“The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.”
– Shiv Singh
Customers are as crucial for the business as project management for delivering results within budget and on time. Let’s consider it for a while…
The existence of customers allows business to survive.
Customers’ demands lead business to its change and consequently to its development.
Customers’ loyalty enables businesses to thrive…
For every time we want to achieve a goal we devote time and effort to build a plan and accomplish this plan. Actually we always perform project management … even intuitively sometimes!
Nowadays, the evolution of enterprise Project Management field has created a new business environment where Project Management (PM) Methodologies and Software are used extensively. Technology is also used in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) “to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support”. The CRM and PM trends for 2015 pave the way to cloud solutions that integrate Agile Project Management and CRM, providing communication and collaboration functionalities such as emails, campaigns, tasks management, productivity measurement, social media integration for engaging customers and Business Intelligence (BI) reports for data-driven decision making.
Each of the three phases of CRM, namely acquisition, retention, and expansion of customers can be considered as a single project and/or to be divided into sub-projects. For example:
- Organizing e-mail Campaigns for leads generation and following-up
- Creating and managing opportunities, from approach, to offer, to closed deal
- Getting customer feedback exploring social media to identify whether your business meets their needs and proceed to the required changes or improvements
- Build strong relations with your customers to retain and increase the commitment to your products/services that will lead you to new customers/markets (through their B2B and B2C business networks).
Moreover, customers can be considered as Projects Stakeholders. Having classifying them based on the value they bring to your company, you are able to prioritize your projects and allocate effectively and efficiently your tangible and intangible resources and business effort among these projects. Eventually, you will be capable of bridging the gap between sales and development. In other words to achieve the golden rule of making business!
Therefore, integration of organization’s departments is feasible by linking each project to a customer. Doing so, the various project teams will be consisted of members from several departments fully responsible for a customer.
However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed before you achieve this new CRM – PM loving mantra. These are:
- the development and establishment of a customer-centric culture,
- the selection of the suitable software that meets company’s specific needs
- the continuous employees training necessary to utilize the selected software in alignment with the new culture.
Do you think that you can deal with these challenges? Keep Calm and Sales On!