Finally the Industry Catches Up

From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

  1. In the News
    The Industry Finally Echos my Remarks on CRM
    How can CRM programmes be tuned to deliver ROI in a depression
    Finally, the World is catching up to my rambling
    Importance of Cross Training Sales and Support
  2. Predictions in Strategic Relations
    Within 3 months, you will see companies starting to address the total relationship needs of an organization
  3. Strategic Relations Journal

In the News

The Industry Finally Echos my Remarks on CRM

According to CRM Buyer Magazine, "Companies can waste a lot of time and money evaluating the various CRM vendors' offerings and soliciting bids. Instead, insiders recommend they devote those same energies to setting specific goals like productivity improvement and return on investment requirements."

Finally, someone else has said it. Your company first must decide on how it wants its relationships, what processes it already has in place (no matter how informal), and THEN decide what tool will track them. The TOOL comes into play when it's time for automation, reducing costs, and brining new employees up to speed on how your company treats customers.

How can CRM programs be tuned to deliver ROI in a depression

The global economy is experiencing a slow down that could effect businesses that are not smart about software implementation. At times of economic changes, be prepared for vendors to start pushing their product as the solution for you woes.

Remember, it is the process of doing things that is more important than the tools you use to accomplish it. Yes, software can make things go faster, but make your measurements against total return on investment -- including integration costs. My comments follow the original story.

Finally, the World is catching up to my rambling

I know I talk a lot -- some people related my rambling to preaching. I personally like to teach and have since learned to address what people are interested in. Well, finally the world has taken notice on this whole issue of taking care of your existing customers. My "profitable customers" series were not as popular as I had hoped until now.

CRM Forum and other popular "customer relationship" magazines have headlines on the area of being nice to the customers you already have. Existing customers are 6 times less expensive to market and 53% more likely to purchase than prospects.

Importance of Cross Training Sales and Support

In a recent article, How to Get Started Earning Internal Partnerships for Greater Corporate Stability (Strategic Relations Journal) I describe an important way to build stability and improve effectiveness is to cross-train functional relationship types. I've recently had the opportunity to experience what happens when employees are myopic in their approach to customer support.

I contacted my Internet provider NTT/Verio for information about secure certificates. My first call was to the sales department, which told me I could buy a certificate through Verisign or at a lower cost from Equifax. I appreciated my sales representative looking out for my best price.
While I was trying to purchase a certificate through Equifax, I had a question about generating a unique key from my server. I call technical support and asked the same question I asked sales -- support said, ‘Why buy a certificate, your service plan includes a free certificate, here is the URL and how to use it.'

Wow, Sales and support gave me real solutions to my problem, both looked out for my best interest -- however, here is an answer they both could have used.

"Your account comes with a free certificate, or if you want a certificate of your own I can refer you to a business partner. Would you like to use the certificate that came with your account or want to purchase one of your own?"

The point is ... the sales solution was to sell me something, the support solution was to better use what I already have. Support saved me $590 dollars, and sales saved me $325 dollars -- Next time I need something related to my account, I am calling support first.

As Requested, Other Articles on Trust in Business

Not much is written on trust in business, though it is very important. In a past issue of the Strategic Relations Journal, I presented "7 Ways to Demonstrate Trust among Partners" -- If you are interested in other articles about building trust in your business, I recommend the following:

Trust is important in business relationships invest in it today. To learn more about building stronger relationships in your business, join the Strategic Relations Journal today.

Have you seen a news story that I may find interesting as it pertains to strategic relations? Does your company have a story about results with strategic relations? I'd like to hear about it. Email me at feedback-newsletter

Predictions in Strategic Relations

Within 3 months, you will see companies starting to address the total relationship needs of an organization

Software products will come available that more accurately support the tracking of supplier, customer, partner, and prospect needs. Beware of those who want to be all things to all people, remember, each industry has different relationship structures, which need to be addressed.

If you have any questions or concerns about my prediction, maybe even your own insight, then email me at questions-newsletter – I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say.

Strategic Relations Journal

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