Leadership and Management of an Effective CRM Strategy

1 June, 2012 (21:40) | Blog | By: admin

By: Alan Buhler

The successful implementation, roll-out, and continued utilization of any technology require strong leadership and effective management of the system. CRM/sales tracking automation technology is no exception, and this is especially important for community financial institutions to understand.

First, let’s be clear, the right CRM technology must be in place to actually integrate a sales culture in a financial institution. With that said, the vast majority of financial institution employees still consider the word “sell” a dirty word! It really doesn’t matter what you call it; business development, account management, client service, or client relations, it all adds up to the same thing: Selling. That’s where strong leadership and effective management of a CRM system come into play.

Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta, in his Fast Company magazine column states the following, “Management communication is a lot like engineering: logical and precise…Just as good product code is delivered without errors or omissions, a good manager delivers information, clearly, crisply, and in a timely manner, often focusing on the details instead of the larger picture. On the other hand, leadership communication is about connecting with people at an emotional level. Done well, it hits people in the gut and makes them think. It makes them believe they can do something — even something crazy — and that they can win against all odds.”

Sales tracking technology like CoreTrac’s ResourceOne is specifically designed for community financial institutions to track the leads and referrals, manage contacts, recommend products based on client demographics, develop targeted and trackable marketing campaigns, increase cross-sell opportunities, manage pipelines, reward employees, enhance client service, and improve overall long-term performance. However, it is not a panacea that will magically increase market-share and wallet-share with every employee willingly accepting it with open arms. In other words, it’s not something you can simply install, forget about it, and expect the results to take care of themselves.

Successful implementation, roll-out, and continued utilization of CRM/sales tracking automation technology require the financial institution to exercise both leadership and management of the system. If leadership is about connecting with people at an emotional level, you must communicate the value of purchasing and implementing a CRM solution. The value should be at a personal level and include not only the value to the financial institution and the employee, but also the value that the software can provide your customers/members to help them achieve their unique financial goals.

Since management is about delivering information, clearly, crisply, and in a timely manner, focusing on the details, you must include appropriate training before, during and after the installation. Ongoing support and training from your internal administrator and from the vendor are keys to continued utilization of the software. Another key aspect of managing the system is to assign an executive sponsor with the authority to enforce usage.

If employees know how to use your CRM/sales tracking automation technology, and are comfortable with the functionality as a result of effective management of the system, along with a sense of the benefits to them and your customers/members, and a belief they can accomplish the goals of the organization by using the system, you will be well on your way to building an efficient performance based culture.

Alan Buhler is Executive Vice President at CoreTrac, Inc. He can be reached at abuhler@CoreTrac.com or (512) 236-9120 ext. 272

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