It is quite common for all of us to start something new but the real challenge is in seeing it through to completion. This can be party attributed to the human trait of procrastination and partly to the humdrum of the information overload age which we live in. The same holds good for several sales and service threads (reads opportunities and cases) that customer focused organisations start but find it tough to track and take it to completion proactively.
It results in deep discontentment for those who have invested in a CRM solution. What is the efficacy of a CRMSFACustomer Relationship Management – Sales Force Automation system if yet another is needed to keep track of related to-dos?
Almost all CRM solutions seem to miss addressing this. It is not that they don’t have sufficient dashboards or calendars to highlight the to-dos, but the problem lies in capturing of the requisite data in the normal flow of work so that the must-have next steps are registered by the sales or service personnel without fail. To address these ills we came up with this simple yet effective solution for one of our clients (who refer to Opportunities as ‘Pink Cards’ as you shall see in the screenshots below) –
Make it compulsory to define a ‘next step’ during quick creation of an opportunity or at the time of opportunity creation via a full form.
This shall simultaneously create the ‘next step’ activity with the chosen purpose along with the creation of the opportunity and shall even link the two together.
Updating an activity linked to an opportunity, for example, registering it’s start and stop times, requires that one create a ‘next step’ activity for the opportunity. It could be as trivial as an activity which was performed without a successful outcome and hence needs to be re-scheduled.
This can be expressed in the system by way of starting and stopping the current activity, thus recording the effort spent and unobtrusively creating a new activity while updating the linked opportunity. Thus the effort spent on registering a new activity is minimal. This way the recursion of activities continues unless an opportunity is lost or won.
Finally restricting cancellation of a not-yet-started activity related to an Opportunity or a Case without creating the compulsory ‘next step’ plugs the last loop-hole.