There are some key goals of a centralized data repository in any organization. For the purposes of this site, we’re talking about CRM, specifically the Salesforce.com CRM. If you’re at the beginning stages of rolling out a CRM in your organization, and you need to convince all stakeholders of the value of information centralization, here are some things to consider:
Information exists dynamically and it’s used dynamically. For a sales team, and for that matter marketing and management teams, to be truly effective, they all need accurate, up-to-date information. If information is siloed in local databases, emails, spreadsheets, etc. there then exists a fundamental lack of communication. A centralized CRM like Salesforce enable instantaneous and shared access to information that is current in real time. Effective organizations use such information and communication for rapid reaction to opportunities.
Ease of access is another compelling reason to push for rolling out a CRM. Cloud-based solutions like Salesforce make it easy to access the latest information, and update that information, from virtually anywhere. As long as the user has a computer with internet access, he or she can access the CRM package. Further, with mobile apps widely available (and Salesforce has one), users can access Salesforce lead data from a smart phone.
Distribution of information is also key. Sure, email is a critical and effective way to distribute information, but email is still a separate system from lead, account, and contact information. A good CRM enables managers, and virtually anyone on the system, to easily send out information, update price and SKU lists, update accounts, record activities, etc. all in one place. Everyone has access to all relevant information, and that information is stored where users need it most.
Take these points to your organization if you’re pushing to implement a CRM and are meeting resistance. I think you will win everyone over.