There are apps for weight loss, for learning how to read, and even an app for your unborn child to choose his (her) own name. In a world full of “apps” it is easy to seek a technical solution for every problem.
Unfortunately for most businesses (and for many individuals) some problems cannot be solved through automation alone.
Look at sales and marketing. How many businesses have sought to boost their lagging sales by implementing a new CRM system? If your biggest sales and marketing problem is finding a contact’s address, then a CRM solution might be just the thing. (Or maybe you just need a bigger spreadsheet, we can help you with that.)
Most sales and marketing issues are far more complicated. They might involve bad planning, unclear messages, or a poorly defined story. They might be the result of poor follow-through or bad product pricing. Technology can only go so far. You can use the world’s most expensive, high-powered, cloud-based CRM solution to email a ton of boring, poorly worded messages and you’re still going to have terrible response rates. Conversely, you can mail a hand written note to the right audience and see tremendous results. In order to succeed with any technology, you have to have people and processes to support them. You have to build a plan to manage your communications with customers. You need a story to tell. And someone is going to have to sift through all of your detailed demographic data if you plan to send unique messages to different audiences. Eventually, you will need to establish a personal relationship in order to generate sales.
The hardest part of implementing any type of new technology (except maybe that baby naming app) is configuring it correctly. You have to decide how people will interact with your system and then build processes that support them. If you want everyone in your winery to use your CRM system, you have to make it easy for them to access it. Do you have a single license for software that resides on a desktop in the corner? If so, don’t expect it to get updated regularly.
And one day, if your child turns out to be unhappy about naming himself “Horatio” thanks to an untimely kick to your iPhone, just direct him to the Live Happy app.