While attending a customer event today I listened to a panel of customers talk about rolling out SalesLogix to their end-users. As I listened, I was reminded of why we all work so hard to deliver a product as flexible and as capable as SalesLogix. Each panelist presented similar goals; deliver a system that engages the end user, capture the information users need to get their work done, capture the data to manage their business, satisfy management’s reporting needs, and deliver it all on time and within budget. No small task. A worthy goal. It was great to see their all of their successes. I applaud each of the panelists for their achievements. Bravo!
What were some of the things they did to succeed? I am glad you asked. Here are some of the gems from today’s session:
Provide a “one stop shop” for your users – Providing a “one stop shop” for your users to get at their data has been a goal for CRM systems since the beginning of CRM. Gartner calls this concept “Cornerstone Apps”. These apps are capable of providing real time data access from multiple systems without making the user leave their place of work. You can read more about “cornerstone apps” in Gartner’s white paper. It is great to see each panelist provide this capability using SalesLogix as their platform to deliver their business solution. The technology that helps to make this happen are dashboards, analytics, web services, and great end-user interface design by our panelists.
Once the data is in, make it easy to get it out – We spend lots of time designing our systems so users can input the data. We also need to design the system to allow users to get the data back out. Some of the ways the panelists mentioned as tops on their list were reports. Not just any report, but reports that summarized what the user’s wanted to see. They often used multiple reports. Reports were designed based on feedback from the user community. Other examples of getting the data out of the system were charting, top 10 lists, and advanced analytical dashboards using Visual Analyzer.
If possible, do repetitive tasks automatically – All panelists mentioned that they were using a rules engine to automate some of their repetitive tasks such as email notifications to customers, capturing detail from an email, and notifying management when a business metric or patterns falls out of tolerance. I will research more on this topic and share the results with my next blog.
Give management what they need – It’s important to give management what they need to manage the business. The number one way to give management what they needed was through reports. Some of the reports mentioned by the panelists were activity dashboards and account summaries. Activity dashboards were designed to allow managers to quickly view their team’s activity or work conducted by each team member. This report rolled up activities by type and by team member. Panelists also presented account summary reports. Account summary reports rolled up of what was happening with an account. One panelist presented a very simple, yet novel idea, which was to capture three things about an account; what’s working, what’s not working, and next steps.
Once the data is in the system, don’t make users enter the data twice – One panelist promised his users that once the data got into the system it stayed in the system. What a great way to win over your users and build trust in the system. Other examples important to adoption was to make sure as end-users did their work such as email that the email history would get captured automatically as part of their daily email management.