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CRM Cornucopia

One of my responsibilities each year at Thanksgiving is to make an apple pie using an old recipe handed down from a branch of the family from Iowa. They probably know something about apple pies out there. This pie is always a hit after all that turkey and potatoes.

Now, this particular recipe starts with a pie crust that is a bit unusual in that it is pressed into the pie plate rather than rolled and laid out. The tricky thing about the crust is that you have to keep a bit of the dough set aside to create a crumble top as the final step prior to going into the oven. It is important to keep this step in mind, or the pie is just not the same.

The great thing about following a recipe is that you have all the steps written down and you can read through the instructions in order to know what to anticipate. Without the directions, it would be an easy error to use up all the dough building the bottom crust and not have any for the crumble top.

No matter what you read, CRM does not come with a ready made recipe. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of baking a nice CRM pie. For those of you reading some of the previous entries on this site, it is no secret that I strongly value the benefits of planning. A good CRM strategy is the closest thing you can get to a recipe.

What I see as the greatest value of planning is that it increases the chances that you will get that crumble top on the pie at the right time. But there are other parallels with pie making as well. Many of the ingredients for pies are similar from recipe to recipe, but the fruit changes to suit taste and the season. Likewise, your business may focus on the sales force during one stage of your program, and then put emphasis on the call center at another stage. Cooking times and temperatures may differ between a berry pie and an apple pie just like the speed of implementation between a vanilla marketing deployment may differ from a more complex field service project involving competency-based dispatch.

If you are looking at building a new CRM program, don’t expect somebody to hand you a recipe. But there is a lot of knowledge out there to help assure your program comes out of the oven smelling, looking and tasting savory. Use the available research to supplement that planning process – this will help you identify the optional ingredients, cooking times, and preparation techniques.

Then again, you always have the option of just winging it. Stay clear of the rocks.

Rock Baby

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