How to Sell CRM in Your Organization (779 words)
If your company has yet to institute a CRM initiative, and you fear the primary challenge will be convincing your colleagues and managers in your own organization that such a program is needed, these internal sales tips may help.
At February's Direct Marketing Days in Chicago, Braun Consulting's Kevin Haas, database manager, CRM specialist, and Kevin Costello, senior database manager, offered the following seven-step action plan to help marketers build consensus among their co-workers and managers.
1. Create awareness that a CRM system is necessary.
n Identify internal indicators of need, such as who could benefit from a CRM application in your organization, and what system functionality they could use.
•Collect external realities in your marketplace, that is, demonstrate the missed opportunities if you don't implement a CRM system.
2. Marry CRM to the company's mission.
• Relate your proposed CRM initiative to the company's current vision and mission statements.
• Relate the need for CRM systems to current pressing issues your company is trying to overcome.
• Understand the internal competing initiatives. Your colleagues in other departments may be lobbying for other, non-CRM systems to battle the company's current challenges. Are those proposed systems parallel, complementary or antithetical to your proposed system? Says Haas, "Assimilate or be assimilated."
3. Find other supporters. Before implementing the following steps, Haas suggests understanding the concept of "Napoleon's Thirds." About one-third of your co-workers will support your CRM ideas. Assign them as leaders in your organizational teams and reward them for wanting to learn more and assist in the CRM project.
Another third are postponers, says Haas. "They'll want to wait and see how things are going before they'll support it." Work to reduce their uncertainty and discomfort.
And the final third of your colleagues are detractors. "Listen to their concerns, involve them in the decision-making process, cushion their negative feedback, demonstrate early successes, and equate risk to reward," advises Haas.