Every day I face the unfortunate opportunity to educate business owners and sales managers about the difference between salesforce automation and customer relationship management. There is a very significant difference between the two and it's not as simple as the industry would have you believe.
Salesforce automation is one piece of Customer Relationship Management; as is customer service, accounting, product management, product development and the ability to retrieve business intelligence by studying the data collected. CRM is the full integration of all areas of the business that affect your customers - internal and external.
Often the Sales Department opens the conversation of CRM while searching for a tool that allows them to efficiently gather leads and manage their sales process until the customer is sold and can be handed off to the Service Department. The truth is that all "off the shelf" CRM tools are really not much more than Salesforce Automation - especially the freeware and the low-cost solutions (from ACT! to Salesforce's Group and Professional versions). True CRM is seldom accomplished at the lowest level of deployment.
What excites the Sales Department about CRM is the possibility of automating many of their tasks, streamlining the process of proposal to invoice, easy access to monitor service issues registered by their own clients as well as the ability to easily report personal, team and department performance.
What should excite the business owner about CRM is the possibility of managing his/her entire business from one dashboard - at a glance, the CEO and other company leadership can monitor the performance of sales, service, accounting, R&D and Production.
We welcome the opportunity to visit with you about your company's needs to see how we can help your company find the right tool and move your business toward faster growth!