We are going on a learning expedition here in Tartu.
The other day, I had an interesting phone conversation with a business partner about how to expand the business. The main problems are that the business is small, personal and the service provides intangible value. The founder insists that for these reasons only he can manage client relationships. Ooops. This means that it is really hard to delegate to new hires.
I tried to persuade my friend that sooner or later, he will have to figure out how to delegate some of the work, or go nuts. And after a half hour or so of batting this back and forth, we latched onto some ideas. First, some aspects of managing client relationships are systemic rather than charismatic. In other words - if we break down the things my partner does, some of this stuff can be delegated if he creates a system. Second, the main tasks that need delegation are creating “threads” that enable people to see more clearly how the relationship is adding value over time. These threads should allow my partner to intervene in more focused ways, rather than having to reinvent the wheel each time he makes a client contact.
Well, this is what CRM (client relationship management) is supposed to do. So here is our adventure. We will start to apply some CRM principles to my partner’s business and see how they work. And we will record our learning so that we can share it over time. Our goal is to offer a model for the most CRM for the lowest cost (not must money, but also time and effort).
As a first step, I have created a page on this blog where I will be assembling some CRM resources that are free on the web. Just a list of stuff - no commentary.
Let the games begin!