One of my Sales Directors has a motorbike. Not any old motorbike; one of those huge motorbikes I’ve always dreamed of owning, the sort that make many women go weak at the knees if you offered them an opportunity to ride pillion.
The sadness is I’m now in the bracket of middle age where I’m told it becomes dangerous to buy such a beast, and my wife would certainly never approve, telling me my responsibilities to my children outweigh my short term thrills…then again, perhaps I should try. She might secretly be waiting for me to do the unexpected!
Well, what has this to do with Cloud computing and, in particular, Salesforce. You might well ask and, so did I, when I first realised my secret jealousy at never having enjoyed the freedom and thrill of riding at speed on a long winding road to the back of beyond……but there is a link.
The sort of machine I envisage is no less powerful in business terms than a Cloud based CRM and associated Platform such as Salesforce. In the wrong hands it can become an unwieldy business monster, costing a company a fortune, bought in a moment of apparent bravado by a CEO/Marketing/Sales Director, who has since moved onto another company taking his or her ideas with them.
Perhaps they really did understand how to make this system add huge value to our company, (in my analogy, they’ve been riding motorbikes since they were teenagers) but many of their colleagues had little understanding of how to manage it (and may have been lucky enough to try a moped at some point in their life!). Their skill is skin deep but their embarrassment at that lack of skill is just below the surface; and none of us like being embarrassed.
Now my Sales Director is a sensible fellow – in fact he is a previous Managing Director of a very sensible mid-sized company. He may have been a motorcyclist since he was young, but he realised that further training in the form of the Advanced Motor Cycle certificate would make sure he was not cutting corners – literally. It also ensured he really understood the underlying science of riding such a powerful machine and can draw upon that whenever he is in a difficult situation.
How many senior managers are currently in charge of (or need to use) what might be the most important resource beyond their people – and don’t really understand how to use it, nor what it can do for them. I’m frequently told a motorcyclist’s best friend is acceleration. That may be counterintuitive, but I understand the concept. How do you “accelerate” a CRM?
Your company is having a hard time generating new business; you have a database of information about all your clients, you are emailing new people. Do you know how to manipulate that data into a usable form such that you can generate business faster than you are?
My contention is we all need to be a little more humble and less proud. A bit of focused training on the principles behind our current CRM system will (1) improve our business effectiveness dramatically, (2) reduce the pressure we place of others in our immediate business environment (3) make us feel much less vulnerable when the going gets tough.
In short, there are people out there who can help. These include Westbrook, who has a dedicated training practice and could improve your skills with modest investment. Let’s face it, you probably have that superbike already in the business (and I still maintain my dream in my garage). Rather than look at it and hope to get by when told to do something on it, why not invest a bit in learning the basics, not least the principles on which it is built – and take a test drive with someone who really knows.
My Sales Director is free most weekends – call me and I’ll make the introduction!