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Why Do We Use Best Practices?

Best practices are techniques, tips, and tricks that have evolved over time through research, planning, and historical deployments. The process of yielding best practices typically involves a series of trial-and-error stages implementing a technique or methodology and then evaluating its effectiveness. If the result is positive, the technique is kept, refined, and distributed to other members of the organization. If the result is negative, the practice is thrown out and another technique is tested. This substitution repeats until a positive result is reached. In the end, we are left with a group of techniques and methodologies that when employed will increase the productivity and effectiveness of the implementation effort or production system as a whole. Best practices save us from spending valuable time figuring out what somebody else already knows. In other words, we do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Best Practices Best Used In Moderation

Our view that a minority of CRM added-value (contained in our Best Practices) can comprise the majority of the tangible and lasting value for our clients has recently been substantiated by a comprehensive study. The study, by Accenture, surveyed top executives among communication companies that comprise 72 percent of the industry revenues in North America. The study evaluated the effects of the strategy, process, technology and human performance components of CRM on marketing, sales and service.

This study is one of the few known to have quantified the measurable impact of CRM capabilities on financial performance. The results of the study revealed that a small but select number of marketing, sales and customer service capabilities could have a major impact, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, on a company's bottom line. A difference of as much as 50 percent in return on sales between average and high performing companies was attributed to CRM performance.

Examining 54 CRM specific capabilities, the study identified 11 specific areas that have the greatest impact on a company's financial performance. The study also claimed that each of these 11 capabilities had the potential to add $20 million or more to a typical $2 billion communications business unit's return on sales. These results contradict the traditional view that most CRM capabilities are equally important



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