Customer relationship management (CRM) is great – but combining it with business process management (BPM) can really boost your business results.
So argues Tata Consultancy Services consultant Prashanth Varuri, who says too many CRM initiatives focus only on one siloed activity, such as sales, customer service or marketing. As a result, organizations are unable to get the most complete view of a customer’s needs, or to enforce best practices across critical activities such as sales and marketing.
A BPM workflow could, instead, take a holistic approach to the sales business process by enforcing best practices, defining a common sales methodology and streamlining execution. Organizations can thus model each stage in the sales process, define an ideal flow, and ensure that all criteria are met and data captured before a deal moves to the next stage.
He also points out that to achieve the best results, don’t stop with integrating data – integrate your processes as well. That way, an enterprise-level CRM solution can enable workflows not only within the base CRM application but also across multiple systems.
And why is that good? For example, an organization could create a process linking e-commerce with CRM systems so that when a product shipment is delayed, the system checks the customer lifetime value and either sends an e-mail notification or, for a high value customer, creates a service incident for the call center agent or customer service representative to personally call the customer.
Or assume a sales representative is working on a deal for a big customer that depends on the organization’s ability to increase manufacturing output. The opportunity is captured in the CRM app, the finance people crunch the numbers, and the manufacturing side determines if they can fulfill demand. A BPM-driven CRM system could orchestrate this collaboration with the back office by extracting pertinent information from the CRM system and routing it to the right people via email with spreadsheet attachments. That method is already used today, but putting a BPM spin on it makes for a controlled environment that yields full visibility into the process.
BPM-driven CRM also helps streamline time-consuming customer-related processes such as sales budget approvals, campaign execution, lead qualification, lead routing, Request For Proposal (RFP) submissions, sales follow-up, reference management and case routing.
One of the greatest challenges for organizations is identifying the business processes that most affect the customer experience. We have therefore identified key customer-facing business processes to make them more customer-centric.
• Audit the processes that affect customers.
• Identify the processes customers care most about.
• Prioritize the customer-selected processes with those that have the most impact on growth.
• Give each process an owner, cross-departmentally if required — it doesn’t have to be a Vice President
• (VP) or a director, but should be someone responsible for the end-to-end process.
• Implement changes in the back-office and front-office that affect customers.
• Set up a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for customer-selected key processes.
• Measure the success and refine the process changes for different customer segments.
Read more in his white paper “BPM Capabilities in the CRM Landscape.”