Tracking and hunting elephants

A piece of functionality that I have never yet seen elegantly handled by CRM technology is tracking a customer / contact as they progress their careers across various organisations.

Why is it important? well, tracking customer loyalty and repeat buyers; basically important customers; cash in the back pocket!

Today’s experience…

– I asked a software vendor if I could transfer my PC license to the Mac version as I have banished PC’s from the house

– the software vendor should have my name on CRM from three firms and as being a larger license buyer at one of those firms

– I have a very unique name, therefore something should have twigged

– They responded that I had to buy a completely new license

– I had to write to them a “do you know who I am” email (which I hate doing)

– Then they gave me a free license so I remain exceedingly happy customer and will obviously buy again (that’s true as I love the software)

A real problem for firms to handle….

– “systemising” the mobility of trust and buying relationships

– motivating (paying) sales people to track their relationships / contacts across organisations

– assigning accountability for maintaining this data

– the problem gets almost exponentially harder with common names

– is it achievable?

Do I have an answer? well……. honest response is no! as the key problem here is the general psychological make up of sales people and the conflict of need between the “corporate systemised memory” and the sales person to focus on selling and not data admin. Basically, we can have perfect CRM systems which get stuffed by squidgy things called human beings.

One of the most eloquent speakers on CRM topics like the above is my colleague Axel and I hope to prompt him into responding here 🙂

Over to you Herr Thill…


~ by Nigel on April 12, 2007.

3 Responses to “Tracking and hunting elephants”

  1. Link every transaction, trade, sale or event to a human name, not their org (employer) name, as the human may move orgs, but he will remain the same human and continue trading (albeit for a different org). You will still be able to analyse what you did with the org.

    Delegate data maintenance and history to the person who really knows and cares and does not need to second guess the truth: the client himself. To motivate the client with repeated “iPod prize” is cheaper then asking your sales to do data maintenance overtime. And the result is many times more accurate and steers clean of data protection or whatever else issues, as it has been given and approved by the client himself (outing).

    Use the most unique primary key pointing to a human: his email addresses. After a period, there may become big collection, but they will remain (pretty) unique. Domaine analysis can be very revealing.

  2. Maintaining one’s own data is a good concept, especially where self-interest / promotion is involved (e.g. on ).

    Following on from the free iPod, the idea of a client benefiting from better pricing the longer they maintain their relationship (or data in other words) appeals – both parties are incentivised (there obviously has to be a bit more sophistication – e.g. floors and volumes etc.)

    I should also point out that Axel won an award at CeBIT in recognition of his (and his team’s) CRM work! well done Axel !

  3. The ultimate CRM is the sales person that cares.
    Every experience that I have had as a customer has bourne this out – wether changing mortgages or having my kitchen done up – this has become a far more influential factor in which decision I make.

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