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Beyond CRM

Lately I’ve been thinking more outside of the box. Not because I’ve taken any consultant or analyst pills, but rather because the world just decided to kick me out of the cardboard container I’m used to.

First was a few weeks ago when I installed VMware Fusion on my wife’s Mac. The sight of windows booting up (and running better than it does on most PC’s was something I never expected to see firsthand (nor even ever own a Mac for that matter, now there are 3 in the family so far).

Second was getting to check out some Solid State Disk Drives (or SSDs as you’d call them if you were in the know, and now you are). Having a hard drive with no moving parts changes the game in a lot of ways, as soon as a media player and a laptop hit my price point with an SSD, I’m in. Things like reducing the boot time from a minute 40, to 35 seconds is right where I want to be.

This week I’ve been doing some data analysis. The labor has changed now that I have access to the SalesForce.com API. I’m starting to move beyond CRM – the idea that the best you could do is a database that contains all the information about your customers and prospects. I’m now thinking about exploring how the database changes as time passes. Questions like “Is the sales process improving?”, “What data am I missing, and is it important to fill in the blanks”, “What does the normal suspect to prospect to customer lifecycle look like?”

The crazy part is that these questions have been discussed for years, but we’re finally reaching the point where almost any business can get access to the tools to answer them.