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Updated: Feb 12

Read this paper to gain insights into

“How a hybrid closed-loop “Outside-In and Inside-out” thinking – will help businesses build a sustainable CRM!

"Let us first understand the two perspectives - Outside-in CRM and Inside-out CRM"

Outside-in CRM

A customer-centric perspective seeking to improve the customer journey, customer experience, and the customer delivery is Outside-in CRM. Outside-in culture focuses on Customer-First approach.

Few key highlights of an Outside-In culture are:

  • Customers participate in the mapping of their sales process into a new product or service

  • Branding, promotions, marketing are an alignment with their products & services partners – these are all driven by the needs of the customers

  • Field salespeople apply pull strategy more than push – wherein, they create the right solutions / packages for the customer by aligning with the customer (products, pricing, routes, etc.)

  • Customer service & support are a part of the solution which leads to overall CX and journey improvement

  • Performance KPIs and drivers are linked to customers goals, strategies, targets, and roadmaps

  • Customers have mechanisms to provide feedback real-time and on-the-go.

Inside-out CRM

A business, operations, employees-centric perspective; designed to improve overall business & field sales efficiencies is Inside-out CRM. Inside-out culture focuses on Business/Operations-First approach.

Few key highlights of an Inside-Out culture are:

  • Business and sales teams assume products customer wants, price points, promos customer will need to run, etc.

  • Field salespeople apply push strategy more than pull – wherein, they pitch the products, pricing, routes, etc. to the customer by themselves

  • There are different field sales working in silos to provide solutions and services to customers basis the business efficiency only. There may or may not be dedicated reps assigned to customers to deliver CX

  • Performance KPIs are linked to business goals, operational sales targets, and the business roadmaps

  • Customer service & support are added costs to the customer

  • Customers may or may not have mechanisms to provide feedback real-time and on-the-go. Usually, feedback from customers is taken monthly/quarterly/annually, but not real-time.

Looking at both the approaches above, it becomes crucial for businesses to think of what will fit best to them and they then apply either strategy. If businesses go only with “Outside-in” approach, businesses will look at what customer wants, where are the growth markets, what are customer trends and how we can serve needs better. Companies may miss out looking at the limitations of what one has in its business, changes in technologies, alignment of field sales to markets, etc.If businesses go only with “Inside-out” approach, businesses will look at what they have got in terms of core competencies, like field sales, talent, product, distribution network, technology, etc. and how these can be leveraged. They may often overlook the customer needs, where are the markets, customer instinct, instant customer feedback, etc.

All too often, we see businesses getting into trouble due to minimal or no focus on one of the above approaches, and this may often lead them to fixing problems arising on the less focused approach.

It becomes imperative for businesses to have both inside-out and outside-in focus, which will help them run a smooth CRM. These approaches need to go hand-in-hand to deliver better outcomes, reduce inefficiencies, improve overall journey and customer experience. There needs to be a closed-loop methodology in place for driving the approaches.

What Salesforce has to say…

“Outside-In CX Strategy Needs Inside-Out CRM Alignment: Only 84% of companies aspire good CX, yet only 20% succeed. Failure of "Inside-out" CRM alignment of CX ecosystem to “outside-in” strategy magnifies problems and wastes millions. Whereas CX leaders differentiate with powerful outside-in strategies based on revenue predictive outcomes to transform both culture and operations”.

Following is a snapshot of our 9-pointer Outside-in & Inside-out CRM added in our FieldMI product portfolio.

-- Content Written for Field MI Technologies Pvt. Ltd ( A Leading Startup)

Written By:

Ruhi Garg

Director of Supply Chain | Consulting | Sales Operations,

Influencer of Global Business Process | SCM | Digital Transformation | Consulting

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@ActDBI - A PRContours LLP. business portfolio

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