Choosing the Right Path: CRM or BRM for Your Business?

Any business that does not have a good CRM system is missing a trick, they are one of the most fundamental business tools to emerge since the card index – for those experienced enough to remember them!

CRM-image

We had a session at one of our recent Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates meetings exchanging ideas about how we all generate sales which extended to the value to any business of a well-designed, well-implemented and well-managed CRM system.

Any business that does not have a good CRM system is missing a trick, they are one of the most fundamental business tools to emerge since the card index – for those experienced enough to remember them!

Most of us know that CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management system but who on earth came up with that name and why has it stuck?

Surely Business Relationship Management (BRM) would be a better term because we shouldn’t just use them to record our existing customer contacts but to also capture information on our Targets, who may become Suspects who may become Prospects who may then become Customers.

Managing that cycle from identifying a business that could benefit from your products and services (Targets), marketing to them, inviting them to events, calling them, meeting with them and hopefully signing them up as a customer can be a complex process. Especially when it involves a number of different people from your organisation – and that is where your CRM (BRM) should deliver real value.

Any leader of any business should be able to search their CRM for the name of a business or an individual to see if they are in the CRM system. They should then be able to see why they are in the system (how were they originally identified as a Target) who has interacted with them from their business, and what is their current status.

However, a poorly implemented, poorly managed and poorly used CRM is a complete waste of money.

Many people are reluctant to use a CRM system properly because it can seem like more admin to keep it up to date, but those people do not see the value to the business (and their futures) that the CRM brings. Others foolishly want to keep their contacts to themselves and others simply do not have enough contacts and do not want to be found out by the CRM system – they do not want to be accountable!

Overcoming these challenges has to be a bit of a carrot-and-stick approach, sadly there is no silver bullet. Educate them on why using the CRM correctly is so important to the business (and their future) and sanction them if they don’t comply.

Make sure someone in your organisation ‘owns’ your CRM system in the same way that someone in your organisation ‘owns’ your accounting system, your sales order processing system etc.

It should be one of the most valuable business tools in your armoury – never lose sight of that!

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