Ask the 5 W’s when deciding on a CRM

By Patricia Egen • October 25th, 2012

When thinking about the right CRM ask the 5 “w’s” questions: 5 w's of CRMWhere are you going to use it, Why are you using it, When will you use it, What will you write about and Who is your audience.

1. Where – if you are selling GPS equipment to combine owners and you are outstanding in their field (and I don’t mean good at what you do, I mean standing in the middle of a corn field), internet connections are probably not available and small devices not an option.   unless….

2. When – if you don’t have to send data until the end of the week or you can logon to a browser in a hotel room and get on the web.  If the data is very dynamic, ie you are techs who need to get the schedule of your next job by the hour, and you want to be able to send back to the home office what you did, you are candidates for the smaller devices and constant internet connection.  And you need to report back in so the home office can bill….which leads to…

3. Why you are using ACT.  Is it because there are too many people touching the clients and nobody knows what is going on.  You all know this one pretty well.  The real heart and soul of ACT will be the next thing…

4.  What will you write about.  Is it product details, customer service, things you might be interested in later, their golf scores? All of which can then be reported on to show the value of the product.  In that case, we/you need to know their audience.. leading us into

5. Who are you writing about and talking to.  This drives what goes in the database.  Is it account centric, xpeople centric, thing centric.

Computing technology is indeed more complex, but it’s that way for all CRMs.  ACT still is the best tool for small companies. We just proved this again yesterday.  A client is very frustrated with MSCRM.  Their guys won’t use it.  The IT guy, of all things, worked with Sage, got a demo and thinks it is easy and the coolest thing since sliced bread.  He can’t wait to get it implemented.  For 20 users.  But we hear this for the small mom and pop shops as well.  It’s not just ACT that it is changing. It’s the whole technical world.  The Cloud is wonderful but it’s not for everyone and we are starting to see some shifts back where people realize that when the cloud goes down, so do they.  And that again boils down to the When question above.  When do you fold if the data is not there.  How long can you afford to be down.

 

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