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We are all living in the shadow of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  This outbreak of this virus will have direct and indirect effect on our jobs, careers and the way we work. Here are some thoughts, opinions and recommendations based on my experience in the CRM market for the last 15 years.

The views expressed are completely my own with full understanding that your experiences and views may be different.

CRM projects behave both inversely and directly proportional to the state of economy – Directly proportional means more CRM projects start when the economy is performing well.  Indirectly proportional is that to a point, CRM implementations and project work does not decline when the economy is not performing well. This is because when businesses are not performing well, they are competing harder with limited demand and they want to embrace latest technologies to know and interact with their customers. I have seen this during the 2008 crash. I did not face too much issues getting a CRM project as an independent contractor. Coronavirus could be an exception to this rule and it’s possible that it can cause so much disruption that everything goes down.

What should the consultants do? – Many of us are either in full time jobs or independent contractors. I feel that we should be doing the following:

  • We should not entertain any thoughts of changing our jobs and projects at this time. Stay where you are and stay tight.
  • If you are on bench or in between jobs, best thing you can do is learn. You should enroll in a course or go through self-learning courses. If you are a Salesforce practitioner it’s time to get cracking on Salesforce Trailhead. If you are already in a job then make sure you are staying busy.
  • From a vertical perspective, you are better off if you are working in food, supply chain, essential household items, utility, online content streaming, non-profit, Cloud businesses etc., inversely if you are in the auto industry, travel, entertainment, retail real-estate etc. plan your strategy accordingly as these businesses are adversely impacted by Coronavirus.
  • I know that as consultants we want to only work with the latest and greatest but at this time be ready to take what ever comes your way even if you are bored.

What should CRM practices do?

  • Hold on to your people and consultants. Don’t press the panic button
  • Some project cancellations may come your way but look for meaningful internal projects as this is the best time to get them done
  • Upskill your consultants and workforce
  • It is very important for a practice to develop top class online content and collateral that can be used in marketing- This is the best time to go for it.
  • Work towards development of CRM accelerators and solution prototypes which will help in pre-sales and sales
  • Focus on building a vertical specific CRM strength

What should clients do?

  • This is the best time to get the missing CRM technology in place. Get that Salesforce Analytics or Einstein next best action or a Community Cloud in place or any other historical analytics project going.
  • This could also be a good time to hire if you are willing to be patient as there will be more resources available and with more realistic expectations.
  • Put some thoughts into building your CRM center of intelligence or build a Devops strategy if it is not in place.
  • In order to serve your customers better, this may be the right time to re-do customer definitions with your existing teams, from a perspective of CRM and implement the same.
  • In a nutshell, I would recommend a wait and watch approach without too much disruption.

Finally, the future of Cloud and Work

  • Coronavirus has accentuated the fact that Cloud is the technology of present and future and here to stay for a very long time.
  • I strongly feel that Coronavirus will have some impact on the future of work. Conservative style of working where physical presence is everything will undergo further disruption and we will see many more remote opportunities so be ready for the same. I think we must be thinking about building a professional home office where long hours can be easily spent.
  • Coronavirus should motivate us all to be fitter. Fit for ourselves, our families and fit for our work. It is important to have strong immune system and we certainly cannot have it by irregular food hours, long hours of work without yoga, exercise or sweating in between or once in a day.

I wish everyone a very safe next couple of months. Hoping that you enjoyed reading this blog. Feel free to reach out to me if you think I can help in any way. Your like’s, share’s and comment’s motivate me to keep writing.