What’s a CRM and What’s It For?

To some that’s a mind boggling question. CRMs or customer relationship management systems have been around for almost two decades. If you’ve been around the high technology industry for many years (who could that be?), you know that sometimes we lapse into too much jargon and talk to ourselves.

Last week when I was speaking to a customer about a Bullhorn testimonial I asked the customer if they use the Bullhorn CRM to conduct email campaigns to source candidates. The response was a resounding, “the what?” When I went on to describe the functionality, their reply was, “oh, you mean distribution lists!” Fortunately, once we got over the jargon hurdle, the customer told me their team of 30 recruiters conducts 6 email campaigns a day to source candidates, and it’s their most effective tool. That’s pretty impressive, particularly since some customers have indicated to me that they’re not even aware of the functionality. But, alas, when I asked the same customer if their sales team uses the CRM, it was mainly to track client and prospect activity, but not to conduct campaigns for new job orders. Perhaps, the sales team’s approach is a by-product of a fast growing job order market.

Regardless of how you think of it or what you call it, the Bullhorn CRM is more than an effective tool – it’s strategic to your business. Think about it – it drives the two sides of your business that are needed to produce revenue, the candidates and the clients. In either case, the CRM enables effective campaigns that shorten the lifecycle of getting job orders and placing candidates; tracks all communications so that you can provide better service; and provides management with a top down view of exactly what’s going on in your front office. Or as the client I spoke to last week, put it, “it lets me spot the breakdowns immediately.” Now that’s strategic and very valuable.

How do you make better use of Bullhorn’s CRM? I’m reminded of a post that Art did this past spring, urging our clients to “exercise” Bullhorn. I’ve always found the best way to learn technology is to use it. Try it, it won’t break, and don’t feel bad, it takes a little practice. Of course, our training teams will be more than happy to assist you. We also have online help, with some great demos, the Bullhorn Support Forum and the BullhornBlogger to share best practices. I encourage you to get started. I guarantee you that there are other recruiters and sales people who already have. Till the next time.

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