Month: March 2011


CRM is typically seen as a technology solution to solve a business problem. But in reality, if you don’t have a clear understanding of CRM as a functional entity and don’t appreciate its need for your organization, no amount of great technology can help you succeed. 

Today, as a primer in CRM, we would like to introduce you to 26 key words or concepts in CRM, each mapping to a letter of the alphabet. A fun way to learn CRM! 

A – Accounts: Any organization external to the company implementing CRM. For example: Customers, Partners, competitors etc. 

B – Books of Business: Using books to organize your company data allows you to control your data visibility by setting appropriate business rules. 

C – Contacts: Contacts are individuals that your company currently conducts business with or expects to conduct business with in the future. For Example: Employees of other companies, independent consultants, vendors, or personal acquaintances etc. 

D – Deduplication: The elimination of redundant duplicate data during the data migration. For example, same contact getting repeated in two records, with a slight name change or spelling error. 

E – Email Marketing: Powerful, integrated tool to run campaigns to bulk contacts in your CRM system using Email. 

F – Forecasting: Estimating the sales (of a particular product or to a particular account) in a given period. 

G – Group: Set of users in the system who share their system, records, calendar etc., 

H – Hierarchy: Defines the parent – child relationship between Accounts / Products or other CRM objects. 

I – Integration: Process of integrating CRM system with external third party applications / backend data sources / others. 

J – Job Role: A particular role of an individual in the system. Every role has a set of access privileges given to perform action (Adding, Editing, Viewing, Deleting, Exporting etc.,) 

K – KPI: Key Performance Indicators: Analyses / Measures performance / productivity of the entity / user through different reports and dashboards. 

L – Leads: A sales prospect, later this may get converted to an opportunity.

M – Mail Merge: Process of merging CRM information in an outgoing Email / Printed letter. 

N – Negotiation: Dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to reach an understanding. Example: Sales Negotiation may include discussions about price, delivery timeframe etc., 

O – Opportunities: A person/ group who genuinely, show interest in a particular Product/ Service. They are also termed as qualified leads.

P – Products: Sellable goods / services. 

Q – Quotes: Promise to sell something, to somebody, in a certain price. 

R – Reports: Aggregated Tabular / Graphical presentation of CRM Data. Example: Daily Sales Report. 

S – Sales Stages: Life cycle of an opportunity before leading to a closure stage (Win/ lose). 

T – Territory: Geographical sub division for better analyses of revenue generation. Typically, it is an area assigned to the field Sales executives to meet their targets and close the deals.

U – Users: End user of a CRM System, who interact with data by creating / modifying / deleting / querying / running reports against them. 

V – Visibility: Business rules that determine who gets access to what CRM Data. 

W – Workflow: An automatic action performed by the system when a change occurs. (Example, on deletion of an account, Email sent to the Account Owner) 

X – XML: Extensible Markup Language, Used for data transfer across multiple systems in a generic manner.

Y – Year end: Subset of Fiscal / Financial Year. A financial year is divided into 4 Quarters and the 4th Quarter is usually termed as a Year end.

Z – Zone: Large Regions used for grouping, analyses of various CRM data such as Sales, Service Performance, Client Satisfaction etc., (Example: US, AsiaPacific, Europe and Middle East)

CRM Audit

CRM can be termed as a revolution taken up by all enterprises to optimize their sales, service, marketing etc., and reap benefits. Any CRM basically starts with the generation of the customer database in the simplest fashion of a spreadsheet and slowly moves towards an enterprise class CRM System. More than the technology, it’s the people’s adoption and acceptance to the system that matters.

CRM allows you to understand your customers, their view points and expectations. It helps you get the quantitative and qualitative analysis of your customers, so that you can serve them better. This is applicable for both product companies and service companies.

Few key points related to CRM:

  • A media is absolutely essential for customer engagement
  • Potential CRM strategies & tools need to be tailored to the needs of the company
  • It is very important to communicate in the language of the customer.
  • Take note of current trends in CRM and adapt to those necessary to better connect with the customers and their ever-changing needs.

If undertaken correctly, CRMs is a valuable asset to business and its performance. In addition to that, Customer relationship management offers a deeper analysis and insight into the critical sales and customer related issues. Further helping the Organization to understand and know where exactly they stand in the competitive market arena.

When you are not sure where you are in terms of handling your customer relationships, it may be a good idea to start with a CRM Audit. This can be performed in two ways: 

  • Internal Audit
  • External Audit 

Internal Audits are conducted as a series of surveys, questionnaires and interviews from senior management, to understand various facets of the current CRM Effectiveness. As a result, you can decide on the roadmap – improvement action points, both from business and technical perspective. 

Once the internal audit is completed, or if the current organization doesn’t have qualified internal experts to gauge CRM Effectiveness, you can plan for an external audit. Experts like CRMIT can help you analyze the current CRM position and arrive at action points based on various factors. 

For more details on our CRM Assessment & Advisory Services, contact us at

Crowdsourcing and CRM

Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call. This may be a paid or unpaid exercise, but surely fun filled and mind boggling. That’s lot of English, so let me summarize the points:

  • Tasks outsourced
  • To a large community
  • Through an open call
  • Free or Paid
  • Fun!

This is an excellent model to enable individuals and groups to innovate, create, produce, report, predict, collaborate, fund and to engage constituents.

The term “Crowdsourcing” has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies, to achieve business goals. Nowadays we see crowdsourcing being applied in every field: Software, Engineering, Service, Media and more.

For Instance, Facebook one of the biggest social Networks in the world, wanted to translate their website into multiple languages. But they didn’t want to hire translators or outsource the work to individual companies, due to the possible rigidity and set mind frame of the Translators. They came up with the idea of Crowdsourcing, where they threw an open invitation to their users.

Means, users of Facebook English, translated the given set of words, and submitted their entries. The system then invited its users to vote on best translations. This helped facebook generate translations that are commonly used and also technically sound.

Here are the 8 steps in Crowdsourcing, explained by this wonderful diagram:

(Image Courtesy:

A sizable 44% of executives say their companies have used Crowdsourcing to engage stakeholders around CSR programs.

  • An overwhelming majority (95%) of executives who have used Crowdsourcing found it valuable.
  • The top reasons executives find Crowdsourcing valuable are that it surfaces new perspectives and diverse opinions (36%), and builds engagements and relationships with key audiences (25%).
  • Interestingly, among those who have not yet used Crowdsourcing, 43 percent anticipate that Crowdsourcing could be valuable to their future CSR efforts.


Oracle, market leaders in CRM and other enterprise software, has integrated this Crowdsourcing into its CRM releases (Siebel Enterprise, CRM On Demand).

The announcement can be read in this URL:

National Conference at Mangalore on CRM

Much has been written about customer relationship management (CRM). Indian Companies, especially those focused on retail such as banks and Insurance providers have suffered because of a lack of understanding of their clientele behavior and expectations. On the contrary the rival fledgling organizations, with better planned systems and processes, have grabbed some of their customers and retained them successfully.

This has lead to an increased interest among all sorts of companies and professionals about handling CRM right. On this regard, a two day National Level Conference “Relevance of Customer Relationship” was conducted at Mangalore on 14th and 15th, March 2011. The intellectuals stressed and covered topics such as Evolution of CRM and its development, Importance of CRM in market place to earn the profitability etc., To know more about this conference, refer to this URL:

India is a wide and diverse country with many kinds of customers interacting with hundreds of organizations on a regular basis. In such an environment, whether it is a product company or a service company, they need to take their customer relationships seriously and handle it effectively, and that will be a very powerful tool to retain existing clients and bring new ones.

(Image courtesy:

Gartner & 1to1 CRM Excellence Awards 2011 for Customer Centricity

Through joint awards program, Gartner partnering with 1 to1 Media, has announced the CRM Excellence Awards for year 2010-2011. The awards were bestowed on the organizations that had the quest for customer centricity and have seen exceptional results from doing so.

"When analyzing the winning entries from this year and the past five years, there is a common thread amongst them all – these organizations execute on all eight dimensions of CRM with equal focus and enthusiasm," says Johan Jacobs, a research director with Gartner who is also co-chair of the awards. "Organizations struggling with CRM projects should spend some time with the 2011 CRM Excellence Award winners to discuss the best practices deployed in achieving CRM success".

This year the panel had 15+ judges inclusive of Gartner Analysts and industry Experts. This Customer Award honored success on the organization that had covered four main criterias- Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Enterprise Efficiency and Integrated Marketing. They recognized three winners in each category; one winner among them hails from EMEA/APAC and the others (One gold and One silver) from Americas.

The 2010 Gartner & 1 to1 Media CRM Awards, EMEA/APAC, winners declared were:

  • Customer Analytics: British Gas
  • Customer Experience: University of New England
  • Enterprise Efficiency: British Telecommunications plc
  • Integrated Marketing: AKBANK T.A.S.

The awards will be given away to EMEA/APAC winners at the Gartner Customer Relationship Management Summit 2011 (London on March 14) and will honor the Americas winners at the 2011 Gartner Customer 360 Summit (Los Angeles on March 31).

For More details:



CRM Book Introduction – Where is my Ketchup

“Where is my Ketchup” is a book with outstanding messages on Management Principles and Customer Services in particular (Authors: Cyrus M Gonda and Kalim Khan, Published By: Embassy Books, Mumbai, India). It has an interesting storyline and looks at the concept of customer service from the viewpoint of both the customer as well as the service provider. It very simply and beautifully explains the formula for being a customer delight, mapping it with real time scenarios / experiences which can be immediately related by the readers. It also lays down the world class standards of services to its customers that are provided by very few organizations.

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The authors have made it more captivating by skillfully using humor and appropriate quotes at the right instances. We have collected some of those “CRM Quotes”, for your quick reference, and to give a sample from this great book:

§ "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so." -Mahatma Gandhi

§ “Today’s customers call the shots. They no longer have expectations – they have demands. And if you don’t meet the demands, they will find another supplier that does” -Larry Hochman

§ “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things done together.“ -Vincent Van Gogh

§ “Let us not live in word, neither in tongue, but in deed.” -Bible, 1 John 3:18

§ “Fish Live in water. Men die in it. Nature is diverse and not all tastes are the same.” – Zhuang Zi

§ “Don’t try to tell the customer what he wants.” – Gene Buckley (Sikorsky Aircraft)

§ “This may seem simple, But you need to give customers what they want and not what you think they want, and if you do this, people will keep coming back.” – John Ilhan

§ “Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.” – Rolph Marston

§ “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers should get excited about it, the complaining customers represent a huge opportunity for your business.” -Zig Ziglar

§ “Think of Giving, not as a duty, but as a privilege.” – John D Rockefeller Jr.

§ “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill

§ “Treat every customer, as if they sign your paycheck, because they do.” – Anon

§ “Regardless of the size of a service company, A high degree of customer satisfaction will be maintained as long as employees at all levels remain mindful of the maxim that "The customer is always right", if you determine that a customer is not right, then for all intents and purposes you have already terminated your relationship with that customer. – John Olsen (Cunard Cruise Line)

§ “Never underestimate the power of an upset customer.” -Anon

§ “Customer Complaints are the school books from which we learn.”- Anon

§ “Customers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Anon

§ “Our greatest asset is the Customer, treat each one, as if they are the only one.” – Laurice Leitao

§ “When people talk, Listen completely. Most people never listen.”- Ernest Hemingway

§ “Make your product easier to buy than your competitors, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.”- Mark Cuban

§ “I won’t complain, I just won’t come back.”- Brown & Williamson Advertisement

§ “More business is lost every year through neglect than any other reason.”- Jim Cathart

§ “Man who can’t smile, Shouldn’t open Shop.”- Chinese Proverb

§ “Courteous treatment will make the customer a walking advertisement.”- J. C. Penney

§ “Do what you do so well, that your customers will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney

§ “Be everywhere, do everything and never fail to astonish the customer.” – Macy’s Motto

§ “Customers are like Swarm of bees, without the honey there is no attraction.” – Ifeoma Mbuk

§ “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” – Anon

§ “The Customer Experience is the next competitive battleground.” – Jerry Gregoire

§ “Everyone does same work or other. There are so few who do it in the best way they can. Those are the ones who achieve success.” – Sadhu Vaswani

§ “A Customer is really satisfied when he or she not only comes back, but brings someone with them.” – Hyrum W Smith

§ “Make serving the customer an obsession.” – Dr. R. L. Qualls

§ “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”- Gucci Family Motto

§ “Believe you have attained customer satisfaction when customers return to your store because they want to, Not because they have to.”- Richard T Takata

§ “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to find out how MUCH he can give for a dollar, instead of how LITTLE he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” – Henry Ford

§ “Quality in a Product or a service is not what you put into it, Its what the customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker

§ “Customers are satisfied when they get what they expect, both with regards to results and behavior. Creating satisfied customers require that expectations about performances and about the nature of the relationships be managed and met. We have satisfied customers because we get the job done and because we are responsive.” – James E Cayne

§ “Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

§ “The tongue has a power to hurt. Also to heal. Be careful of every word you speak. It can affect many lives – Including your own.” – Sadhu Vaswani

§ “Pride is the most worthwhile thing to swallow. It is the only thing, which when swallowed, never chokes.”- Sadhu Vaswani

§ “As far as customers are concerned, YOU ARE THE COMPANY. This is not a burden, But the core of your job. You hold in your hands, the power to keep customers coming back – Perhaps even the power to make or break the company.”- Anon

§ “When you start viewing your customers as interruptions, you are going to have problems.” – Kate Zabriskie

§ “Unless you have 100% Customer satisfaction, YOU MUST IMPROVE.”- Horst Schulz

§ “We See our customers as guests invited to a party and we are the hosts. It’s our job EVERYDAY to make EVERY important aspect of the customer experience a little Better.” – Jeff Bezos

§ “A Satisfied customer is the best strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf

§ “If you work just for money, you will never make it, But if you love what you are doing, success will be yours.”- Ray Croc

§ “You’ll never have a product or a price advantage again, they can be easily duplicated. But a strong service culture can never be copied.” – Jerry Fritz

§ “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game, service wins the game.” -Tony Allessandra

§ “Eye contact is a visual handshake.” – Sephen Boyd

§ “Losers make promises they often break, Winners make commitments they always keep.” – Dennis Waitley

§ “Isn’t it really "Customer Helping" Rather than "Customer Service"? And, Wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?”- Jeffrey Gitomer

§ “There is only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody in teh company from the chairman down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”- Sam Walton

§ “If the shopper feels it was poor service, then it WAS poor service. We are in the customer perception business.” – Mark Perrault

§ “The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a successful Business is a satisfied Customer.” – Peter Drucker

§ “Profit in business, comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your service and that bring friends with them.” – Edward Deming

§ “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach

§ “You cannot improve one thing by 1000%. But you can improve 1000 little things by 1%.” – Jan Carlzon

§ “Customers don’t care how big you are. They don’t care about organizational charts or how many divisions you have. They want the person in front of them to be able to solve their problems.” – Vernn R Loucks Jr.

§ “Good Customer Service Costs less than bad customer service.” – Sally Gronow