CRM Touchpoints: Internal vs. External

I have long been a “less is more” kinda guy. (Well, maybe not when it comes to motorcycles and guitars, but definitely with corporate cost structures.) And when we learned that our customer Healthscreen was only using Blackberries for its sales teams SugarCRM access, I loved the idea. If your sales team is on the go constantly, why bother spending the cash to acquire and maintain laptops. By limiting the sales reps’ touch points to the CRM system, Healthscreen was able to focus on the most important sales processes in their Sugar deployment – and the simplified user experience drives adoption.

But while I am a “less is more” guy on the internal user end of CRM, I do feel the opposite is the case with how many customer data and touchpoints enter into the CRM equation.

Simply put – you can never have too many ways to incorporate prospect data or channels for interaction with your customer base. And while it is very tempting to “lock down” your CRM so that you have a tight and highly manageable data set – you are doing the business a huge disservice.

It is amazing how quickly we went from two to three simple points of customer data touchpoints (sales rep entering data, emails coming in, call center reps filling out forms, etc.) to potentially dozens of data and interaction points: SMS, web forms, blogs, wikis, chat, Twitter, social networks, kiosks, phone, mobile, email, myriad syndicated data services providers, text fields in standardized forms, etc.

With the CRM systems of old – this explosion of data could equal an explosion of your CRM initiative. But fortunately the CRM systems being built now saw this trend coming. And the ease of integrating multiple web-based channels that the Open Cloud delivers makes it easier to start with a few manageable channels and quickly add more touch points as expertise increases.

So, if you can take in all of these data sources and provide consistency across all these touch points – while also creating a streamlined approach to the internal system for employees – well, you just might have something there…

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