Evolution may be the cleverest algorithm ever discovered. It truly was discovered not made up like some of the equations the rocket scientists on Wall Street came up with over the last couple of decades. Part of its cleverness comes from the deceptively simple mechanism it suggests: Try various solution designs to any real-world problem and see which variants work best. Like everything else in this world, CRM is changing, evolving to suit the demands of the moment, and many new business processes are coming forward, as is the supporting technology. The most obvious example is what's happening with social media.
REALITY CHECK BY DENIS POMBRIANT Survival of the Relatively More Fit CRM is changing, evolving to suit the demands of the moment E 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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