Common Sense - How, Why & When to Buy CRM for Industrial Sales

Ed Marsh | Nov 24, 2017

Beyond a Contact Manager

About Common Sense - About John & Ed

john mctigueJohn McTigue recently retired from his role as co-owner of Kuno Creative, one of the preeminent B2B content marketing agencies in the country, and is now the Martech Whisperer. In his new role he's working with companies to navigate the convoluted world of the revenue growth tech stack. John can be reached at:   



You've met Ed here on the site. 

For many years John and Ed have enjoyed talking about thorny issues around B2B marketing & sales, and recently we've started to record those conversations. We're calling it "Common Sense"  based on our shared love of history, and the perspective we hope we bring. 

You can follow our musings on Common Sense at:


CRM Discussion Synopsis

CRM (Customer Relationship Managemet) software is often thought of as a management tool to track B2B industrial sales activities and forecast deals. When it's bought for that purpose it often fails to gain broad adoption.

Some companies go a step further and buy it with a goal of helping sales people sell. That helps - but it still fails to maximize the value.

Instead CRM has some enormous potential benefits which we explore in this conversation. They include:

  • helping organizations build a buyer facing profile that maps to buyer expectations - merging marketing, industrial sales and customer service in a framework that supports the important philosophical outlook
  • creates a body of data which becomes far more than simply transactional notes - actually an organizational asset which can be leveraged and monetized in additional ways
  • an opportunity to implement, execute and refine processes on the front end of the business as companies routinely do in manufacturing and operations but haven't yet applied to revenue growth

We dive into each of those and more as part of this conversation.

Transcript Follows:

EM:      So, welcome to Common Sense. I'm Ed.

JM:      And I'm John.

EM:      How are you today John?

JM:      I'm good, Ed. How are you?

EM:      Good. Great to have everybody here. As we start, John, just give us a quick description of why, "Common Sense". Where did that come from?

JM:      Well, Common Sense refers to the revolutionary war pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, back in the day, in the 1770s. His mission was to inform the rest of the people living in the colonies about the powers that be, in England, in particular, and just some of the issues that were going on at the time. It was a no BS approach to understanding what was going on. That's our mission too, as I see it. What do you think?

EM:      I agree, and I think there's an interesting parallel. It used to be the powers that be in the revenue growth world, the industrial B to B space, where you and I have lived. It used to be the sales trainers and it used to be the sales managers, and now, the powers that be are the buyers. So, it really does take, very much, a common sense approach.

      Maybe you and I have a little bit more perspective because we've seen so many different systems over the years, that it's maybe easier for us to see. Because, we're old dogs, but we've learned some new tricks and we've embraced digital. So, we've got the perspective of having seen trends and systems. So, anyway, that's why we think that we've got some common sense for folks that are trying to grow industrial businesses.

JM:      Yeah, and we'll be covering a variety of different topics. Not just technology, but also strategy, tactics, things we've learned along the way. We'll be sharing a lot of that experience that we gained over a total of sixty, sixty-five years of experience.

EM:      I really look forward to that distinction between strategy and tactics. It drives me nuts when those two get conflated and it really costs somebody opportunities. That's a great one. Today we're gonna start with one that actually blends strategy and tactics, and that's how and when and why to buy a CRM and to use it. Whether you should have it, how to buy it, that's really kind of strategy and what you want to get out of it, but how to use it and how to implement it becomes very tactical.

      John, you're the martech whisperer, take us away. Why should we buy CRM?

CRM can provide process to industrial sales as B2B manufacturers already do in operations

JM:      Well, there's a lot of reasons to buy a CRM, to invest in it. It's more of an investment than just a purchase, as we'll talk about. There are really four main reasons. One if growing revenues, winning more complex sales, a higher percentage of sales. The second one would be improving efficiency, so improving the sales team and the way they operate, increasing account retention and expanding sales accounts. Upselling accounts in the different departments and so on. The last one's a little bit unusual, but it's improving the sales teams' morale overall, because they're winning more sales. They're doing better. So, those are kind of the four pillars of why you should do CRM.

EM:      We'll have to come back to that one, because everyone talks about CRM as being a morale killer in the sales.

JM:      Learning how to use it can hurt morale a little bit, but once you get there and you start pulling in the paychecks, it's a different story.

EM:      So those examples that you gave certainly illustrate why a CRM customer relationships management, as opposed to a contact manager that many people traditionally think of it as.

JM:      That's right. CRM is more than that. The Customer Relationship Management software title itself is a bit of a misnomer, because it really starts, mostly, with leads and prospects. Most people use the tools for that. It's not just about a list of possible prospects. It's really about who they are and what they do and how they fit into your products and services and vice versa. So, it's really more of an information system.

EM:      And then, of course, from the data side of it, then you get into the forecasting side of it with projects or opportunities or deals, whatever. They're called different things in different systems, but that adds a third dimension to it.

JM:      It does and it's something that's been missing all along through sales, just the accountability side of it. How do you keep track of everything that's going on on a daily basis, on an account basis, on a person to person basis. How do you report that up the chain to management and ERPs and things like that?

      So, that's a real value that CRM adds that is really super necessary nowadays.

EM:      So, when you talk about vision into the revenue growth effort from around the organization, that brings up a question. Traditionally, CRM, at least in my experience, has been thought of as software for the sales team, but a lot of what you're describing actually happens outside of that classic field, sales preview or area of responsibility. So, are you suggesting the CRM is actually bigger than a sales software.

JM:      It is. It's a matter of not just the technical side of it. It's really the process that you go through. If you think of the whole sales process as being a continuum from the first time somebody finds out about your brand or your products through a google search or a friend tells them or they go to a trade show, or whatever that first touch is, then all the way through to their first purchase and then, multiple purchases and support issues and things like that after the sale.

      That's all one process. It's all dealing with one person: the customer. It's really important to have a continuous buyer experience, high quality buyer experience throughout that process nowadays. That's how people win and keep customers. So, it's also true on the software side as well as the process side. What we're talking about is really putting all of that together.

EM:      I saw a fascinating article this morning talking about Chobani. How Chobani has reorganized their revenue growth function from the traditional silos of PR, and marketing and sales and customer service, and now they've essentially said, "Okay, all of these people have the same objective. There's gonna be different skills and different buyer expectations at different points along that journey, but we're talking about doing the same thing, basically." I find it an interesting example.

      I talked to people about chat. IF you go to a website and you submit a chat request, do you say, "I only want somebody from sales to answer this chat." Or, "I only want somebody from technical support to answer this chat"? No, you expect the right answer contingent upon the context of the question that you're asking. You just have this relationship, as a buyer, and sellers somehow are still just stuck in this model of, "Well, this is what sales does and this is what marketing does."

      It's interesting to hear you talking about CRM as a tool that actually helps to overcome that and elongate that relationship from the selling perspective.

JM:      Think about how frustrating it's always been when you try to get support from anyone. More often than not, you're sent to a webpage, you're given a phone number to call and you can't get through to someone who speaks English. There's a email address or a form. You fill it out and, "We'll get back to you when we can." Maybe you hear about it three or four days later and it's just the same thing on an email.

EM:      Yeah.

JM:      That's what we would think of as a bad customer experience. Now, it's really possible, through technology and really working well with technology, to turn that around and make it a very positive experience that not only wins sale, but keeps you as a loyal customer.

EM:      So, you talked about how a CRM can offer the window into the customer interests and behaviors, how they've entered your site and how they've interacted with your content. I've heard that referred to as digital body language and it's sort of a modern day equivalent of those hints or insights that you might pick up from somebody's facial expressions or body language when you sit across the table from them in the meetings that we don't have anymore. Can you give us some examples of how marketing and or sales would interpret or infer from that digital body language and how they might use that to more effectively engage with a prospect?

JM:      Sure. SO, if you think about that customer experience from day one, you can track and find out what exactly they were looking for. You can know from google, for example, what the search was about. When they go and click on a page on your website, or maybe it's a social media site, or maybe it's something else, all of that data is trackable. You know what they're doing. You know exactly what they're looking for, how they're looking for it and when. So, all of that information can be combined into a marketing life cycle or time line, and you can actually see what your potential buyers as well as your actual customers are doing. You know what their interests are. You know when they're likely to buy, where they like to go. You can put advertising in front of them in the right place at the right time exactly.

      You can even figure out when they open emails, so you can send them emails at exactly the right time of day with something that is in context with what they were looking for. It's relevant to what they're looking for and it's timely. That's shown to be, by far, higher conversion rates for lead conversions as well as sales, than anything else. So, it's very, very powerful, these tools.

EM:      I love that you mentioned customers in there. We call it Customer Relationship Management, but almost always, the focus is on prospects and leads. As soon as a deal gets done, "Oh, that goes into the ERP database," or something like that, and the idea of actually understanding what customers are doing and continuing to market to them and continuing to provide valuable- not just to extend the sale and cross sell, upsell, that kinda stuff- but actually to just be a better resource to customers over time. That's an important piece of it too.

JM:      It's crucial. Think of the term "complex sale". It takes a while to convince someone in a complex sale. It could take a year or more for capital equipment to get someone to the table and sign on the dotted line, but then what? Are you gonna help them learn how to use this big tractor? Are you gonna support them with additional information and how to's and follow up them and see if everything's going okay and if they need additional replacement parts? The whole continuum is so important.

EM:      Even if it's not selling him something. Even if it's best practices that you've developed over the last couple of years since they bought it through observing other customers. Share that information. Obviously nothing proprietary, but help them be better at their jobs.

JM:      Referral sales are usually right up at the top three for most companies, so even if you don't buy, you can recommend the company because the experience was so good for you.

EM:      Right. [crosstalk 00:12:33] from company to company.

JM:      Right, yeah.

EM:      So, we're kinda talking about, at a high level, why CRM is beneficial for business, why should be interested in it, but at its core, there is potentially a tremendously valuable asset in the data. You're a data guy from the beginning of your career when you were a geophysicist and using data to try and understand geological formations and everything else, so let's get geeky for a second and let's talk data and why data is so important, how CRM enables it.

JM:      Well, data is important because it's your lifeblood. You're not generating new leads if you're not collecting them, so the marketing department's job is really to collect new leads and to help nurture them into becoming prospects and sales. SO, the data is super important there. You gotta know what makes these people tick and are they qualified to be your customer? What kinds of companies do they work for and what are their roles? What kinds of things are they interested in?

      Collecting all of that data into one depository and then analyzing it is the key to successful sales.

EM:      So, when somebody says, "Well, jeez, I do that on a spreadsheet," There's only so much that you can do with a pivot table. A lot of the analysis that you're talking about, you really have got to work from a proper database to be able to extract the insights, if I understand correctly what you're saying.

JM:      Well, think about it too. You probably have thousands, if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of potential leads in your database and they're all doing different things all day long. How could you possibly keep track of that unless you had a system that does that automatically for you?

      So, that's really super powerful right there, and then, as we discussed earlier, the whole lifetime, the whole life cycle of a customer in your sales funnel is ultra important. You have to track all the events along the way there too. Then, probably most important to the corporation is the aggregate part of that. How well are sales going? What types of products are selling? What are the best methods to sell? What are the most efficient tactics that people are taking? What are the best advertising channels?

      You have data following all of that and you have to analyze it, boil it down, understand it and report it, or it's meaningless and you can't really do any forecasting or budgeting unless you have that data at your fingertips.

EM:      Or process improvement and one of the interesting things that I find is a lot of the kinds of companies that you and I are accustomed to dealing with have been incredibly thoughtful in developing their manufacturing and operational processes. There's Lean, there's SixSigma, there's very strong attention to detail at each step of the way in their optimized processes. On the front end of the business, though, this revenue growth side, there's not nearly as much of that, so as you're talking about being able to analyze the data, I'm thinking what if you understood which lead source actually sold fastest. What your sell cycle was according to lead source was. What your acquisition cost was according to the source that you generated the lead from.

      What if you could take that a step further and actually know when you generated a lead, which one is likely to close and when it's likely to happen. Imagine that power you'd have, where you're forecasting is actually data based, rather than just sticking a finger in the wind and seeing what it feels like. That impacts valuation, not to mention your material planning and production planning, staffing and everything else. That data could be a corporate asset and substantially change the way you run the operation, it sounds like.

JM:      Yeah, that's right. Also, you can look inward. You can look at the performance of your sales team as individuals and see how they're doing, what kinds of activities they're doing, which ones are the most successful. Maybe your sales team isn't organized the right way. Maybe you need more sales development, perhaps, to reach out and start these conversations and have maybe fewer senior sales reps.

      There are all kinds of decisions that can be made based on analysis of the data.

EM:      I love looking at a graphic showing a sales reps performance and showing deals at different stages. You see those that are kind of early stage. They're developing ne stuff. You see those that have been quoted. You see those that are actually sold. You can have a number of different stages within there, but that's a fascinating comparison and in my experience there oughta be a balance between those, but often what you see is a huge amount sold and very little of the development stuff. Not a bad thing. It's great to have people selling a lot, but are they gonna sell a lot next year if they're not developing?

      Or you see this huge bubble in the middle, like a snake that just ate some sort of a big animal where it's all quotes and there's not a lot of development and there's not a lot being sold. That's classic sales management information, understanding who to coach and what part of the process to coach on.

JM:      Yeah, and if you're doing it right, you get them involved and analyzing their own data and trying to understand why that's happening. Why aren't these deals going further? What it is it that we're doing wrong in terms of satisfying our buyers and getting information they need to make the right decision. What kinds of outreach should we be doing in order to make that process move along a little bit quicker? What kinds of leads are falling by the wayside? Can we categorize them and maybe avoid them? Maybe we should put our eggs in another basket as you said earlier. There's a lot you can do just with the data itself.

EM:      So, along those lines of process and how firms have highly refined processes in the back end and not so much in the front end, let's talk for a second about how CRM can help to- Let me say it differently. You've described how you can use the data to evaluate process, identify shortcomings, but once you've done that, how can you use CRM to begin to implement process or to create a structure or framework so that deals start to flow more consistently and everyone understands the behaviors and the process that you've identified as a company helps get deals done?

JM:      That's a great question, because it's really a chicken-egg thing, right? CRM itself is a process, just to use the software. You have to understand how it works and what it means to get a lead into the system and what do you need to do next in order to nurture them along through the system.

EM:      Right

JM:      It's inherently process-driven and it doesn't work well at all if you just throw it at a team and just say, "Hey, use these tools and you'll be better" because it's not about that. It's not about just filling in contact records. It's about how you assign prospects. It's about how you send content to them at different times. What are the thresholds for different stages of the buyer journey? All of these things are process questions that your sales team really needs to be involved in. They need to learn as they go and modify their own process to make it more efficient.

      It even goes further than that. You really need to get the sales team and the marketing team together, because that hand off between marketing and sales has to be seamless and they really need to be on the same page about what qualifies a lead and what doesn't.

EM:      So I'd go a step further and I'd get the departments together. I'd obliterate the boundary and make them pieces of a continuum. So, given what you're describing, in my experience CRM has been bought either by the VP of sales, director of sales, whatever that title was, or by the IT department, but based on what you're describing, we're talking about- maybe fundamentally is too strong a word- substantially changing that relationship and interaction across our customer-facing departments with prospects of customers. It feels like this is something the CEO's gonna want to delegate because he doesn't think CRM is something that merits his attention, but it feels like it's a CEO question in many ways.

JM:      It is, because if you go fundamental on me, the whole corporation oughta be customer-centric. They oughta be really focusing on the customer experience at all levels, because executives talk to other executives, right? The service department and production department and shipping, and all of that is part of the customer experience and they all need to share those core values, those processes. They need to not be stepping on each other's toes.

EM:      Right

JM:      They need to know when the right hand off is and what that's supposed to look like. They need to be talking together about the problems they're facing and how to solve them. It's sort of a [inaudible 00:22:10] thing, but it's back to customer experience, not building products.

EM:      Again, this chicken and egg scenario where CRM can help to create those bonds and cross boundaries between departments, but in order to set it up in a way where it's gonna achieve that, you have to philosophically, at the management level, accept that one of the goals is to use CRM as a tool to accomplish this. There's gonna be that management buy-in and vision first, and then the software comes second, it sounds like.

JM:      I think os, and I think it's a place where it would probably happen on its own, because everyone's talking about disruption nowadays at all levels in all industries, and what they're talking about is really the same issue. That we're not designing our products and services for the customers, for what they want, and the buyer experience is about us selling to them still.

EM:      Right

JM:      No one wants that. We've all been programmed by Uber and Amazon and everyone else to expect a seamless, quick, painless customer experience where we just figure out what we want, we push a button and we get it. That's true at all levels in all industries now and if CEOs aren't dealing with that problem, they probably are in some trouble.

EM:      You're right. So much of the sales lexicon remains, "What we're gonna do to a buyer. How we're gonna say this. What we're gonna give them next," rather than understanding what they're looking for or even intuiting what would be helpful that they might not even realize they need and making that easily accessible to them.

JM:      That's really the best way to sell is to have that conversation first.

EM:      So what kinds of companies or what situations is CRM a bad idea for?

JM:      That's a great question. Companies that move way too fast to even have a sales team like restaurants and . . . what else? I'm sure you can think of some others. Retail is tough too, because you don't have accounts really. You just have thousands of people jumping online, so e-commerce is the solution for those.

EM:      So in that situation, you'd use a different kind of software but you'd still be collecting those insights and understanding the behaviors and you'd be building some automation to respond to them, but it's not gonna be a sales person doing it through a phone call. It's gonna be the automatic product suggestion engine doing it in the background or something.

JM:      Right. Exactly. It's really an equivalent process like you said, but there's fewer humans involved. There might be a lot of people out on the retail show floor, or whatever, but they're not necessarily selling. That's not really true. They are selling.

EM:      Yeah, of course.

JM:      Waiters and waitresses are selling too. It's just that they're not keeping track of it.

EM:      So, if you do a CRM search, what's the best CRM? I'm sure that you're gonna come up with . . . There must be two or three hundred viable CRM products available. How does a company decide which one it oughta buy. How do you spec out what you need or understand the functionality or select from a variety that all look, honestly, pretty much the same?

JM:      Yeah, that's really a big challenge now and people like Scott Brinker at the chief martech have been keeping track of this. He has these gigantic displays of all these thousands of logos from all the martech companies that fit into different categories and CRM alone has about a hundred and twenty of them now.

EM:      Wow

JM:      It's escalating very quickly. So, the issue really is not so much how do you go through and find the best price or maybe the best fit, it's really about what your needs are. Different types of industries, different types of companies, different size companies, different size sales teams, you really have to put all that information together and also take account of what you already have as legacy systems or even brand new systems and how things need to merge together in order to share all this data like we've been discussing.

EM:      Right

JM:      It's not a simple answer. G2 Crowd is a good place to go to sort of take a look at the landscape, but I think it's really kind of a matter of sitting down and going through the top five that fit your needs and taking account of things that maybe you haven't thought about like how are people gonna use this software? How well are they gonna onboard themselves to it and learn how to take advantage of it? How well does it exchange information with other types of systems that you need. Does it even work well with channel partners? Can you incorporate some new ideas into your sales process?

      There's a lot of complexity to it, which is probably one of the main reasons people wait to make a decision.

EM:      They make the decision by default by just not doing anything and the contact management for the company ends up in a variety of different OST files with each person's individual outlook account and there's no opportunity for that data and analysis that you talk about. My experience is that there's a decision that really underlies all the rest of it. Are you buying CRM for management? Or ar you buying CRM for the sales team? And if you want it for management, then something that's really complex with roll up reports and lots of dashboards and stuff like that may seem really cool and the sales people may just rebel and refuse, "Oh, it takes too much time. I'm not gonna do it."

      On the other hand, if you buy it for the sales people, make it really easy to use for them, help it automate the stuff they hate doing, the routine tasks, keep them on top it, let them focus on where they're creating value, you may not get all the management bells and whistles, but you may end up with a better outcome. Does that match things that you've seen or is that an antiquated idea?

JM:      No, I think those are two big components to the decision and they do sometimes compete with each other. If you have to make a generalization I'd say the smaller the business, the more the usability issue becomes more of a problem and as you go up river to the big, big companies with lots of divisions and so on, then the reporting part really takes over. It becomes critical.

EM:      Right.

JM:      So, yeah it depends on what kind of company you are or what size company you are to some extent. People are listening and they are building systems that do both, so you really want to try to look for those. Those are gonna be more expensive of course, so it really does depend on your budget as well.

EM:      And how about in terms of administering? Is CRM something that you have to have an IT consultant to help you tweak and set up or should a company be able to? I hear there are entire businesses built on helping companies use Salesforce and that feels like a lot of overhead. Is that appropriate or should a CRM be something that's simple to do with one of your marketing team just making adjustments?

JM:      Well, that sounds more like a small business scenario, again. The other one where you have multiple thousands of instances of Salesforce, for example, on a gigantic contact database, then you probably do need some oversight and some management because that can be quite complex.

EM:      Right

JM:      I wouldn't recommend, necessarily, just saying, "Hey, IT group, here's Salesforce, deal with it." I would actually hire some people who have their feet in both camps and really understand how that works.

EM:      I've seen use cases where it's failed or it's been adopted and enthusiastically embraced and understanding things even as simple as what field you've got on a screen and what order they're filled out in can make a big difference for the sales rep trying to enter the information between meetings.

JM:      That's right and it's now to the point where you can carry it on your iPhone or your mobile phone and be updating in the field, on the fly, anytime, so there's really no excuse for keeping track of your activities. It helps you too. You know, what turns on a sales rep is looking up at that leader board and seeing their name at the top of the list and seeing that big check come in, so when that stuff starts happening because you're able to stay on top of your accounts better and really serve them better and win more deals and more upsells and retentions, they like it too, you know?

EM:      If you can incorporate your channel into that, the way you alluded to earlier, that's a huge win. The friction between manufacturers and channel is longstanding and really frustrating and there's this whole debate going on about what's the role of channel in a world of the internet. Some of the things that I've seen done where people use marketing automation to actually trigger alerts to channel partners that a shared prospect has been back on the site and what kind of information they're looking at or what the interaction has been.

      That real time information even by text message to the channel sales person? That's hugely powerful. Not only does it help sell, but it helps build a much stronger relationship with the channel too, so that's a great point that you make.

JM:      Yeah, and I think one of the biggest complaints that channel partners have is that they don't get the support they need during the sale, so they don't get the right content, the right brochures, they don't get the right product pamphlets and so on. That can be automated to some extent, if not completely. Their lives are a lot easier too and they might be more predisposed to sell your products just because it's an easier process and maybe they understand it better as well.

EM:      Right

JM:      Maybe they have more conversations with the technical people and so on. They become more of a real extension of your company rather than just a one off.

EM:      Right. So, as we get close to the end here, let's identify a couple of the problems that a CEO might think about when they're stuck in traffic on the way home at the end of a crummy week and saying, "Geez, I gotta fix this." They might not be thinking contact management or customer relationship management, but what are the business problems that they would be struggling with, trying to fix, that you think CRM might be an important component of a solution for?

JM:      Well, I think it starts with an assessment of some kind that revenues are maybe not dropping off completely, they're not losing money, but it's not growing the way it used to. Some of kind of analysis of that. Why is that happening? Why is the sales team losing more deals than they used to? Why are there still more dropping off as you mentioned earlier? It might start with the CSO instead of the CEO, but these problems start to boil up, and then they start to see people leaving. We talked a little bit about that, but think about it for a sec. If a sales rep isn't winning deals and they're not making money, they're not happy and they might start to blame the company and the product and they might look elsewhere.

EM:      Right. Right. Or the sales and marketing teams are pointing fingers at each other and it's a big blame game so morale is going down. That's the CEO's job too. These are the kind of general problems that would boil up and make you lose some sleep.

      High level revenue generation kinds of things, you believe that as you start to peel back the layers of the onion, you'll often find that the insights, the functionality, the efficiency that we gain through a good CRM implementation actually speak to those bigger business problems.

JM:      They do. You can see that in companies that are succeeding. You go in and ask them what they're doing and what they've done to address these issues, and it won't just be that we've bought some software. It'll be that really we kind of started a culture change and we started really thinking about what our buyers want and then we figured out how to get that. Technology is certainly part of that training process. Buy-in, you know, all of those things and it's really a culture change, which is not easy. No CEO wants to just suddenly drop everything and do a culture change.

EM:      Right, but philosophically, that mindset shift from, "We do something to buyers. We sell to them. We say this. We push this at them. We tell them this." To, "We're going to imagine being those buyers, because we're buyers ourselves in other situations and how do we wanna be treated and how can we make it easier for them?" It feels like that kind of underlies this entire conversation.

JM:      It does and just getting real about it. A lot of companies maybe don't even realize they have this problem.

EM:      Right.

JM:      So maybe it does make sense to bring a consultant in at a high level and say, "Look, guys, I'm looking at this objectively and here's what you're doing. You're ignoring your customers and you're just going on the same old stuff."

EM:      Right

JM:      And then, if you get in the door there and get some commitment going, then it's maybe time for, maybe, more technical people to come in and help you build out that infrastructure.

EM:      That's exactly what you do, right? As the martech whisperer? Understand this multitude of platforms. You talked about that Scott Breaker chart with thousands of companies, but what does it all do and do you need it all and which do you need for your business and for your industry and how do they fit together and what plays nice with each other and with legacy systems that you already have, as you mentioned, and what's an appropriate framework? That's what you do for companies, right?

JM:      That's right. Yep. It's fun, but it's also challenging, as is your job in trying to convince them to make a change.

EM:      Right. Cool. Well, we've covered a lot of ground on CRM. Is there anything that we've missed that you think we should be talking about before we wrap up?

JM:      I just want to hammer home that last point we just made. Don't just make a knee-jerk reaction and go out and buy software. A lot of companies think that's gonna patch the hole and it usually backfires. It can take years to get out of that sort of frustration mode. Think strategically first before you go out and buy something.

EM:      Cool. Well, that's it for today. So, the Common Sense videos are shared in a variety of places online including YouTube and Facebook and our websites and blogs, and we'd be delighted for people to subscribe to them as we talk about a variety of other issues going forward. Any comments as we wrap up John?

JM:      I just want to thank everyone for watching and feel free to leave us any comments on any of those channels and we'll be happy to answer them.

EM:      Thanks, so wrapping up, I'm Ed.

JM:      And I'm John. We're the Common Sense patriots.

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