LancasterThriving_Summer2017 - 14

BUSINESS: BUSINESS PRIORITIES

THE STATE OF CRM
in Central PA

Multiple Mentions
5% Share

5% Share
20% Share
Single Mentions

13% Share

I

n 1995, I was selling photocopiers on the streets of
Harrisburg. I had just won a laptop in a sales contest and
had no idea what to use it for, outside of Solitaire. Our
top performing rep walked by my desk and tossed a 3.5"
computer disk at me.

organization. At other companies, there might be a struggle
to get employees to update records even once a month.
Some businesses use it to reflect on what's happened, while
few - but more all the time - are using it to predict what will
happen next.

"What's this?" I asked.

That being the background, we sent a survey to the Thriving!
audience, specifically about their use of CRM. Here's what
we learned:

"Just install it," he said. And with that, my life as a sales
representative was fundamentally changed.
On that disk was Maximizer 1.0, one of the first customer
relationship management (CRM) programs on the market.
Soon, my Rolodex was gone, forever replaced by customer
profile screens. Within weeks, I stopped door-to-door cold
calling, moving first to telephone prospecting, later to batch
faxing and eventually, email.
Since then, I've used many of the CRM products on the
market. Like you, I've been alternately amazed or annoyed
by them, and often both at the same time. Older and a little
greyer now, my current responsibilities have me entering
data into a CRM a little less, but optimizing it for my coworkers to use even more and analyzing what comes out of
it on a daily basis.
But for all of the conversations I've had with people about
CRM, I've come to realize that the uses (and abuses) are as
different as can be. For some, CRM is the lifeblood of the

14 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Spring/Summer2017

SOMETHING IS PROBABLY BETTER THAN NOTHING.

For those wondering if a CRM is related to sales success, the
survey provided clear guidance. When asked if they were
currently hitting sales targets, 60% of respondents with a
CRM claimed their organization was exceeding their plan,
compared to just 25% of the non-CRM users. Curiously it
didn't seem to matter which CRM was being used, so long
as one of them was.

TAKEAWAY #1: If you're not using a CRM and your
competition is, the data would indicate they might
be out-selling you.
IT'S A CROWDED SPACE.

Despite the fact respondents were offered nine of the top
CRM platforms in the market today in the survey, nearly 44%
indicated that they were using something "other" than the



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