- Data Quality Professionals – If your organization doesn’t currently have internal staff to perform data quality tasks and you aren’t able or don’t want to hire new staff, experienced outsourced data quality professionals can be secured easily – and frequently at a lower cost than internal data stewards. Outsourced data stewards are knowledgeable about CRM systems and trained in research to ensure the firm’s data is clean, correct, complete and properly formatted.
- Trainers – Experienced trainers can provide customized remote or web-based CRM training to ensure all your team members are fully fluent in the firm’s CRM’s capabilities. Outsourced trainers can provide in-person training and travel to remote offices as needed or provide remote video training for employees who are working remotely from home.
- CRM Managers or Administrators – Firms that don’t have the resources to invest in a full-time or part-time CRM Manager or Admin can now secure the expertise of an experienced outsourced professional for a few hours or more per week.
- eMarketing Professionals – These outsourced professionals are trained in leading CRM and eMarketing systems and can assist with campaign and invitation distributions, event management, reporting and analytics. They can also assist with other eMarketing tasks such as template and activity creation.
What the Future Holds
Digital and electronic marketing be the key to targeted and successful business development in the remote world of the #NewNormal as the business world tests the post-COVID-19 waters and moves forward. Don’t let inadequate or antiquated technology, bad data or the lack of resources prevent your firm from pursuing – and achieving – its marketing and business development goals.
We Can Help
If your firm’s CRM value and/or data quality are not where they need to be to support your marketing and business development initiatives during these challenging times, or if roles and responsibilities have changed due to downsizing or restructuring, the CLIENTSFirst team is happy to help. Over the past 15 years, we have helped literally hundreds of firms achieve success with CRM and related and integrated technology. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary assessment of your CRM or data quality needs.
For more than a decade, the team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement CRM and eMarketing systems to maximize value, adoption and return on investment and helping firms improve data quality through automated and manual data quality processes. If you need help achieving CRM, Data Quality or eMarketing success, please contact us at 404-249-9914 or Info@CLIENTSFirstConsulting.com.