Survival of the Relatively More Fit by ProQuest


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									        REALITY CHECK

        Survival of the Relatively More Fit
                 CRM is changing, evolving to suit the demands of the moment

                            VOLUTION MAY BE the cleverest algorithm               mate a deal, marketing dug up suspects, and service got
                            ever discovered. It truly was discovered—by           overwhelmed with phone calls.
                            Charles Darwin—not made up like some of the              Today’s market is very different. Deals mature more
                            equations the rocket scientists on Wall Street        slowly. Salespeople try to find out as much as possible
                 came up with over the last couple of decades. Part of its        about the people they’re selling to. Marketing nurtures
                 cleverness comes from the deceptively simple mecha-              prospects, capturing the information those prospects
                 nism it suggests: Try various solution designs to any real-      radiate. Service has differentiated into a long list of
                 world problem and see which variants work best. Let the          modalities that reduce waiting and involve customers in
                 best designs propagate their improvements throughout             problem-solving at many different levels. Each advance
                 the population of solutions, then let them have another          has been made in increments as vendors try this or that—
                 go at it. Repeat this process ad infinitum.                                      and sometimes fail—while customers sit in
                    That’s it. Evolution doesn’t have perfec-                                     judgment about which designs work best.
                 tion as its goal or end result. The closest it                                      Like everything else in this world, CRM
                 gets to perfection is to have a design that’s                                    is changing, evolving to suit the demands of
                 well adapted to present conditions. And                                          the moment, and many new business proc-
                 since future conditions will most certainly                                      esses are coming forward, as is the support-
                 be different, there is a mandate for change                                      ing technology. The most obvious example
                 built into the algorithm. People wonder                                          is what’s happening with social media.
                 aloud, “What’s the matter with kids these                                           Social media is the innovation point for
                 days?” The answer is: everything—subtle change is in-            this time and place. With fewer buyers, vendors need to
                 evitable. And the answer is also nothing—change leads            qualify prospects to a higher degree or risk wasting time
                 to innovation.                                                   and resources on opportunities that never come to
                    So what’s this got to do with CRM? Evolution makes            fruition. A cascade has begun: In addition to salespeople
                 sense with living 
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