Managing your way up the CRM Adoption Curve

In the last post, we explored where every company starts with their CRM efforts.  The first step, the “Manual Stage”, is typically defined by customer data locked up in spreadsheets, misplaced emails, uncertain next steps and all too often, unhappy customers.  You’re ready to pull yourself out of the chaos and get your company organized.

This is where you turn to SugarCRM and move to the second stage, “Step 2: the Managed Stage”.  After first implementing Sugar Professional, your company has taken a huge step out of the chaos and put all of your customer data into a single, managed system of record for customer information. This is the single biggest value you will realize with your first step up the CRM Adoption Curve.  Everybody now knows where to go to get customer data.  Tasks are tracked.  Emails are quickly shared.  Notes are no longer lost.

With this single view of your customer data, you are now able to start defining repeatable customer interaction processes and start training your people on a common approach to working with prospects and customers.  Your CRM processes are maturing, though many are still manual – which is OK.  Repeatable processes will lead to better automation in the next stage, even if everything is not integrated right now.

But there are still gaps in your CRM success.  You have identified customer-centric goals (e.g. responding to prospect inquiries within one hour, following up on every quote within two business days, keeping your support case backlog under a certain threshold), but measuring progress isn’t always complete or accurate.  Some of your teams are hitting their objectives, but not consistently.  You are better at being responsive to customers than in the Manual Stage, but manual process are still inconsistently executed at times.  In short, you are beginning to chart a course towards CRM success but you still have work ahead of you.

Every SugarCRM customer quickly achieves this stage.  The challenge is to not stop here.  In the next post, we will describe what happens when you move from the Managed Stage to “Step 3: the Defined Stage“.