Consultative Learning: Why CRM Shouldn’t Feel Like Chemistry

As CRM Consultants, we are often tasked with educating our client on the most effective solutions for their business. Often times CRM platforms are viewed by the client as an incredibly effective tool, but one they don’t know how to use, or the true capabilities. It’s up to us to gain an understanding of the business needs and translate to the client exactly what can be built and how CRM can improve their business. Not all businesses or stakeholders are the same, and understanding a CRM and its capabilities can pose a challenge. It reminds me of being in high school, working to achieve a good grade in a subject that made no sense to me, Chemistry.

The toughest educational challenge I’ve ever faced, remains 10th grade Chemistry. I still shudder at the thought of staring down the periodic table and the prospect of a Chemistry test. Physics came naturally, but Chemistry became a huge obstacle, so to get ahead of the problem, I spent part of my lunch break every day with my Chemistry teacher. At first it seemed that I was truly a lost cause, but over the course of our extra time spent together, my teacher helped guide me to learn the subject in my own way. She used empathy to connect with me on a level that helped her understand how I learned. Over the course of a semester, she was able to truly get through to me and helped me achieve a grade I was proud of. I even had fun doing it.

In the end, the experience taught me so much about what it means to teach someone. There is so much more to educating someone than simply reciting a series of instructions, or pointing someone towards a manual. When one isn’t familiar with a subject, learning can be exhausting, especially when personal success is on the line. It’s these struggles that can turn implementing a CRM solution into a daunting task.

On the subject of CRM, lack of understanding can lead to a frustrating experience. With so many successful tools and best practices in the space, making strong business decisions on how to utilize those tools is crucial. Often times there are no clear cut solutions for success, and it takes subject matter experts to guide a business in the right direction.

As CRM consultants, it’s up to us to wear the hat of the educator when working with our clients. Being empathetic, really listening to the client’s needs, and effective communication help clients come to the right decisions regarding their CRM solution. It also enables us to enrich our clients with an understanding of their CRM solution that they come to learn on their own terms. CRM should never have to feel like 10th grade Chemistry. With the right teacher, it should be a powerful tool that suits a client’s business in a unique way, and is fun to use too.

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Chicago, IL 60606
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