What the NHL Can Teach Us about CRM Implementation

With the return of the National Hockey League, we are reminded of the changing weather, and the return of the excitement on the ice.

We can also be reminded of the way the challenges that face players in this great game also face us as professionals off the ice.

What can the NHL teach us about CRM Implementation?

Here are 4 ways that the NHL teaches us about CRM implementation every day.

1. You Have to Be Accountable

As the legendary NHL player Wayne Gretzky says “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In CRM we have as many missed opportunities as NHL players do. Sure, we do not operate under the same time constraints or with as many people watching our lost goals, but we have as many missed connections and missed opportunities. It comes down to more than just understanding the game itself. It is about being accountable to your business, and your team. Lack of accountability results in many lost games, and lost opportunities, but perhaps worse, it makes you less trustworthy, and your team less likely to count on you when the clock is running out.

Gartner Analysts add: “If the culture of accountability isn’t there to begin with, implementing new business processes and technology aren’t going to magically change people’s behavior.”

2. It is All About Teamwork

There are superstars on every team. But even the best NHL players in the league are not going to win the Stanley Cup without a solid team, and critical foundation. That means everyone from trainers, to coaches, to players and managers have to work together so that everyone can celebrate the win, and carry the burden when there’s a loss. This fosters what some call “peer-to-peer accountability” and more trust throughout the team. In another quote by hockey great Wayne Gretzky “Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.” Sound familiar? It is because whether or not you are on the ice or off the ice, teams need to sync.

3. Lack of Commitment  

Is there anything worse than working next to someone who just does not want to be there? A team without commitment might as well be sleeping on the ice and the lack of commitment is just as evident in CRM implementation. If you as a CRM manager are not seeing commitment from your players (employees), then you need to lead by example. Maybe this is a refresher on the company vision, or a retreat to ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as the direction of the organization is concerned. In order to streamline CRM practice, if commitment waivers, you are in trouble. So be sure that you are the ambassador for your team, and take opportunities to connect and reconnect with all of the team players.

The movement towards a greater commitment to the customer experience is being noticed by Gartner Analysts: “Survey findings highlight the continuing trend for organizations to commit to improving the management of their customer relationships.”

4. Never Stop Training

If you have ever attended an NHL hockey training session, you know that the athletics and precision is unbelievable. These athletes never stop training. Nor should you. In order to continue success, you need to focus on the importance of training as part of workplace culture. Not only will continued commitment to training make you and your team more competitive, but it will prevent workplace apathy, encourage more commitment from team members, and build important foundations for further learning. There are tools out there to make training a possibility for even the smallest business, so take advantage and do not stop training.

While the rush of the game is just beginning, now can also be a time for your own team to reconnect, and better engage with one another and the business. Remember that if you do not stop training, recommit to your team and your vision, encourage positive team work, and hold yourself and your team accountable, you will be heading to the playoffs before you know it.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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