Friday, June 20, 2008

Online CRM gets takes a step forward

One of the more significant obstacles to CRM adoption is the inability to handled unstructured data. In the pen and paper world of contact management, salespeople scribble important data on sticky notes, in the margins, and on the backs of business cards. And this data can be more than just important. It can be crucial information that, if they lose track of it, can make the difference between winning and losing the business. This information is the very definition of unstructured data. It's how the sales executive groups and categorizes his prospects (referral sources on the left, contracts up for bid on the right). It's how she remembers that the decision maker hates golf, but really appreciates a couple of tickets to the ballgame.

In the world of blogging, and other Web 2.0 applications, we call these tags or labels. The tags for this post are shown below: CRM & Marketing. I don't need to set up a drop-down list for these choices, or do any kind of advanced configuratin' (to paraphrase our president). I just type in how I would like to categorize this entry.

About a month ago, added this capability to their application... This is a very good thing. It allows the salesperson to work more naturally, with less reliance on the guys in the back updating and applying customizations. It reduces the firm's reliance on the individual memory of each sales rep. And it means that those important bits of information are far less likely to end up getting blown out of the passenger window on a nice day. By removing this obstacle to adoption, sales management can expect, and should demand, increased compliance and more complete reporting across their enterprise.

Link to story at CRM Daily: demos new features

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