Currently, I’m part of a CEO roundtable group, where we give updates on our business, discuss issues, and share ideas on the topic of the day. As a change of scenery, I hosted our last meeting on my boat. It was a beautiful day on Pewaukee Lake. The sun was out, there was a fresh breeze, and the temperature was perfect for June. It was a big contrast from the habitual office setting we usually meet in, and the welcomed change of location helped create an invigorating discussion about that day's main topic: productivity.
Every executive present agreed that it can be hard to stay organized and productive. Some indicated that even after selecting a means to help them, they quickly abandoned it after about six months. Many pointed out that they felt overwhelmed by having to respond to so many emails. Even with the help of an assistant, there were too many emails that needed their attention. Too many hours were spent in a reactive mode, and a sense of control was lost.
Personally, productivity is one of my favorite subjects to converse about, so I was very engaged. I was not alone; everyone felt connected to this topic. Some named tools they were using, like their Outlook calendar, Outlook Viva, and Microsoft To-Do. Some were still using paper and notebooks. None talked about CRM (a customer relationship management system).
For me, CRM is my main productivity tool since I’ve been a big proponent of a shared platform for sales, marketing, and customer service for the last two decades. Nevertheless, when it comes to using CRM as a productivity tool, many C-Level individuals often push it aside. Why? CEOs make contacts, build relationships, and crave results! They should be the ideal user, but why aren't they?
Through my 22 years of experience, many CEOs who come from a sales background, heavily promote CRM in their company as well as continue to use their CRM for personal productivity. As I self-reflect, I have gathered here eight advantages that a CEO gets from rolling out a CRM system and using the CRM themselves:
- CRM is where all customers are found. Therefore, the CEO has access to all the important company contacts without having to rely on anyone else.
- CRM captures the interactions provided by all employees in the company. These crucial updates on contacts, accounts, and opportunities can easily be found in the CRM timeline.
- CRM provides call lists that can be supported by workflow automation follow-up that can be used or even customized for the C-level individual.
- CRM can be integrated with other platforms, such as an ERP, to provide quick accounting insights on clients and accounts.
- CRM can be configured to track internal company projects as well as client-based projects. CRM can measure the workload for individuals and provide actual individual performance. A tool that a CEO can use when preparing to have a conversation with an employee in the company.
- CRM provides insights into the sales pipeline and a view of the upcoming potential business with a future close date.
- CRM also provides valuable insight into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and customer service effectiveness.
- CRM can be configured to preserve privacy and security on sensitive business matters that a C-Level individual requires.
In the last 22 years, our company grew from day one because of using CRM. CRM has been the cornerstone of my productivity for many years in various roles: as a salesperson, an entrepreneur, a manager, and a visionary for the company. The tool has been embraced by 100% of my employees.
Over the years, my company has used four CRMs. Today, we use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise. It has grown to be user-friendly, better connected, and robust enough to adapt congruently with our vision. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) helps us align all our revenue-generating teams. It is our hub for sales, marketing, customer service, and the delivery of our technical and consulting services. I love the dashboard and Power BI reports that I can pull from my CRM. I often utilize pipeline reports, activity reports, project reports, marketing reports, and workload reports.
If you are a C-level executive or a manager, you should require these benefits from your CRM. It is within your reach. If you don't feel like you have the necessary assistance, give me a call at TopLine Results at 800-880-1960 extension 101.