June 11, 2015

Expert Interview: Building Customers from Leads to Loyalty

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Tags: CRM Podcast

Michael Rooney, SVP & General Manager at bpm’online, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores the business technology landscape through conversations with industry leaders.

Michael joined Josh to discuss on CRM adoption, multichannel platforms, and common challenges with CRM.

Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: Why is process driven an important feature for CRM?

Rooney: If you think of your standard view of CRM, you focus on the middle piece. Marketing on one side, sales in the middle, and ongoing services on the other side. Most of us think of CRM in the sales force automation role. Having been a VP of sales and marketing, having a methodology is one thing but truly enabling that as a process that everyone follows can be pretty difficult. You’re counting on the reps and employees to actually follow that methodology.

What we bring to the table is we automate that methodology within the CRM. When a lead becomes an opportunity, that opportunity is actually connected to a process and walks that opportunity through the different tasks and stages that we know as basic sales methodology. Qualification, presentation, creating a proposal, closing, all of that. Having the automation drive the process enables a better consistency across. If you have 50 sales resources, each one tends to do things differently. By controlling though the CRM, it enables more consistency and we believe better production.

TA: CRM has some of the highest adoption rates out there. Why?  

Rooney: I think there’s a lot of forces driving it. If you back it all the way up, it’s about that customer experience. These days when you interact with a company you could be online, on the phone, mobile, social media, and interacting in a bunch of different ways so there’s this omnichannel current. The company struggles with being able to capture all of those touchpoints and put it into a consistent platform.

Without an automated CRM it’s very difficult to track that. We all know sales is a numbers game. If you let some of the numbers drop out of the funnel, you’re going to be less successful. By automating that process and capturing the data components per customer, you’re much more likely to be able to capture everything into the funnel and hopefully transact more efficiently.

TA: What’s on the cusp of becoming popular in CRM?

Rooney: There’s a lot of different trends but four main ones that I keep seeing recurring. One is omnichannel. Two is being able to cover the entire customer journey from leads to loyalty. It’s a lead, it’s an opportunity, it’s a sale, and then it’s a loyal customer. Also obviously mobile.

Probably an additional fourth one is being able to tap into the big data. We’re capturing all of this additional information whether it’s off of social media, point of sale, behaviors, and being able to do something intelligent with that. Today bpm’online offers the product with built in best practice processes. You’re not starting from scratch and having to build that process, you can actually turn it on and leverage immediately.

In that you can have conditional statements as to how that goes through the process. We see the real future tapping into all the big data out there and continuing to collect, map that to persona or customer profile behavior, and be able to build an intelligent process so a self-learning process rather than a static conditional process.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.