What can we learn from a world-class runner about CRM?
When it comes to business, we are naturally inclined to want results as quickly as possible. But your organisation’s CRM transformation isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. And in order to make it to the finish line, you need to treat your business like a world-class athlete.
In 2001, professional athlete Patrick Sang crossed paths with a talented 16-year-old from Kenya who would soon take the running world by storm. But Eliud Kipchoge wasn’t a record breaker just yet. ‘Back then he was an athlete who had the potential to grow in the right way, if guided well,’ Sang recalled.
So how did Sang shape this ambitious teenager into the world-class athlete who is on track to break the infamous two-hour marathon record in 2019? With the same processes and mindset it takes to unleash lasting CRM transformation – training, perseverance and endurance. His first victory at a World Marathon Major came at the Chicago Marathon in 2014, and he went on to become series champion for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 [Updated Content: On 12 October 2019, Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special event in Vienna, Austria, achieving a time of 1:59:40. He won the London Marathon a record 4 times, and won the Olympic marathon in 2016. His only loss in a marathon was a second place behind Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, where Kipsang broke the world record]
It’s a team effort
When Kipchoge cut one minute and 18 seconds off the world-record marathon time in Berlin, he didn’t put his success down to his physical capabilities. Instead, he put it down to a combined team effort. And as with any sporting victory, no CRM transformation project can exist in isolation. Success is only possible through collaboration.
Organisations preparing for CRM transformation face the daunting task of overhauling old processes and ensuring adequate training to increase productivity and team satisfaction across departments. The question now is how can you implement transformation effectively to guarantee its success?
- Improving your workflow automation to streamline communication. This helps you decrease the need for employees to take on time-consuming, low-priority tasks and free them up to concentrate on important tasks that matter, such as providing a high-quality customer service experience.
- Simplifying processes to avoid burnout. With better processes comes happier employees. When employees aren’t bogged down by stress and feeling overwhelmed at work, they become more efficient, productive and motivated.
- Training your employees. The most satisfied employees are those that are constantly learning. Training rewards team members by prioritising personal and professional growth, which in turn empowers these individuals to add value to the organisation.
Hard work and dedication
Like running a marathon, CRM implementation can be intimidating. It requires you to think critically about your organisation’s needs, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of how your company is run. This process of introspection and preparation is the only way to ensure CRM implementation is successful.
It’s like when Kipchoge runs on race day. As a spectator, you can’t help but marvel at his speed and how easy he makes it all look. What you can’t see is the months of hard work and dedication that prepared him for this moment.
Your organisation’s process of CRM implementation should work in much the same way. So what actions can help improve your chances of CRM success?
- Using the right software. Just as an athlete relies on the right gear, a team needs the right software. Choose your CRM platform carefully, and be sure to select the software that will meet the needs of your team members and your organisation.
- Developing your overarching CRM strategy. Make sure the CRM platform you’ve selected fits into your overall CRM strategy – it’s no use having the best resources without the capacity or knowledge needed to implement them correctly.
- Tracking results. Record your results to track and measure improvements. You can then use these results to motivate and encourage your team.
- Learning through trial and error. Transformation feeds off of adaptability. Be prepared to adjust your processes over time to ensure continuous improvements and sustained growth.
Setting a goal
Goals give us direction, and something to work towards. Currently, Kipchoge’s goal is to achieve something that many think to be impossible – he wants to attempt the sub-two-hour marathon. He’s not there yet, but he is working hard and moving closer to meeting his goal every day.
Kipchoge’s dedication shows us the power of setting goals. With your CRM transformation project, you can use goals to drive results and define your path to lasting growth. To help you set organisation-wide goals, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where is your company right now? Consider the current state of your organisation. Think about your company’s direction, your talent, your growth potential and your position within the market.
- Where do you want your company to be? Allow your current vision of your organisation to inform your vision of the future, and then ask yourself what you want to achieve.
- What are your goals for the short, medium and long term? Finally, set your goals and come up with a plan of action. Keep in mind that goals should be attainable if you hope to use them to motivate your team.
The importance of having the right coach
Kipchoge and Sang have made a great team for nearly two decades. Their partnership has led to remarkable athletic achievements, and they’re not done yet. Sang brought his experience, skill and wisdom to the fore, helping Kipchoge as he reaches his full potential.
At redk, we are proven, experienced CRM transformation experts with a track record of helping businesses go the extra mile to produce transformational results. Like Sang with Kipchoge, we help you go further, together.