Naga Chokkanathan

A CRM Fairy Tale

Posted on: December 15, 2011

Recently I attended a teleconference with a prospect. We were trying to suggest CRM as a solution to their current business pain points, they appreciated our approach, but were not sure if it will really solve their problem.

One person in particular raised some very basic doubts, like ‘Do we really need CRM?’

It sounds a bit silly, but his argument was solid: ‘My sales team is already comfortable handling the demand we have, and our success to failure rate is excellent, we meet and exceed our targets even without CRM, what’s the big deal?’

We tried to answer his question with a discussion on “What is CRM?” and “Why every business needs CRM?”. But still, he came back to the same argument, “I am doing good without aCRM, What difference it can make? Give me a real, practical example!”

At that pressure moment, I tried a stupid trick, using a very simple imagery (fairy tale, really) to explain what difference CRM Makes:

‘Imagine you are standing beneath a magic tree. Instead of fruits, this tree has lots and lots of coins, some of them are silver coins, some are gold coins, and some are platinum coins.

Once these coins are ripe, they fall on the ground, you need to catch them and pocket them.

Trick is, if a coin touches the ground, you lose it permanently. You can’t get it back!

So, you are running around, catching coins as they fall. After sometime, you become so good in it and are able to catch lots and lots of coins.

End of the day, you count your coins. 160 coins in all, 10 platinum, 50 gold and 100 Silver, Happy!

Now, imagine you build a large magic plate around this magic tree, Coins fall on this plate, You don’t have to run to catch them, instead you can peacefully have a look at them, analyze which coins give you the best value and pick them. Later you can throw away all the low-value coins.

In this scenario also, you may end-up picking the same number of coins (160), But because you are not rushing and carefully choosing your coins, you will have many more Platinum and Gold coins, instead of silver coins.

Now, mapping this tale to your business scenario, that tree is nothing but your market, coins are opportunities, some of them bad, some good, some very good and profitable, they are constantly falling and you run around the tree trying to pick the coins that come your way, you may be missing some Platinum coins, but you can’t worry about that, because you need to run, run, run.

If you have a CRM system in place, it is like this magic plate, It catches all the coins and presents to you in one view, gives you tools to analyze which ones are good, prioritize them and pick the really good ones which give you the best returns. It saves you time, and energy.

With or without CRM, your capacity is only 160 coins, but with CRM, you get the best returns.’

This is a story a school boy would prefer, not the corporate executives. But surprisingly, it clicked. They didn’t jump and sign the contract immediately, but at least they got the message loud & clear, and were much more open to our recommendations after that.

Hmm, I need to spend more time with my daughters, to pick such stories 😉

***

N. Chokkan …
15 12 2011

(Originally written for our company blog and posted here : http://blog.crmit.com/?p=401)

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1 Response to "A CRM Fairy Tale"

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