By: Chelsey M Reichelt
In my role as Marketing & Finance Coordinator at Herbein + Company, one of my core responsibilities is administering our CRM database. My firm has used Microsoft Dynamics for several years, and I was brought on board to essentially get to know the system inside and out. Although I have been in my position for nearly a year now, I still consider myself quite a newbie in the CRM world. With Dynamics being such a complex tool, I quickly discovered that there is always something new to learn. Looking for advice and ideas anywhere I can find, I was pleased to receive the announcement that AAM was hosting a CRM focused workshop.
On September 13th I, along with our CMO Jack Kolmansberger, was able to attend the “Taking Your CRM to the Next Level” workshop presented by Sarah Johnson Dobek, of Inovautus Consulting, in New York City. The workshop lasted a total of 5 hours and was filled with just enough information, engaging exercises, and valuable discussion. There was also plenty of time to ask questions to Sarah as well as others in attendance.
Even though we all seemed to be at different points in our CRM journey, we were able to participate and modify the exercises to our benefit. Some of the activities included creating a CRM plan, identifying operational considerations, developing an implementation plan, and taking a closer look at what CRM success entails. Several software and plug-in programs that enhance CRM user experiences were also mentioned.
I felt that Sarah was very good about getting everyone to share a little about themselves and their journey with CRM. As a group, we shared our challenges as well as what works well in our firms when it comes to our database. Once we got deeper into the exercises, Sarah even offered personalized advice depending on our situations and encouraged others to chime in with their ideas as well.
The portion of the workshop that I enjoyed above all, and got the most out of, was the time reserved for discussion among the group. As a marketer in an accounting firm, it is sometimes difficult to avoid feeling like somewhat of a black sheep. At the CRM workshop, and many of other AAM events I have attended, I was showered with a feeling of relief that I am not alone. It is nice to be reminded that there are others in my position, striving for the same goals and facing the same obstacles. What’s even better is the constant outlet that AAM provides to allow you to connect with others and find support from those that are in the same boat.
The next AAM On The Road will be in Columbus, OH on November 14th on “Creating a Marketing Plan Workshop.” Click here for more information, we hope to see you there!