BizBreeze # 2. CRM myths and business process issues

We continue to cut our mini digest. This week, foreign publications published several interesting articles about CRM systems, CRM myths, and business processes. We have chosen the brightest ones and are ready to comment on them - as always, subjectively and with some irony.

Disclaimer went wrong with business processes
: we have in the RegionSoft Developer Studio team who read English, but do not have professional translators, so we give the source materials in adaptation. Nevertheless, the meanings and messages are kept 100%.

Times of increased danger

Let's start with the iconic statistics. Fujitsu analyzed upcoming business investments in IT infrastructure around the world (1,625 executives from all countries were interviewed). Over the next year, company leaders plan to introduce digital technologies:
76% - cybersecurity solutions,
72% - analytics and big data systems,
66% - cloud computing (not systems, namely capacities). 8
80% said that working with data and analytics is the key to the financial success of a business, 74% are sure that nothing will be as important in the next 10 years as cybersecurity.

Indeed, by early 2018, the issue of cybersecurity had arisen as never before. We are not talking about geopolitical, but about corporate aspects. Companies are forced to fear not only competitors, but also scammers and hackers of the “out of curiosity” category, and most importantly, their employees. This is the reason for such spending. Unfortunately, the study shows the average temperature in a hospital; in Russia, business is too slow to realize that data is a new asset that needs to be protected. For some reason, it is difficult to imagine an invasion of the office - there are security, alarm, cameras, etc., but few people think about attacks on the customer base and information about the company's transactions. CRM system may be the first outpost in protecting commercial information. But for this, the system must be adopted adequately, without prejudice. But there are still enough myths.

Five myths about CRM. let's discuss

An article on the comments of Larry Augustin, CEO of Sugar CRM, has been published on the Destination CRM website. He discusses the myths that surround CRM systems today and are familiar to any vendor - even for us, a Russian company, these problems are close. At first glance, the myths look pretty simple and lie on the surface, but in fact, these are deep problems of the entire CRM systems development industry.

Myth 1. Artificial intelligence is a determining factor in the future of CRM

AI (AI) is a buzzword that all industries strive to adopt. CRM suppliers are not far behind - in 2017, some vendors introduced artificial intelligence components into their products. Of course, AI technology will play a big role in the future of CRM. But the idea that AI is alpha and omega is more likely not a reality, but a message from marketers. AI in CRM just complements the functionality to make the client a little more satisfied. You cannot go and buy a piece of artificial intelligence. Therefore, those who sell you an AI-based system are a little cunning.

Comment by RegionSoft : Yes, even in Russia there are already CRMs that have announced the use of artificial intelligence and neural networks in their products. Of course, this is not an AI, but just a built-in calculation of the probability of an event (conditionally, 100 transactions with similar parameters ended with a purchase, which means 101 and 102 will end the same way). For small and medium-sized companies, this is a dubious advantage: each transaction includes too many factors, including the human one, here the neural network will break a leg, more typical workflows are suitable for it (for example, in a bank). While this is just marketing, the situation will not change in the near future.

Myth 2. Automated bots will replace people in client-related scenarios.

This myth is quite common, but the prospect of automation, completely replacing people in interaction with customers, in fact, will do more harm than good. How many of us did not feel irritation, realizing that there was an electronic assistant on the other side of the wire? Since people interact well with each other and still value personal communications, chatbots should not replace live communication with clients. But it is important that bots and people work together - you can automate some routine tasks (including organizing self-service), but only people can give communication to the context. Automated and human components must remain intertwined - customer interaction progresses continuously.

Comment by RegionSoft : After the chats entered our lives, the business began to actively use them and gradually robotic. Of course, in most cases this is not about full communication, but about lead generation (chatbots ask for contacts to communicate with the client). Although there were interesting projects based on Kinect and IBM Bluemix, they did not take off. The first prototype of such a "botization" of the business was IVR dialogs, when a client, when contacting the company, for some time contacts the electronic menu and either solves his problem or reaches the manager. This significantly reduces the load on call centers and customer support services, and therefore allows you to spend more time on non-standard and complex issues. The same approach should be maintained in the work with chatbots.

Myth 3. CRM is most useful as a kind of Big Brother serving the vice president of sales

This myth has real roots - at the dawn of its existence, CRM-systems were the main tool for managers, allowing you to monitor the quality of sellers. However, CRM today has become the foundation of a strategy to improve customer relationships. Now CRM systems combine customer data from different sources, thereby giving employees the opportunity to have a complete picture of the relationship (this also includes the “bigdata” from social networks). CRM should be user-oriented for the user, not coercive measures on the part of management.

Comment by RegionSoft : CRM system давно перестала быть программой для продаж и системой контроля сотрудников, сейчас это масштабные универсальные решения для автоматизации продаж, маркетинга, поддержки, производства и логистики. And the most valuable thing in CRM is the ability to accumulate and process data that makes management productive. The only thing is that we (and our RegionSoft CRM) are completely alien to social networks as a data source. This is partly due to the characteristics of our customers, partly due to a cautious attitude to people's private lives, and partly due to the lack of demand for such functionality.

As for top managers, for them CRM is an operational management tool and a performance monitor for the company as a whole and for managers in particular. And frankly, the majority of CRM employees help out: the management does not stand above your head, does not walk or shout over your ear, but sets tasks and monitors their implementation through the system interface. Fewer contacts in certain conditions provides more efficient operation.

Myth 4. Software as a service (SaaS) and the cloud are one and the same.

This myth was created by CRM vendors who only offer SaaS products. They spent a lot of money and time to convince everyone that SaaS = cloud, and now the industry is in serious trouble. The reality is that cloud CRM has several paradigms of delivery and access to the system: private cloud, public cloud, various cloud management mechanisms, including SaaS rental. The good news is that the cloud means many delivery options for the customer, reduces IT overhead, and allows you to differentiate between security and data control levels.

Comment by RegionSoft : We remind you that the vendor Sugar CRM discusses myths. And this is a significant fact when discussing this item. The fact is that the open source version of Sugar CRM itself is a server version, but the commercial version is delivered just like a web service. So, it’s important for Mr. Augusten to emphasize the advantage of cloud delivery. And here he, of course, is disingenuous. Reducing capital costs and IT overhead is a popular “cloud” argument, but the cost of ownership of such systems is much higher than that of on-premise.

As for SaaS, yes, there is no equal sign with cloud systems due to the fact that a server solution can also be rented. For example, we offer clients to rent RegionSoft CRM, and for many this is more profitable than a one-time purchase, since discrete payments do not carry such a noticeable burden on the company's budget.

Myth 5. CRM is intended only for sellers to forecast and close deals.

CRM systems used to be a sales tool. Modern CRMs can synthesize information collected through channels and platforms, and turn it into ideas, and then actions. This knowledge is at the disposal of sales, support, marketing. So a business can build deeper relationships with its customers. The business is growing due to improved quality of sales and service processes, process automation.

Comment by RegionSoft : We have already said that CRM today strive for the versatility and end-to-end automation of the company. Separately, we note that it is time for small companies to stop being afraid of process diagrams and turn to the automation of each routine process. While this functionality is in demand among medium and large companies. However, in a small business, processes can be no simpler.

In general, business processes are increasingly attracting the attention of experts, companies and analysts. And evidence of this is a large and interesting report on the relationship between the state of business processes and the desire of employees to change jobs.

A bit of analytics about the role of business processes

The beginning of the calendar year is a sure sign that there will be interesting studies and analytical reports. They are of value to users: you can get the data you need and somehow extrapolate it to your development, your business processes. Recently published the results of a study conducted by Nintex. The main conclusion: problems in corporate business processes lead to negativity from customers.

Top violated administrative processes:

  • identification of problems and development of recommendations for elimination at the company level - 37%
  • identification of problems and development of recommendations for elimination at the team level - 34%
  • cost accounting - 28%

Top issues related to document and sales management:

  • placement of documents - 49%
  • document exchange - 43%
  • requests for approval and approval of documents - 43%
  • upload and search for sales data - 41%
  • filling and execution of new client documents - 34%
  • version control of documents - 33%
  • receipt, approval and approval of contracts - 27%
  • work with sales results - 23%
  • assessment of the potential of new directions - 19%
  • recommendations of a new direction or product to a management team - 15%

Many employees admit that disrupted processes play a decisive role in deciding to start looking for a new job. At the same time, 58% consider failures in IT processes to be the last straw, 41% - in HR, 37% - in sales and finance, 32% - communications with customers (not PR!), 29% - in operational activities. The entire report, useful for both IT and HR, is here .

The results of this survey quite accurately reflect the trends that exist in companies. Process automation alone is not the best solution. First you need to collect, analyze and debug the processes, and then proceed to automate routine and periodic work.

And there is one more statistic, not connected in any way with the previous one, but related to automation. The relatively small (100 top managers and marketing executives) WorkSpan survey showed even more interesting results: 27% of marketing managers use at least 10 different programs to work with partners and colleagues, including:

  • collaboration with content (discs, balls) - 55%
  • CRM - 40%
  • marketing automation tools - 39%
  • AdTech - 36%
  • content marketing tools - 27%

47% spend more than 4 hours a week at meetings, 78% say they have a separate employee whose sole task is to track the progress and progress of marketing campaigns.

Software zoo in the company is not uncommon, and it is not just inconvenient, it is also expensive. Business overpays for systems with overlapping functionality. If you revise the use profile and move to CRM or leave 2-3 really necessary solutions, you can save significant money. This task should be assigned to the technical service or system administrator.

Myths and prejudices haunt us in all spheres of life, but in business they are critically dangerous. We urge you to analyze, weigh options, count money and choose what will allow the business to work and spend a minimum of funds on tools. Then the issue of payback will not be so acute.

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Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

How is your company with business processes?

  • 22.9% automated in a self-written solution 8
  • 11.4% automated in CRM 4
  • 8.6% Automated in BPM 3
  • 5.7% they are, but not automated 2
  • 22.9% mess is our main process 8
  • 28.6% what processes, we plow as we can ten