CRM is Like Baseball – Look to Win the Series

For a Philadelphia sports fan like myself, it has been a good week.  The Flyers are rolling, defeating the first seeded Canadiens in five dominating games where the old Broad Street Bullies are back. And my Phillies are playing well, even without league MVP Jimmy Rollins and a slumping Ryan Howard (but when you have the best player in baseball, Chase Utley and a solid ace like Cole Hamels, things will tend to go your way).

But all this playoff hockey and baseball had me thinking…a CRM initiative is a lot like a baseball series. When it comes to customers, you can not win all of them over to your side 100% of the time, and your CRM system cannot be all things to all people – both inside and out. BUT…you can try to go two for three and win over a majority of your customers a majority of the time.

Solid CRM processes that are put in place with a lot of prep time, and understanding of how and when/where customers want to engage…and a strong cultural as well as technical training program internally, can make sure you always win the rubber match with your customers and other business partners. And CRM is a long process. I have seen teams look shaky in the first inning only to come back strong in the stretch and win it with a walkoff homer (like Pat Burrell did for the Phillies this weekend versus the Giants – an amazing 3-2 shot to right that was a thing of beauty).  Think LONG TERM, both in planning, roll out and understand a flexible system makes all those expected and unexpected changes a lot easier to manage.

And we all know, teams that win most of their series over the season are usually the ones left standing in October…