Below is the transcript of the above video where you will learn more on why a CRM system is not always the best solution.

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  So, Maarten, what is the usual process for introducing Business Process Automation in normal cases?

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Yes, so I like to scribble almost like on a whiteboard when I’m explaining things so I hope you don’t  mind if I just quickly share my screen with you.


MAARTEN KRUGER:  So, I’m just gonna start screen  sharing this side. Can you see what I’m seeing?


MAARTEN KRUGER:  So, please excuse, I mean my little drawings  looks like drawings of a five-year-old but it’s just quick and easy to explain things with  drawings instead of just talking about it.  So, typical what most businesses have in common is everyone’s got a target market. So, there’s a lot of people out there you would like to sell to  and what you’re trying to do is trying to raise awareness of your products and services and  trying to get people interested. So, that’s your marketing process. You know, that’s how you  basically get people to … that’s the process of getting people to try and make contact with  you or yourselves actually being proactive and identifying needs and contacting them. So, now you’re starting with the next step in the process where people start to get interested in those leads.  So, you get a lot of leads and now you’re trying to nurture these leads and then trying to  qualify them, trying to identify who of these people are actually potential customers. So, these  leads could include people trying to contact you and actually, try and sell things to you, it could  be spammers you know, it could be… or there could be real clients. Or it could be people who  don’t really understand your product and services who are actually duds. So, that’s part of the qualification process and now it’s almost like a funnel so you’re taking those leads and what you’re trying  to get to is basically to opportunities. So, these are qualified leads that could potentially  become customers and then you are trying to convince them to become clients of you.  So, eventually it leads to a deal and  here you’ve got new clients basically.  So, now you’ve got new clients. Now what? The next step obviously is that you want to deliver products or services to them. So, you pretty much… if your client is over there, you want to deliver a product or a service to that customer and by  delivering a great product or service experience (client experience) they become recurring customers  and they will also refer other customers. So, there you get more leads and opportunities again. So, this process that we mentioned is pretty much a sales process. A lot of businesses  will try and automate this sales process with something that’s… I mean, most people have  heard about something called a CRM system. So, a CRM system is just the abbreviation  for Customer Relationship Management system. So, the main purpose of a CRM system is to  help you with this tracking of conversion from leads to deals, basically. These two  opportunities and then opportunities to deals.  So, that’s one area that you could automate with  a CRM system. So, a lot of people get very focused  on, you know, buying expensive high-end CRM systems and then they blow their entire automation  budget for example, on a CRM system and they put  no focus on the operational side of the business. Which is actually so important in giving a great  customer experience, which will then lead to  recurring business and also people referring  more business to you and that’s quite a… that’s actually a very sad mistake that a lot of businesses do.

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  Yes. A costly mistake as well.

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Yes, yes and also the other reason why it’s also sad is people tend to go for great feature CRMs which  has a huge amount of features in them and I don’t know about you but I still need  to meet the salesman who loves doing admin.


MAARTEN KRUGER:  So, the challenge is that  with a CRM system what often happens is you’re giving additional admin to sales  people who don’t enjoy doing admin.  So, where we sort of shine is with  this operations automation. Because often  a business can’t just go like a CRM you buy  off-the-shelf CRM system and you have it.  It really depends on what kind of product you’re  offering, what kind of service you’re offering and it’s much more, you know, it needs to be  customized around the specific solution. And every business is unique, so  your system will probably be unique as well.

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  So, tell us how you shine.

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Okay, all right. Okay, so the whole thing about, as I just mentioned, is that operational process is not just… it’s not  just a one-size-fits-all, you know. You can have any car as long as it’s black kind of scenario. Step one is for me to put myself in the shoes of the business owner and try and (as quickly  as possible) understand their world. Understand how their processes work and to map this. So, we  do this with a mind map, as I mentioned. So, the first document that we generate is called  a User Story or it’s also sometimes referred to as a User Requirement Specification. So, while  I’m talking to the business owner, we’re mapping the processes & understanding. And the  level of detail depends. In the first  meeting it’s more of understanding the context. What kind of products do they have?  What’s the process of delivering the products or the services etc. What are the, sort of, challenge areas? So that’s a starting point. So, the other thing that we also draw up is a flow chart of the business processes, which is also great  for understanding. It’s nice and visual. So, it’s a visualization, visual diagram of  what happens in what order and then after that, well, that’s pretty much what we’ll touch upon in  our first meeting and then I also, usually, can make a few recommendations in the first  meeting. you know. What would be the solution?  Could it potentially be a software  application, a web application, a web app, you know. Would it be a progressive web app or just a  normal more standardized website? Would it be a mobile application desktop software? So, I could sort of give and just sort of  highlight to the customer the pros and cons of each  option which might be applicable and which not.  So, that’s the starting point for the first meeting and then sometimes I can make an estimate in terms of, you know, how many hours we’ll spend  to complete all the specification documents.  But it just gives the customer that peace of  mind of what can we do in an hour and with an hour’s effort and then we’ll give an idea  what can we do in five or ten hours of our time.

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  Well Maarten, that’s very enlightening. I’m  sure a lot of people will appreciate the one-hour brainstorming meeting with  you guys and to understand the process better.  Especially if you come in cold and you don’t  understand business process automation and how it can affect or benefit your business. (And also stop them from blowing their budget on a CRM system!) So, Maarten, thank you once again for this enlightening conversation. I hope that we can  touch on more things next time and from my side, stay tuned, stay safe and don’t forget to visit www.techgenius.co.za.

Interview done by Melanie Foxcroft from MF Consulting.


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