As business managers and owners are we truly aware of our key business measures and their messages? Or do we have something to learn from the animal world…?
I’ve just finished reading Michael Morpurgo’s book “Born to Run” to my young son – it’s about a boy who is saved from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami by the elephant he is riding along the beach. He’s saved because the elephant senses danger and takes the decision to run like mad for the higher ground a vital few minutes earlier than any human at least had figured out what was happening. The book goes on to document how the boy and the elephant develop a close-mutual relationship and to look at the wider context of how humans are impacting the natural world. But the story-point that stuck with me was the elephant’s ability to know before anyone else to get the hell out of there.
If you go looking, there’s lots of scientific study that tries to figure out if animals have “super-powers” and can sense impending natural disasters before humans and to act upon these senses. Studies quote witnesses who have seen anxiety and distress-behaviour in dogs and other domestic animals in advance of earthquakes occurring, for example. Scientists analyse and debate the data that (for the papers that I have managed to read) indicates animals are simply reacting to a sense of fear induced by the fact that they hear or feel small changes in the environment.
So far, so sensible in my definitely non-scientific opinion! It seems entirely valid to me that animals are connected to the natural world’s ‘data’ in a way that us cerebral human beings are, generally speaking, just not anymore. I’d posit that’s what gives the animals the advantage over us in the natural disaster stakes. They feel the environmental change, they sense it heading towards them, they interpret the relatively simple variables and decide to go seek safety (whatever that is defined as for them).
See how this innate understanding of natural “data” enables their decisions and gives them advantage?
So I figure that they’re running a really good CRM system…
It’s obvious isn’t it?
I’m only half joking! I’m not suggesting that Fido-the-Dog and Nelly-the-Elephant are sat in front of a high-end, highly extensible fully integrated customer relationship system clicking away to get a granular slice & dice of management information reportage on sales pipeline effectiveness for the last financial quarter (but it’s a slightly amusing image isn’t it? Just me? Fair enough.)
C’mon! We couldn’t not use a picture of a dog using a laptop!
My point is that back in the intellectual, so often thought of as “rational” world of business it simply is good commercial logic to have excellent senses and figure out the next move before it happens.
That’s what all the science and investment around ‘big-data’ is about. That’s what “information is power” statements are talking about. That’s what systems that give heartbeat information updates are trying to achieve. Data is now intrinsically woven into every section of business in the 21st century and the key elements of business such as product manufacture and correct deployment of human capital – in fact much of our day to day economic activity – relies heavily upon electronically held information.
Surely you have sympathy with the idea that the more one is able to get quick, pointed decisions out of the multitude of enriched and complex data-assaults that hits you, the more evolutionary advantage you get. Which in a business context means that your company is going to be better able to react in advance of a prospect’s purchasing processes. It means that you’re going to be quick to resolve an existing client’s business issues – you may even get clever enough to inform your clients of their own impending issues/actions heading their way before even they spot them!
It’s a simple idea. One that big-business is acting upon now.
I was chatting to an old friend recently who works in the pharmaceutical industry. He mentioned in passing some initiatives within his industry that will see the big pharmaceuticals working with internet search engine data to watch the patterns of keyword search volumes. The pharmaceutical companies are interested to see if there is a ‘front-wave’ of particular keyword search volumes that can predict demand for particular drugs – and that perhaps may indicate nascent pandemics. For example, data patterns could show keywords relating to “flu” are being searched for within a specific geography that then later goes onto to experience a contagion outbreak. No doubt this linkage will assist the pharmaceuticals with their operational supply and inform government spending on pharmaceutical drugs so that it can be “just in time”, meaning that all involved organisations reduce wastage, improve effectiveness and boost profitability (oh, whilst also helping contain a large threat to public health!).
Again; it’s a simple idea – but one that requires complex and sophisticated toolsets.
Operating a system that holds your information, organises it and prompts you means that you are going be a more effective and discerning business manager. You will see how to enhance your productivity, reduce waste and increase your quality. That makes you the elephant standing on top of the metaphorical mountain watching the sea-water wash away your competitors. How does it feel to have felt the vibrations first and to have reacted in advance of danger appearing? It feels good yes?
Oh and, if you’ve been nodding in agreement but thinking “where can I get one of these systems then?” worry not! It seems you are more connected with your inner-Fido than you thought because your instinct has successfully led you to JunariCRM+.
What a good dog!
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +44 (0)1206 625225
This is an excerpt from our free Whitepaper “CRM = Your Best Business Asset”. To download a full copy of the whitepaper put your email address into the box at the bottom of this page:
The only thing that is going to beat an investment in CRM in terms of day-to-day dividend payments as well as long-term capital or “sale” value is if you own your own business premises, in which case, we concede that your CRM is likely to come a close second.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a critical piece of software that will (most definitely should!) affect or touch every part of your business enterprise. It will take considerable effort from you and your organisation to diligently select your CRM, implement and leverage if it is to deliver tangible benefit and generally improve your business.
So let’s look at just one area in which the value of your CRM can be measured:
A CRM will Boost Efficiency and Effectiveness:
More effective marketing campaigns, better campaign management, and report generation time efficiencies are all important measures of efficiency and effectiveness. Other valuable effectiveness measures include:
- How good you are at resolving customer issues upon first contact
- Overall success rates of problem-resolution
- How long it takes you to resolve/deliver service to customers (clock-hours and man-hours)
- What your customer attrition trends are and especially what patterns relate to attrition-reduction
- How your customer response rates compare across your various touch points and the trends apportioned to these.
- Effort levels spent in generating targeted promotions, sales reports, and marketing research information
- How long it takes to go from lead to conversion in a sales cycle and whether this is improving (as well as your campaign development cycle and product development!)
- Where your profit-hearts reside and the deltas from these pivot-points
Scores on any specific efficiencies metrics can be interpreted as good or bad only with respect to specific strategies and objectives, and with respect to specific customer segments. For example, perhaps your company may look favourably upon an increase in average talk time with the high-value customer segments but unfavourably upon an increase with your low-value customers. Perhaps an increase in abandoned calls among low-value customers may be viewed favourably by your bosses, whereas you would be expected to immediately address an increase in abandoned calls by a high-value customer segment.
The point is that you will have got the proof-points to hand together with the context and a rapier sharp knowledge of where you stand- because you are running a CRM system.
Want 10 more tips of how to get the best out of your CRM?
Download your copy of our free Whitepaper now
This blog is an excerpt from our free Whitepaper “CRM = Your Best Business Asset” which goes onto describe the 10 key things you need to do to make the business case for and prove the value of your CRM implementation.
Download this whitepaper now by putting your email address into the box below
Putting Customer Relationship Management into the heart of your business will be the best business move you make.
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“CRM = Your Best Business Asset”
The Junari Woooow Moment (Part 2)
Got Any Pains?
Are you experiencing pain in your business? Is that pain due to niggling thoughts that you’re leaving “money on the table” and missing valuable opportunities? Or perhaps the pain is due to undeniable revenue-losses that have been caused by unintentional bad customer service, losing critical client information or being unable to react at the optimum moment. Maybe you’re just fed-up having to work so hard and repeating yourself just to get to a point of business-truth that you can actually trust.
These are all common symptoms. So if you’re suffering any level of these then read on – we have a fantastic offer that you may wish to grab at the bottom of the page.
(If you’re fully on-top of all your customer data, client/product/service profitability and never waste a minute of the working day having to double-check information then you can stop reading and go back to being a superhero. Thanks for stopping by though, don’t be a stranger, we love superheroes)
Have you heard of “Woooow” waves?
We love Paul Dunn the co-founder of B1G1 charity foundation and self-proclaimed “Wizard of Wow” (we wrote a blog about it a while back, go check it out when you’re finished reading this).
Paul has developed the “Wow” marketing moment theory and now talks about “Woooow” waves– these are similar to “Wow” moments but much deeper, more profound occurrences of connection. Wow moments can be intangible connections that fade over time. But give someone – a customer for instance – a “Woooow” moment and these are often transformational and are likely to remain permanent.
They’re moments of Business Truth hitting you between the eyes…
And we know them very well – we make it our business to deliver business truth into our customers’ businesses. A feeling of total clarity, neatness and powerful patterns pointing you in a very specific strategic direction – that’s what our JunariCRM+ system will deliver. You’d like proof?
So here’s an example from a client of ours who was suffering a great deal of business pain because of their systems and lack of business truth and how JunariCRM+ gave them a “woooow” moment. Names and industry sectors have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike:
Welcome to Company “X”
They are a service delivery company, turning over about £5m a year with about 60 or so employees. They had about 200 customers on the books and offered multiple services all sold on a monthly retainer model. All looked well in the business – they had just completed their 3rd year of year on year growth.
BUT the thing was that the rising tide of a market they lived within was raising all boats.
You see, this company was actually in a great deal of pain and suffering on a daily basis, yet they did not notice. Until, that is, they employed someone new – let’s call him “Bob” – and he started to ask the pertinent business questions. These are the pain symptoms he discovered:
- No-one had a clear idea of which clients were on which package
- No-one followed a standard service-process
- No-one knew the man-hour ‘burn-rate’ cost of the business
- No-one knew the break-even point of the service packages
- No one logged where time was spent
- No-one knew the individual profitability of each client
- Staff were prioritising on the basis of which client was [SA2] shouting most loudly
- Service was being devalued as they were differentiating on price only
- Multiple systems were being used (spreadsheets, apps, SaaS tools) so multiple versions of the “truth” existed
- Losing a few customers” turned out to be a 100% annual churn rate (with pre-sales lead times for new customers running at roughly 5-6 months)
So “Bob” called for help and together we crafted a business case that would see the cost of the CRM+ implementation fully paid back in real business benefits in just 8 months. Suffice to say that “Bob’s” presentation to the board went down well.
And once JunariCRM+ had been implemented, these are some of the “possible’s” that were exposed (they’d been hiding behind all that pain and lack of business truth):
- That certain low-priced service packages the company was offering took twice the amount of man-effort than higher-priced service packages. So “Bob” was able to amend the sales & pricing strategies and get the cut-price, low-value offerings ditched (upselling these clients onto a better package as he did).
- That aged-debt levels were increasing whilst recovery rates remained very low. “Bob” had the proof to engage new debt-collection partners and recovery rates improved together with new, faster-reacting “service on-hold” procedures protecting the company from further risk.
- That the actual capacity levels in the customer service team were such that plans for further recruitment were not needed – so “Bob” managed to save all the cash that had been ring-fenced for recruitment costs. Result!
- That revenues from a particular service line were in a slow, but spookily-persistent decline. This was the business truth that “Bob” needed in order to strengthen his business case that the company should put diversification plans into action.
“Bob” was promoted. Business-truth is a powerful thing!
Fancy some practical help getting your very own “Woooow” moment?
We’re giving away, with no obligation or catches a free 2 hour consultation (worth £160) to the first 5 people to sign-up. You’ll get to explain your key business frustrations and issues to us and we’ll give you the benefit of our experience and advice to put you on a better business-truth footing.
There is one condition to this offer – and that is that we may NOT recommend our own JunariCRM+ product for you. So you should be prepared for that. We want to be clear about this and know that you understand. This is not a trifling sales gimmick for us to get more product sales. We’re offering you a chance to get started on finding your business truth and simply because we’d like to know that we helped 5 more businesses on the road to being more successful.
So if you believe us, enter your email below (remember, you have to be one of the first 5 people to register and we also think it’s fair for us to opt to do the chat via telephone if getting to you means that we’d have to take the whole day out of the office).
Get a free 2 hour consultation normally worth £160
If you’d like to be one of the first five people to register for this no-strings-attached offer then just type your email address into the box below
(we promise we will never pass on your details to anybody else)
Get some help with your business pains by hearing some business truths
“Every good product I’ve ever seen is because a group of people cared deeply about making something wonderful that they and their friends wanted. They wanted to use it themselves” Steve Jobs
As a legendary “product-guy” Steve Jobs had a passion for developing products that were entirely and wholly usable. And whether you’re an Apple fan or not, you have to tip your hat at how Mr Jobs’ focus was made manifest.
And those two points he thought were key to developing great product – wanting to produce something meaningful that your friends (or business associates) want to use and that you yourself want to use – is where we started when developing JunariCRM+.
Number one on our list of “must-haves” was that our product had to be entirely customisable to each and every one of or uniquely special, differently similar and similarly different clients. Not just so that we could provide a bespoke-able product for these businesses but so that we could produce a bespoke-able individual user experience for their team members too.
Because for you as our client, the success of our product, is ultimately your experience of it. This and nothing more.
And as our client you’ll want a system that supports the uniqueness of your business so that you can maintain your unique subtleties of innovation and not end up being just like your competitors.
And as our client you’ll want your team to be able to get on with the job of data input, management reporting, task management, workflow progress and following up on sales leads without having to think too much and work too hard at completing this.
Because the reality of most CRM systems is that they suffer from “feature bloat” syndrome and this results in overly busy user screens and icon-overload. In truth, users of your CRM system are going to end up using 5% of your CRM’s functionality 95% of the time. So all those “really useful” features being scattered before them, blinking away on the screen are on the whole a waste of space and probably a bit off-putting.
We think a better approach is to allow your users to concentrate on what they need to do and do it well (efficiently and accurately). Each and every one of your users on a JunariCRM+ system can have a tailored user-experience so that they can get straight to what they each need to do quickly and get it done; building your business success as they do.
Avoid the feature-bloat; cut straight to the point of what you need each person to do and we’ll build that into your system so that working with the CRM becomes a simple and natural extension of how your team does its work. That’s good news because it will mean your CRM will get used, the data going in will be truthful and timely and you’ll have confidence that you’re following up the right leads, doing the right work for your clients in the right order. In short you’ll have a CRM that is working for you and helping you grow your business.
Okay, so your team members may not have many pretty icons to look at on the screen with our CRM, just the ones they really need to use – but is your face bothered? No, mine neither!
The key thing to avoiding the dangers of feature-bloat is to find a CRM vendor that understands that creating a successful CRM product is about creating a great usability experience, not only delivering functionality that is valuable but that also helps people use it. The good news is that if you’re reading this you can relax. You’ve already found us.
And if you can remember nothing else from this article then make it these two simple and compelling facts…
- Users will use simple but powerful products – choose a CRM that will allow you to create the shortest “critical path” for your users. Why? Because we’re all lazy! This is not to cast unkind aspersions at the whole of the human race! Just stating the reality that we seldom have enough time for all the things we need to get done in the working-day. So it makes sense to encourage your team to do the critical work-activities – the ones that you invested in the CRM to help them perform – by making the experience simple. You may not be thanked directly by your users, but the return on your investment will probably help keep you warm at night instead.
- Be aware that the devil is in the “default” – most people don’t bother to read the instruction manual, or the carefully written CRM User Guide. Instead people will jump in and try things out for themselves, clicking around until they find the ‘pathways’ through the system that make sense for them. So think carefully about your CRM’s “default” experience – the one that happens without any additional learning or customisation – as it is this experience that will determine the success or failure of your CRM’s usability. One of our clients managed to quadruple the number of their team members, get them set up and working on the CRM+ system without any need for any system training or manuals or indeed any additional support from us, simply because the system we’d built for them matched their work vocabulary succinctly and embodied the natural flow of the actual work they were doing.
Contact us on email@example.com or call on +44 (0)1206 625225
Prepare yourself! If you’re thinking of becoming a customer of JunariCRM+ then you’re going to have to get used to being asked a lot of questions!
Questions about your business, questions about your process barriers, questions about the exceptional-exceptions that occur, questions about your hopes and wishes. Our clients quickly get used to our normal ‘modus operandi’ being to ask at least 10 questions to every 1 they pose us!
It’s not that we’re being nosey for the sake of nosiness though. It’s simply a case that we never take a client’s first thoughts as to what they think they need from their CRM system as the absolute unquestionable gospel. Does that sound a tad arrogant? We feel it’s the complete opposite!
We are not arrogant enough to assume or accept that we, or for that matter you, the client, really understand what the system solution has to be until we are sure that we’ve jointly explored all of the valid, and potentially invalid, business reasons why you think that way. You see, we’ve been doing this CRM-malarkey for a long time now – we’re in our 10th year so we reckon that we know a lot about the ‘software-cul-de-sacs’ people can create for themselves and how best to avoid them.
If you choose to become our client then expect us to want to dive deeper and explore and challenge you. We’re seriously interested in how you think your business should work. We’re not interested in how you think a CRM system should work! Sorry to say it, but it’s true!
Many people get in touch and start telling us how they want their CRM system to look like. Stop doing that! Tell us instead how you want your business to work and therefore how the system has to fit in with that. Now that’s a far more interesting conversation!
So, if you’re searching for a new CRM system then here’s a word of advice; the best CRMs (by which we mean it will earn its implementation fees many times back for you in business growth and cost-savings) will be tailor-able to your business requirements. So concentrate on what you know best – your business imperatives and needs. This is what you and only you can know best. Leave the CRM software companies to work out how they will mould and customise their software to fit you – this is after all what they should be experts in.
If you decide to become a JunariCRM+ customer (and may we say that you’ll be in good company if you do, go check out some of our client testimonials) then you can expect to work with us through a detailed phase of figuring out what exactly your requirements are. This can be just a 2-3 hour meeting with some clients or with others ends up being a multi iterative process.
The point is that the business matters at hand are often complex and many layered but if you want your CRM to be a success and deliver a return on its investment then you are going to need the CRM to work and behave in the way that your business processes demand – not the other way around of having to fit your business into what the CRM system will do for you.
The JunariCRM+ obsessiveness with questions and more questions is specifically designed to tease out the important subtleties of your business that if overlooked would result in a system that well, doesn’t quite fit you and starts to chafe a little –that would be painful and costly to your business. No one likes chafing!
The reason we built JunariCRM+ the way we did – to be entirely tailor-able to each client’s business needs – is because it is in creating a great tailored fit that your business is properly able to benefit from a CRM. Unlike the Saville Row tailor, we don’t use a tape measure to create this, we use lots and lots of questions instead!
Have you got a question for us?
Would you like to ask our advice on anything CRM related? Go right ahead!
We love nothing better than helping people get the right CRM system that their business deserves. Use the “get in touch” pink button below to pose us your enquiry and we’ll get right back to you.
… without killing the innocent
Summary – Apples and pianos
About twice a week I am invited to meet a company who is looking for a solution for their sales, marketing or operational needs. However, it is rare that someone sends me something that describes themselves and some tangible details on their problems and needs. I’m happy to gather that information, but I feel sorry for my potential clients as they have to go through that with every potential suitor they see, and the shape of the problem changes if you are just answering questions, or trying to remember the main points you made last time, and many end up with something that just doesn’t fit. You can end up comparing apples with pianos, as seekers hear what people have rather than a response to what they actually want.
My promise – I do solemnly swear…
…that if you follow these steps, you will find it easier, cheaper and much less time-consuming to select new software solutions, be they CRM or anything else where you are talking to sales people, and even when just browsing the web. Who knows, you might even enjoy it. I’m not talking about a five-volume tome here, just two pages, it’ll look like a golden chalice to the people you send it to and they’ll love you.
Steps to software heaven – It’s honestly this simple
Introduce yourself and the company
Get yourself a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), then feel free to spill the beans about what you do, how you do it, what with and who to. This will enable you to set the real scene, not just the one on your website. Explain what you are trying to achieve, be it more sales, more conversions, less delivery failures, higher quality? It’s your story, tell it shamelessly with gusto and aplomb.
Describe your current systems
Nothing fancy, just what you use in the organisation for anything that is relevant. Email, calendars, financial systems, CRM, contact management, stock systems, anything that could possibly be involved or close to the environment that the new software is required to fit into.
Describe your data
Describe what data you hold on what processes and which groups of companies and people. Sure, contact details, but what else? Birth dates? Illnesses? Services? Products? Calendars? Stock? Just a list with a short phrase after it, for the sake of memory and openness
Define the problem
What is it that’s bothering you? Consider not fixing it and decide why you need to do something about it
This could be simple, and highly useful for you too in your own decision process. An example might be “We are currently converting 1% of sales and are making a loss. If we don’t increase conversions to around 5% within the next 6 months we will have funding issues. We believe the reason we are failing to convert is that everything is paper based and people work remotely.”
Try to ensure that the kimono is fully jacked open. (Sorry, I used a cliché phrase, it works though eh?)
Describe the nice-to-haves
In case vendor or solution choice comes down to these
Are you in a hurry?
Detail any relevant timescales or other project parameters that need to be met (and maybe budget). This gives your vendor a chance to come clean if they just can’t meet those timescales.
Good luck, it can be a beautiful process that makes you feel like life is worthwhile!
Oh here it comes – The salesy bit
Ok, I can help you do this if you need it, I’m pretty good as I’ve been doing it for 25 years. If you’d like to get some more advice then please get in touch with me using that nice pink button at the bottom of the page.