“… the fact that little causes can have big effects….” (Gladwell, The Tipping Point, 9)
The only thing valuable about a CRM system is the quality of its database. No data in the CRM database, bad data, missing data – then what good is the system? Little things can have big effects ONLY if the little things are accumulating, aggregating sufficient to form patterns.
If knowledge from the customer environment is flowing continuously into the database, if those data are accurate, current, and complete, then those who use the database can find in it patterns of meaning for correct understanding, good decision making, and proper action. Tipping points become possible.
Patterns can only form when data are aggregating and accumulating in one place, from the best possible sources, and are available to searches and queries that “see” or “discover” them. All management thinking is a matter of “seeing” patterns, gaining a correct understanding of them, making good decisions, and then taking proper action.
Consider this supporting statement from a leader in the study of “pattern” in thought:
“In any stream of ideas, some kind of pattern will be evident. The trick is to look for patterns.” (Gary Hamel, Leading the Revolution, 2000)
IN THE PATTERNS IS THE MEANING! The search for pattern in CRM databases is the key to CRM system value to an organization. We can have a tipping point ONLY if we have the accumulated and aggregated information sufficient for patterns to form. We have to have a rich “stream of ideas” before patterns can emerge.
At the end, the CRM system has only one purpose – to provide the means for accurate, current, and complete information from the customer environment to flow continuously into the database; and then, for those who lead the organization to search and query those databases to find the meaningful patterns that bring correct understanding, good decision making, and proper action. These elements of the CRM system are the essential, foundational processes through which the promise of the CRM investment and vision is accomplished.
We must get GOOD data into the CRM databases!
The essential tool to ensure a continuous flow of quality data into the CRM system is a data entry tool - for sales reps, executives, technical support, trainers, and others who travel to meet with customers – that is easy to use, quick to apply, and powerful in its capture of information. One essential tool is a voice-based CRM data entry system because (1) sales reps and others are willing to use it and make it their own, and (2) the spoken explanatory information of words, sentences, and paragraphs is the lifeblood of CRM database vitality and quality.
Every CRM system application should have at its front end for data entry (as one of the options) a voice-based data entry tool! Whatever the mix of tools available, leaders must insist on routine reporting into the CRM system by every person involved in customer, competition, or industry marketplace activity. Every one; without exception!
Accumulation and aggregation of quality information into CRM databases, with search/query routines, is essential for pattern formation and pattern recognition and ultimately for correct understanding, good decision making, and proper action.