Customer relationship management software is one of the oldest categories of applications in the IT industry.

As soon as databases began making their appearance in PCs people realized that CRM suites were just the solution for organizing the dozens (or hundreds) of contacts individuals have. From there CRM expanded to enterprise-wide suite and touched contact centres.

And why not? Done right, CRM is a neat and searchable repository for names, addresses, email, phone number, notes and to-do lists.

But consultant and author David Taber argues that CRM by itself doesn’t transform an organization. It merely provides visibility into data, automation of processes and follow-through. What can change the organization, he said, is the behavior of staff.

Here’s a few of his tips:

–Use CRM as a smart file cabinet for staff in small organizations or departments;

–Use CRM for collaboration among various internal departments. In this mode the CRM need to be integrated with other IT systems to provide at least daily updates of the customers’ status;

–Use the CRM as a task master in organizations  where sales and support cycles are closely measured and highly standardized. In essence, the CRM suite is the heart of the company.

It’s not unusual that the three use cases could be mixed within an organization, Taber adds – one department could be small enough to need CRM only for file storage, while another could operate as a task master.

But if you try this approach your CRM implementations might work more efficiently.

Read the whole article here

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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