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October 9, 2018 General

If Your Business Software Was a Halloween Creature…

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By Brainsell Editorial Team

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here at BrainSell! This year, we compared our favorite spooky creatures to different kinds of business software to get into the season spirit.

A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is made up of different types of business software (like marketing automation and customer support) bolted together into an all-encompassing mega CRM – a bit like how Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s famous surgical experiment is a patchwork creation of cadavers and body parts. But an impassioned plea to the heavens and a convenient lightning storm on a chilly evening in your laboratory won’t bring your CRM to life.

You need to be aware of what you’re creating when you customize and integrate your CRM. You can build a CRM ecosystem that’s effective and well-designed, or you can birth an uncontrollable monster that may murder your customer relationships…

But despite his murderous rampages, Frankenstein’s Monster wants nothing more than to love and be loved. Because of this, he is easily emotionally manipulated by those around him and responds intensely to changes in his personal relationships with them. Ideally, your CRM should match this level of responsiveness to changes in the dynamics of your customer relationships. This requires consistency and dedication to updating and utilizing your CRM. The more you love your CRM, the more it will love you – and your clients – back.

Witches use occultic ingredients in spells or charms to lure victims into their control. Marketing Automation uses creative content and information (occultic ingredients) in marketing campaigns (spells or charms) to lure your audience into engaging with your business.

While the more famous portrayal of a witch is a wicked crone who wreaks havoc for sheer entertainment, historically older portrayals are devout followers of a pantheon of Pagan nature gods who are more like druids than demons. These witches heal the sick, protect crops and harvests, and enforce the inherent balance of good and evil in nature.

This duality of good and evil applies to Marketing Automation as well. As the divine influencer of your Marketing Automation platform, you have the power to dictate your witch’s alignment. You can indoctrinate her to ensnare and mislead your audience to trigger buyer’s traps or increase click traffic – or you can guide her to proactively engage your audience in a thoughtful and creative way. A bad witch may seem like more fun, but a good witch will keep you and your business honest.

When the dead return and undead skeletons crawl out from their crypts to reclaim the realm of the living, the last thing you’ll think of is your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and accounting software. But if you’re the kind of person who will think of your business’s financial insight instead of treasured life memories in your last moments, the connection is clear.

Skeletons are the framework of the human body. ERP and accounting are the framework of your financials. This software takes many kinds of financial information and assembles that information into a complex system that underpins everything your business does. Without a skeleton of financial knowledge in place, your business is just a shapeless gelatinous sack of failing organs.

But undead skeletons are a bit different than living ones. These creatures are classic horror symbols of age, death, and eventual decay – much like old and outdated (yet still popular) legacy ERP and accounting platforms. There’s no need to fear fictional creatures, but the very real and horrifying threat bad ERP and accounting pose to your business’s financial health should make your skin crawl.

A vampire thrives on the ancient power of blood, the lifeforce of human-kind. The lifeforce of business-kind is data. It’s what you pump throughout all parts of your operation in order to stay alive – and what could be better at sucking precious data out of internal and third-party sources than Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Analytics software?

But vampires can’t just go around biting everything willy-nilly. There are some types of blood that can harm actively them – most notably, dead blood. If they drink from a deceased creature, they can become extremely ill. When BI and Data Analytics platforms pull dead data from irrelevant or bad sources, they can spit out faulty reports or suggestions. If you act on these dead-blooded reports or suggestions, you can harm your business processes and adversely affect the health of your business.

Vampires can drink blood of other vampires, but this isn’t as good as human blood since vampires aren’t exactly “alive.” Similarly, when you share data between siloed BI and Data Analytics platforms, it doesn’t result in new data or fresh analytical insights. But it does reorganize data so that you can access and manage it better. For example, if you use a data mining tool like Google Analytics, you can house that mined data in a BI tool like Sapiens.BI in order to query it into tables and charts for visualization. Not exactly fresh prey, but it’s a good pick-me-up if you’ve drained most of the villagers and you’re looking for a new victim pool in the mean time…

If you work under a hyper-organized leadership team or have a ton of overdue action items, the thing that goes bump in the night isn’t a vengeful spirit trapped in your attic. It’s a ding from the Project Management platform on your phone. Much like a ghost, Project Management is the living embodiment of unfinished business.

But ghosts have better things to do than haunt your business. Those goosebumps? Bill from accounting cranked up the air conditioner. Those voices coming through the vents? There’s a birthday party for Marge from marketing in the kitchen. What will haunt your business is unending torturous reminders of things you should’ve finished weeks ago.

A note in Wrike pops up … it’s a chilly message from Bill. He’s nagging you to send those billing reports for that ongoing budgeting project.

A new item is created in Trello … it’s a task assigned by Marge. She’s backhandedly pairing you up with the dopey intern on that social media campaign.

But you don’t have to use Project Management to scare employees into being productive. You can use it as a proactive organizational tool rather than a reactive accountability tool. This eliminates any need to haunt employees. So Bill and Marge can spend less time writing passive-aggressive emails and more time tampering with the thermostat or eating ice cream cake.

A zombie feels no pain or fear. It’s driven only by hunger. A good Business Process Management (BPM) platform helps users harness their hunger for improvement to be fearless and brutally honest in their assessment of their business’s pain points and idle processes. In popular culture, zombies represent our powerful determination to survive. BPM helps you interrogate and improve business processes, so you can survive in competitive marketplaces.

The downside to this awesome determination and terrible hunger is that zombies are predictable. They will continue to chase you down to eat your brains – slowly and methodically – no matter how many of their limbs you chop off or how many bullets you empty into their rotting chests. They are slaves to a herd mentality which dictates that they all behave in exactly the same way.

But herd mentality can be a strength or a weakness. BPM can lead to the standardization and streamlining of operational and business processes. This can make individual employee processes almost identical. That might make everything faster and more efficient, but you risk filtering uniqueness and creativity out of employees. While we all must eat brains, we don’t necessarily need to eat them in the same way.

Got any business software horror stories? Let’s chat about what kind of creature your software is and get you out of this nightmare.


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