Book Image

The Art of CRM

By : Max Fatouretchi
Book Image

The Art of CRM

By: Max Fatouretchi

Overview of this book

CRM systems have delivered huge value to organizations. This book shares proven and cutting-edge techniques to increase the power of CRM even further. In The Art of CRM, Max Fatouretchi shares his decades of experience building successful CRM systems that make a real difference to business performance. Through clear processes, actionable advice, and informative case studies, The Art of CRM teaches you to design successful CRM systems for your clients. Fatouretchi, founder of Academy4CRM institute, draws on his experience over 20 years and 200 CRM implementations worldwide. Bringing CRM bang up to date, The Art of CRM shows how to add AI and machine learning, ensure compliance with GDPR, and choose between on-premise, cloud, and hybrid hosting solutions. If you’re looking for an expert guide to real-world CRM implementations, this book is for you.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
The Art of CRM
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The three main pillars of CRM

The main role of the architect is to design a solution that can not only satisfy the needs and requirements of all the stakeholders, but at the same time provide agility and structure for a good foundation that supports future business needs and extensions, very much like the Taj Mahal, which has changed its role over the years while remaining robust and with low maintenance costs.

Having understood the drivers and the requirements, you are ready to establish the critical properties that the system will have to exhibit in order to identify scenarios and characterize each one of them. The output of the process is a tree of attributes, which is a quality attribute tree including usability, availability, performance, and evolution, which are all things we will explore in more detail throughout this book.

You always need to consider that a CRM rollout in a company will affect everyone. Above all, it needs to support the business strategies while improving operational efficiencies, enabling business orchestration, and improving customer experience across all channels.

Technically speaking, there are three main pillars for any CRM implementation and they deliver value to the business:

  • Operational CRM: The operational CRM is all about marketing, sales, and services functionalities. We will cover some case studies later in this chapter from different projects I've personally engaged with across a wide area of applications.

  • Analytical CRM: The analytical CRM will use the data collected from the operational CRM and provide users and business leaders with individual KPIs, dashboards, and analytical tools to enable them to slice and dice data about business performance as they require. This foundation is for the business orchestration.

  • Collaboration CRM: The collaboration CRM will provide the technology to integrate all kinds of communication channels and frontends with core CRM for both internal and external users: employees, partners, customers, and so-called bring-your-own devices. This includes support for different types of devices that could integrate with a CRM core platform and be administered with the same tools, leveraging the same infrastructure, including security and maintenance. The focus is on using the same platform, same authentication procedures, and same workflow engine, and fully leveraging the core entities and data.

With these three pillars in place, you'll be able to create a comprehensive view of your business and manage clients' communication over all your channels. Through this, you'll have the ingredients for predictive client insights, business intelligence, marketing, sales, and services automation. Later on in this chapter, we will see examples of these pillars.

Before we move on, Figure 1.1 is an illustration of the three pillars of a CRM solution and related modules, which should help you to visualize what we've just talked about.

Figure 1.1: The three pillars of CRM

It's also important to remember that any CRM journey always begins with either a business strategy or a business pain point. All of the stakeholders must have a clear understanding of where the company is heading and what the business drivers for a CRM investment are. It's also important for all CRM team members to remember that the potential success or failure of CRM projects remains primarily on the shoulders of business stakeholders and not on those of the IT staff.

Typically, the business decision makers are the ones bringing up the need for and sponsoring a CRM solution. Often, but not always, the IT department is tasked with the selection of the platform and conducting the due diligence with a number of vendors. More importantly, while different business users may have different roles and expectations from the system, everyone needs to have a common understanding of the company's vision.

Team members need to support the same business strategies at the highest level. This means that the team will work together toward the success of a project for the company as a whole, while having individual expectations.

In addition to that, you will notice that the focus and the level of engagement of people involved in a project (the project team) will vary during the life cycle of the project as time goes on. It helps to categorize the characteristics of team members from visionaries and leadership to stakeholders and owners. While key sponsors are more visionary and, usually, the first players to actively support and advocate for a CRM strategy, they will just define the tactics. The end users will ultimately take more ownership during the deployment and operation phases.

In Figure 1.2, we see the engagement level of stakeholders, key users, and end users in a CRM implementation project. The visionaries are here to set the company's vision and strategies for a CRM, the key users (department leads) are the key sponsors who promote the solution, and the end users engage in reviews and provide feedback.

Figure 1.2: CRM role-based ownership

Before we start the development, we must have identified the stakeholders and have a crystal-clear vision of the functional requirements based on the business requirements. Furthermore, we must ensure that we have converted these to a detailed functional specification. All this is done by business analysts, project managers, solution specialists, and architects, with the level of IT engagement being driven by the outcome of this process. We will explore some really great examples and case studies later in this chapter, where we will highlight the importance of aligning team members with business strategies in order to achieve expected benefits from the CRM investment.

This will also help to identify the metrics for the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the business and consequently the metrics that you will need later on to measure the Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment (TCO/ROI) of your project. These metrics are a compass and a measurement tool for the success of your CRM project, and will help to justify your investment but also allow you to measure the improvements you've made.

You will use these metrics as a design guide for an efficient solution that not only provides functionalities supporting the business requirements and justification of your investment, but is something that also delivers data for your CRM dashboards. This data can then help you to fine-tune business processes going forward.

In Figure 1.3, you'll see a graphic illustrating the process of defining the TCO/ROI metrics. Right now, don't worry too much about it as we will be looking more at this subject from different angles later on throughout this book.

The following are the steps that are taken toward defining the TCO/ROI metrics:

  1. Business strategies and pain points are the main drivers of the investment.

  2. A business KPI for the measurement of process improvement is selected.

  3. CRM functional requirements address pain points and support business strategies.

Figure 1.3: Defining CRM KPIs and metrics for success

The TCO/ROI metrics, which are the last definition in Figure 1.3, are measurement tools that are used to evaluate the business improvements compared with the investment in a CRM solution. You define these metrics based on business goals and selected processes that are to be improved, versus the cost of implementing the functional requirements.

Throughout this book, we will engage in deeper discussions on this topic of defining CRM KPIs, with a number of real examples that could be applied in your business. Our discussion has so far presented a very simplified way of looking at things, and real life can be a lot more complex; here’s an example.