Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Economic Crisis – Let The Boom Times Roll

By Manas Kumar, CEO

If you’re an employee what follows may upset you, but if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur then read on.

The current climate is an excellent time for businesses to get back to core competencies and business practice with a focus on streamlining both through the affective adoption and utilisation of technologies as business tools.

We are firmly of the belief that businesses who focus on effective utilisation of technologies as integrated business tools will do well in the current environment and will be positioned well to take advantage of opportunities and growth as and when the economic climate thaws.

Our message is one based around save the business… this may mean consolidation on a number of fronts including cutting employee numbers. But, such decisions should not be made in a reactive way, which does seems to be the mode that many businesses laying off staff are following.

Instead a company should look at a number of factors and their technology infrastructure should be on the top of this list. If your infrastructure is old, segmented and high maintenance then you need to seriously make changes in this department. The advantages to business using integrated business tools are tremendous giving you instant access to business performance when you need.

Such technologies also mean that some jobs naturally become redundant giving the business further savings but without the effect of management putting the axe to the tree before picking all the fruit.

Of course we are talking online technologies here - that open up more opportunities in themselves. Such things like telecommuting become possible cutting costs on office space, using VoIP to reduce telecommunication costs etc.

Integrations of your website, social media and online marketing channels to customer relationship management tools for effect sales force automation and sales management through to distribution, logistic and financial management processes can all be highly automated.

And forget all about taking such demands to the big tech guns… to be honest more often than not they are followers pretending to be leaders. Microsoft is a case in point who as a company, has rarely been the true innovator of any technology.

This is a time to start thinking outside the box; open source technologies have enormous business potential when coupled with technology partners who can take these base technology solutions and customise them to your business requirements. The cost of which would pleasantly surprise most business owners or managers. Security is also not as big a problem anymore… in fact the main security risk to most businesses is internal rather than from external sources. Using services like McAfee Security and encryption technologies can help to minimize such risks.

A great starting point if you are looking to go down this road would be a good CRM and invest in securing your current customer base first. Once you have done this, or as you are doing this look at your website… Is it one of those dime a dozen sites or has it been built on purpose with a very clear strategy as to what as a company you are communicating? Then integrate your lead capture form into your CRM with clear expectations set for your sales force as to how to develop and qualify these new leads. Ensure you know what is a lead and what’s not… one thing you need to avoid like the plague is prostituting yourself on low value tyre kicking leads. Don’t be afraid to be the business that is going somewhere fast, and if you want to be on the train then get on board. The more confidence your business shows, the more confident leads will be to do business with you.

Remember now is the time for top level thinking, not mass media “woe is me” thinking. Look at the business from the top down… if you as the owner or manager don’t have the full picture then you need to change that… Get some professional help to assist you - In today’s times, what you don’t know will hurt you.

Get this top down view, be proactive not reactive in your decision making process, challenge everything in every area of your business and set about a course of action to transition your business into a lean, focused and innovative organisation. An organisation that can manage what it has, grow what it needs and understands the roles of new technologies as integrated, intelligent business tools that can deliver real advantages.

So let the boom times role.

About the Author
Manas Kumar is founder and CEO of Genesis Interactive the parent company behind Live CRM and many other SaaS initiatives.

Tags: CRM, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Retention, Economic Crisis, customer relationships, buyer

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