What if CRM had not been invented?

Posted by James Obermayer on Feb 16, 2011 11:50:00 AM

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James ObermayerJames Obermayer, Executive Director and CEO of the Sales Lead Management Association and President of Sales Leakage Consulting is a regular guest blogger with ViewPoint. Jim returns this month with another thought provoking article...

I am asking you to take another journey of counterfactual reflection.i

Last month we discussed Counterfactual Reflection (CR) as it pertains to marketing automation. There were lively comments about where individuals would be if marketing automation had not been invented. This focus helps us refine the use of marketing automation and enhance the arguments for its implementation.

As a reminder, Counterfactual Reflection considers a turning point in the past and makes assumptions as if the event had not occurred. So the question this week is, “What if Customer Relationship Managementii had not evolved, where would we be today?”

What would be the state of sales and marketing? What differences in marketing and sales management would have occurred if CRM with all of its benefits had not been a part of B2B and B2C marketing?

A day doesn’t pass that I don’t hear a remark (usually from salespeople), about the difficulties of using their company’s CRM system. I use a CR question to bring them back to reality. Without CRM, where, oh where, would we be?

Can you give us two benefits of CRM that have helped you personally? How successful would your salespeople be if they didn’t have a CRM system? What about customer service; current customers, new prospects? What about your career; your company?

iFootnote: Professor Laura Kray, Professor Philip Tetlock. "Might Have Been to What Must Have Been: Counterfactual Thinking Creates Meaning" was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in January 2010 

iiWikipedia: Customer relationship management (CRM) as a widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client services. Customer relationship management describes a company-wide business strategy including customer-interface departments as well as other departments. 

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Topics: Lead Management, Guest Blogs

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