Customer Relationship Management is one of those things that draw a collective yawn in conversations. It typically falls in the “necessary evil” department for most companies. You have to do what you must in order to keep customers happy in one of the toughest economies in generations, but very few people actually get excited about it. Baker Communications seems motivated to change all that.
Walter Rogers, President and CEO of Baker Communications, has released his new book, SPARK! Best Practices for Building a World-Class Sales Culture Leveraging the Power of CRM as Your Corporate Nervous System. The much anticipated SPARK! injects new life into the CRM adoption conversation by distilling it down to only the most important, actionable concepts. This is important, since much of the CRM literature is stuck in minutia that only the most senior CRM person could appreciate. Rogers explores some of the most stubborn obstacles of CRM adoption with fresh techniques. He stresses that CRM adoption is “not a technology problem, it is a behavioral problem” and provides specific techniques to leverage CRM as the corporate nervous system rather than a sales accounting platform. This, too, is different from much of the CRM literature out there that seems to be only geared to “upgrading” technology, when in most cases the biggest changes need to come from people.
Rogers states that “I’ve always focused on helping people and organizations achieve peak performance. CRM systems are an absolutely critical component of individual and organizational success, but unfortunately they are most often vastly underutilized.” This is not because the technology is lacking, but the appreciation and understanding of those who use it often lags behind.
The book has enjoyed a positive recepition early on. “SPARK! is a practical, ‘from the trenches’ guide for any sales executive interested in quantum productivity improvements. It provides real-life best practices to ignite and sustain revenue growth,” said Mike Clayville, VMware’s Vice President of North American Sales.
Spark! is now available online at www.bakercommunications.com/selling.html.
Walter Rogers is President and CEO of Baker Communications. He has created and led businesses in 13 countries on 3 continents. He was a finalist for the 2000 and 2001 Texas eCommerce Awards, is a guest instructor on the topics of entrepreneurship, sales and marketing at the University of Texas, and has been interviewed on ABC News, CNN, CBS, Sales Rep Radio and WF Radio on the topic of Sales and Marketing Integration. He currently hosts a segment on CBS650 Radio focused on Sales Effectiveness and CRM. During his time with Baker Communications, he has increased sales by over 1000% and pushed the organization into new products, services and markets. Baker Communications partners with 1000 active clients per year, including 50% of the Fortune 500.
Prior to Baker Communications, he self-funded and led two companies, Asset Optimization Group and CertiSource, both of which were acquired. Asset Optimization group was acquired by VMware (NYSE: VMW) in 2005 and CertiSource was acquired by VerticalNet (NASDAQ: VERT) in 1999. Prior to founding his first company, he was Vice President of Asia Pacific Marketing for Marcam, a leading process ERP Software Company. In his role at Marcam he was responsible for all marketing and channel development initiatives in 11 countries ranging from Korea to Australia. Prior to his role at Marcam, he founded and led Market Solutions Group, a consultancy specializing in the development of integrated marketing strategies. Market Solutions Group developed and implemented sales performance improvement strategies in the US and Asia for IBM, Marcam, Praxair and other Fortune 1000 enterprises. Mr. Rogers is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin.