Conventional CRM implementations are too focused on internal business operations. This ailment stems from the lineage of most CRM projects. CRM solutions are typically deployed so businesses can manage and increase the productivity of critical facets such as the sales pipeline, service queue, and lead funnel. Subsequently these solutions are defined around concepts such as leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities. The status of these entities is defined through lead score, sales stage, and customer satisfaction rating. This accurately reflects how businesses describe themselves.
As companies take a more customer-centric approach and consider the customer experience, they quickly realize that the customer's perspective is not the same as the company's perspective. People do not think of themselves as leads, contacts or accounts. They do not describe their potential purchase as an opportunity. In fact they will use an entirely different vernacular to describe their evolution as a customer over time. More importantly, as companies look at the specificity of their business, they realize that there is a common set of stages, activities and decision criteria that their customers will use to describe their relationship with that business. This description is known as the customer journey map.
The definition of a customer journey map not only enables businesses to better adopt the customer perspective. It helps companies catalyze the evolution of their customer relationships as those companies clearly understand what needs to happen next in order to properly foster the relationship. All leads, opportunities and accounts are not equal. The value of a lead to convert to a prospect or opportunity depends greatly if their needs as a lead have been met. Leads who have fewer of those needs met have a lower propensity to become prospects than those who have more of their needs met. The same basic principles apply to goals such as customer retention, expansion, cross-sell, upsell, and customer advocacy. In order to achieve any of those goals, customers themselves need to achieve a set of predefined criteria first.
SugarCRM recently announced the availability of the Customer Journey Plug-In for all customers. This new Sugar module allows companies to capture their customer journey maps within their Sugar installation. It helps those companies not only adopt the customer perspective, but enables them to effectively guide their customers throughout those journeys in a consistent manner. The solution also enables companies to operationalize those journeys by effectively integrating the entire journey with the traditional CRM operations that companies already execute. Subsequently, actions such as lead conversion and updating a sales stage on an opportunity are transformed from internal status indicators to triggers that initiate activities within the customer’s experience. This creates a competitive advantage for Sugar customers by enabling them to better prioritize their customer engagements and to maximize each of those engagements by addressing the correct need at the correct time.
Click here to learn more about the plug-in from its listing on SugarExchange.
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