Part IV: What makes NetSuite’s CRM Unique for Producing Successful Implementations?

This article is the final part of a four part series and is relevant if you are considering a new customer relationship management system. See Part I, Part II and Part III articles here.

Salesperson’s Perceived CRM Benefit

Individuals who hold a direct sales role know very well what really matters: closing sales!   They understand that it makes sense to organize their prospect selling activities — yet the CRM system, in the salesperson’s mind, doesn’t really seem to help much.  In the salesperson’s mind, the CRM system is called “paperwork” which is the trigger word for “waste of time”.

Is it not reasonable for management to want to understand the possible new orders the sales people are working towards?  Of course.  This will enable management to summarize the inventory of opportunities and help plan production and cash requirements.

But often times, salespeople are not on the hook to capture every opportunity. Management ultimately subcumbs to frequent salesperson whining that “the systems are too difficult to use “or they get in the way of their main job: “selling, not paperwork”.  The best sales people seem to “turn it out” without using a CRM system — hence does it really make a difference?.  Salespeople will often nod with insincere acceptance when their management asks them to use the CRM system.  This is similar to how a child has learned that it is easier to lie and say “yes” when parents ask for cooperation — but the child’s real desire is for their parents to be quiet so they can quickly get back to play time.   Salespersons’ efforts are half-hearted because they see little value to themselves for keeping the CRM system updated in contrast to doing what it takes to produce the sale.

In my mind, responsibility lies with Sales Management working on a regular basis with their Salespeople to review opportunities and to produce meaningful consequences for not using the CRM system as prescribed.  Consequences can be designed to be both rewarding or detrimental; much has been written about good sales management to drive greater sales performance.

Where does NetSuite make a difference.  Management’s efforts are not thwarted because information sources are centralized and key transactional events (estimates and sales orders) are linked.  For an organization that is committed to better sales practices, the need for reliable information is paramount.

While the subject of another discussion and still a fantasy, I believe a major breakthrough in salesperson CRM adoption will happen when speech pattern recognition improves to the point that salespeople can simply do what they do best: talk!  Tomorrow’s CRM system will be able to automatically produce information captured through conversation including the collection of customer attributes, opportunity and other transactional records as they must manually do now.

Summary

I discussed the four major challenges in CRM adoption:

1.  Duplicate Information
2.  Inconsistent Information Management Practices
3.  Multiple Information Origins
4.  Salesperson’s Perceived CRM Benefit

NetSuite’s CRM is superior because it is fully integrated to the ERP system.  This means there is a Single Source of the Truth and a more natural transaction processing flow.  The chances for success are greater because NetSuiute’s design architecture minimizes the noise in the environment.  Tools can only go so far.  The rest is up to management to design and maintain practices that exploit NetSuite’s superior integrated capacity.

If you are ready to move up from your current CRM system and want to ensure success, we should talk.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to setup a conversation.

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