“DO NOT GO where the path may lead, GO INSTEAD where there is no path and leave a trail.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
Blackberry meet IPhone, Border’s Books meet Amazon, Yahoo meet Google, MySpace meet Facebook.
Industry experts will often state that current leaders are too well established to be displaced or materially affected by newcomers to a mature market. That said, as history has shown, the market itself…aka buyers of products and services, although risk averse at times, is always looking for ways to do things smarter, cheaper and faster. The pain experienced as a result of limitations with available approaches, or the opportunities presented by new ones, will always push innovation and help to evolve or transform an established market.
Can you name the companies that created the first automobiles of the late 1800’s? Odds are the answer is no. Most likely however, the name Henry Ford comes to mind when considering the birth of the automobile industry. Why? Because although Henry Ford didn’t create the first automobile, he did establish the assembly line approach by which automobiles could be built in a cost effective way, where everyone involved in a different aspect of the creation of a new vehicle, could do so with incredibly efficient coordination. In doing so, they could be offered to the market at affordable prices.
It is hard for market leaders to introduce the change and innovation possible while at the same time protecting growth rates, profits and supporting current products. All industries evolve…and the software industry and CRM category are no different. Structure Meet CRM.
ItaQuod didn’t create CRM, but we will drive an evolution of CRM towards something called SCRM, Structured CRM, that will enable efficiencies, predictability, and production related to customer acquisition and retention, that wasn’t thought possible.
There is no doubt, that CRM brought significant value over the Contact Management Software that preceded it. However, there are incredible challenges that EVERY organization attempting to maximize the value of CRM face.
Users of traditional CRM software, feel:
• It takes too long to enter data.
• It takes too long for others to find the data.
• It takes too long for multiple people to collaborate on the data.
Today’s CRM is like a messy closet…where anything can go in and be put anywhere on any given day. As we all know, that kind of a closet takes forever to find something, and often, clothes go unused because they are buried somewhere, never to be seen again.
I’ve used four different CRM software solutions, and have been trained on four different selling methodologies, before creating my own upon first becoming a VP of Sales. I’ve been trained by some great leaders and coaches that were extremely experienced and successful people. However, like the point made by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, I gleaned from each of them, what I felt was useful and valuable and discarded what I didn’t believe in or had use for. I never assumed that someone teaching me was right, and I challenged much…because it needed to make sense to me, but I was always open to their ideas and often incorporated something from each that made me a better leader, manager, rep, teammate, etc..
This blog will attempt to provide real-world, experience-based insights on challenges faced by organizations and individuals when performing direct and indirect roles related to acquiring, retaining and learning about customers. We’ll also talk about best practice approaches to avoid or overcome these issues. Most of all, me and the ItaQuod team want to leverage our experiences to help you and your organizations, leverage its resources (people, time, money) to maximize its opportunity for success.
I’m hopeful that posts by me, and other ItaQuod team members, partners or analysts, will lead you to look forward to the next post with the belief that you’ll find either something that you agree with, or disagree with, but something that will always give you a perspective that enables you to consider new ideas and challenge your current beliefs.
This is my first blog ever, so I’m told that you’ll want some background on me in order to assess why you should even consider any points made by me or our ItaQuod team. So here goes:
Professional Background: I’ve had 24 Years of Selling, Sales Management & Organizational
Leadership experience in software, spanning five start-up companies that were either early or pre-revenue. All were successfully acquired or went public. Eight years spent in Sales & Sales Management, six years as VP of Sales at two of the companies, and eleven years as CEO.
Other Background: Life Motto…to live life to its fullest and do whatever I can to help others to do the same. Another lifetime ago I learned what’s possible when individuals work together as part of a true team, while a four sport athlete in high school and a college football player. I was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fames for the University of Delaware, Neshaminy High School and Bucks County chapter of Pennsylvania. I authored a book called KISS YOUR Kids – 57 life lessons,” a book of life lessons written for my kids but published in hopes that others might benefit. I’ve been a founding Board Member of two non-profits and participant on the Board of another. I’ve coached roughly 30 sports seasons spanning four sports. Last but definitely not least, I’ve been married for 24 years to the woman I started dating in high school and we have two incredible children that I couldn’t be prouder of.
So what’s next for this blog? ItaQuod, the company, and an evolution of CRM to what we refer to as Structured CRM (SCRM), is about to emerge. We are excited about the prospects of SCRM, and I am hopeful that you come on this ride with us and follow our posts as we hopefully share many short, but focused perspectives on the market, running a business, customer acquisition issues, selling, product management, marketing, organizational leadership best practices, and many positions taken to provoke your consideration and thought.