Garbage in, garbage out. GIGO. The modern Customer Relationship Management system or 'CRM' is all too often a repository for the inaccurate. There is little way to enforce a culture where sales people are reformed citizens and tidy record keepers. The customer data is always changing. Here are some bold ideas:
- What if LinkedIn opened up its API to synchronize with all CRM systems so that the data is almost always accurate, up to the minute? Wouldn't this move alone revolutionize the space?
- What if LinkedIn launched its own CRM product. How many more features does Sales Navigator actually need to be an effective catch-all solution in this way?
- We're seeing more and more autofill via LinkedIn, so couldn't prospects just hit a single button from your front-of-site to download a white paper by filling in pre-populated, accurate LinkedIn credentials that transition seamlessly into your database of record?
- Is all the clicking and syncing and searching in CRM shredding our collective productivity? How many hours are we actually wasting on manual processes inside antiquated UIs?
- Could you theoretically function more effectively with just a white board, phone and email du jour? How about an airplane and a cup of coffee?
- Is there sufficiently advanced technology being built that will disrupt CRM as we know it?
- Could Social Selling, Web 3.0 - the web of Context, Big Data, Predictive Analytics and Automation play a far greater role out-of-the-box to help solve the above issues?
- When are marketing automation, drip campaigns and B2B lead gen actually going to get smarter and more sophisticated with personalization beyond the first name and firmographic telegraphing to present key insights to each type of executive stakeholder?
- What if wearable technology could play a role? Google Glass could pull in real-time data to keep the CRM accurate. A snapshot with a smart contact lens of a business card could serve to update that file automatically after or even 'during' a meeting?
- Will wearables and machine learning technology take voice recognition and Siri to a level of an always-on, executive assistant keeping all our data straight?
- Is there a bright future for CRM or will the sector continue to decay behind the scenes while savvier marketing teams continue to put lipstick on a pig, shellacking an advanced-looking coating on a shell of an ancient engine?
- What is the role of social proximity to serve up networked intelligence based on geolocation, network node overlays and prescience about who we 'should be talking to?' We have the data, now how do we get to it?
These questions are mere icing on the iceberg cake of perplexing issues, no doubt. It will take bold, antifragile, resilient and innovative entrepreneurs within the legacy systems to disrupt themselves in skunk works-like divisions that crop up.
Or, a new breed of CRM and CXM will appear that starts to erode their grip on market share. We've seen these tectonic shifts in so many industries as of late. It's never been easier to launch a startup company and challenge incumbents because of the cloud, CapEx can be virtually eliminated with a controlled OpEx burn.
Who will be the next disruptors in CRM? There's one thing we can never doubt. Ideas are powerful and one big bold idea has the power to change the world and uproot industries in inexplicable ways.
How can CRM be re-imagined from the ground up, with First Principles Elon Musk Physics Thinking. Which portion of the features does your organization actually use? What is the 20% generating 80% of the results? What is glaringly missing? How can we tie back all the ROI of our finest social selling efforts and reflect this within a holistic picture of multi-channel outreach in the modern Full Funnel Marketing approach?
Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.
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