“Folks, this is the Ronco Veg-O-Matic! It slices, it dices in teeny, tiny slices. It makes mounds of julienne fries in just seconds. Wouldn’t you love to greet your friends at the door with lovely vegetables like these?”
Everyone wants a magic tool that does everything–and that’s not just confined to the kitchen. In the Enterprise, we luvvv our CRMs. They are AWESOME tools. We use them for contact management, for scheduling, for to-do’s, for revenue projections. And, yessss… sometimes we try to use them for Operations, as well.
While CRMs can slice and dice better than anything, you’ll be hard-pressed to make a smoothie with one–if you catch my drift.
At Arrivy, we serve businesses in a variety of industries, including home services, moving, and event planning. These Enterprises use an assortment of CRMs from generic ones like Salesforce, Sugar, and Pipedrive to industry-specific services. Many customers have tried to repurpose their CRM for operations with–predictably–miserable results. In fact, the confusion that’s caused by trying to turn CRMs into operational tools frequently compromises the actual CRM functionality.
Some of the operational challenges that CRMs aren’t really great at, tend to be centered around real-time issues. They include:
- Tracking and managing operational elements that tend to change or be rearranged on short notice (resources, equipment, route planning & preparation, inventory, etc.)
- Scheduling & Assignments
- Mobile access for folks in the field
- Communication with customers, field crews and dispatch
- Keeping Customer Support/Sales in sync
- Monitoring & Insights
In our experience, the best strategy to manage the sales and operations connectivity puzzle is to have a clear separation between those two functions and have processes/automation in place to provide a clear hand-off of information from one to the other.
The best strategy to manage the sales and operations connectivity puzzle is to have a clear separation between those two functions and have processes/automation in place to provide a clear hand-off of information from one to the other.
We are all HUGE FANS of having a single source of truth, and CRMs are wonderful for that. But, it shouldn’t stop you from leveraging additional software services, especially if they can be easily integrated to provide a seamless experience for your teams. In particular, Operational tools that deal with real-time and near-real-time matters (like communications, routing) are critical for coping with day-of issues. And, most importantly–having a clear hand-off between the two ensures that you’re not just converting a “prospect” to a “customer” in your CRM. You’re converting them to an engaged, satisfied customer for your long-term business.