A day in the life of Shane Brown, CRM Consultant
I work in the CRM team at TSG, and my days can be really varied. Mostly I'm external-facing, visiting our customers for a number of purposes including training, consulting, gathering system requirements and deploying CRM solutions. I've also been drafted into our internal CRM upgrade project, a piece of work that's part of our wider digital transformation project. Here's what a typical day can look like for me.
Time to get up and ready to get to the station, as I have a 2 and half hour train to London to visit a customer. I’ll either get a head start on the day or try and recapture some sleep (possibly the latter!)
Thanks to our use of tools like Office 365 and Gamma telephony, we can work from anywhere; so that train journey instantly becomes productive. That said, sometimes sleep is just as productive at this time on a morning…
Train and breakfast time, after stressfully negotiating the car parking near the train station!
I’m wide awake, so I decide to use my journey to catch up on some emails from both colleagues and customers and have a tinker in the demo environment of our new CRM system, which is going live in the next couple of months, as part of our internal digital transformation project.
My role on this project is to migrate the data from our current CRM to the brand-new, shiny Dynamics 365 environment. I’ve also been involved in the redesign of the product, lead and opportunity entities where, as a project team, we’ve simplified and improved the user experience when using CRM. This in turn will significantly increase our productivity.
I’ve arrived at my customer’s site; I usually get offered a tea or coffee, but I’m one of the few people that hates coffee. Once, I was given coffee by a customer and politely drank it… the things we do!
This extra time is a great opportunity to continue the work on our internal CRM project I was doing on the train. Our customers are always so kind and accommodating, so I’m stocked up with drinks and logged onto the Wi-Fi.
Usually when I visit customers, it’s either to deliver CRM training or gather requirements for a CRM deployment or upgrade. Today it’s both, which I enjoy; it keeps me on my toes. For the first half of the day, I’m delivering training on accounts, contacts and logging activities, and in the afternoon, I capture some bespoke requirements for the customer’s CRM project. This is one of my favourite kind of days, because I have a good mix of tasks.
I deliver my customer-specific training on how to use the accounts and contacts entities with CRM. When delivering training, rather than talking continuously on a particular topic, I usually break the session up and give the users tasks to complete, which keeps my audience keen and engaged and means I don’t lose my voice as often!
I do a recap from the morning session to make sure it was what the customer expected. There are a few questions, which I’m happy to answer. Questions means that my customer has fully engaged with the session, which I’m really pleased about!
I always try to prompt customers to ask questions to allow them to fully explore CRM and make sure that I’ve covered everything they need before I leave. But if they think of one later, I’m always available on email.
I deliver the final part of the training for the day, which details how to log activities in CRM and demonstrates the value in logging activities - one of which is that everything is stored in a central location, meaning you can see all interactions against records owned by yourself or your colleagues. I gave the users a task to create their own activities, which they all completed. A successful training session!
The customer wants CRM to do more than their old system, so it’s time for me to gather their specific requirements. The customer tells me their key processes and how they currently handle them in their current system (usually manual processes). I explain and demonstrat how business process flows could be used to improve these processes in CRM to save huge amounts of time and, in turn, increase productivity.
Eliminating manual and often paper-based processes is such a huge part of what we do at TSG now, so this is second-nature to me.
Time to have fun in the busy tube stations - and try not miss my train at 5:50…
I made it on the train… JUST!
On the train home, I started writing up the CRM project requirements, which I will aim to get back to the customer in the following few days. This is followed by an episode of Game of Thrones on the iPad, with the passenger behind me trying to get a free watch!
Finally home, time for bed…?
No! Time to help my wife with our 3 children, all under the age of 2, who are angry that I have been away all day!
1:45am the next morning
…Finally asleep. It's been a long but rewarding day!