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CRM Opens Up Career Opportunities – Really!
Dec. 19, 2018

CRM is widely regarded as being fundamental to building relationships, driven by business development and marketing goals. While that is of course the key driver for the adoption of CRM, another, and perhaps unrecognised advantage of the discipline, is the ability to foster relationships for career development.

This became abundantly clear at a recent InterAction User Group forum. Cases in point were the participants at the forum – a Business Development Director, who was previously a CRM Client Advisor; an Application Advisor in a Professional Services team who made the move into a technology vendor from a CRM Manager in a law firm; a Data Analytics specialist who prior to the current role was a CRM Manager; to name a few.

Working in CRM provides exposure to a whole ecosystem of organisations – consultancy, law firms, technology vendors, marketing and much more. At the same time, it also provides opportunities to work with senior executives and partners, all the while learning about areas of the business and developing news skills for career development. One of my ex colleagues who specialised in event management in a law firm decided to pursue a career in law, eventually becoming a Barrister – a move that was supported by fee earner and partner colleagues in the firm.

There’s opportunity to move into other industries too. For example, with accountancy firms moving into the legal sector, CRM professionals who are so inclined, could consider this area of business too.

Looking specially at the InterAction ecosystem, often integrated with the solution are HR, practice management, reporting, emarketing and automation and much more. Involvement with CRM can therefore allow individuals to acquaint themselves with related but new areas that they might not otherwise ordinarily be associated with. For instance, in a business landscape where a data-driven approach is the need of the hour, for CRM professionals with an interest in data – in addition to data analysis and architecture – a whole new space of AI and machine learning is fast unveiling. Similarly, there’s a natural move from CRM and marketing to business operations.

The days when CRM managers quickly hit the glass ceiling are long gone. CRM helps spot opportunities and open doors in organisations and indeed new areas of business. With the legal market changing and business development moving up the food chain in importance, CRM professionals have before them great opportunities to go from being ‘doers’ to actually driving initiatives. This discipline offers them the prospect to genuinely becomes advisors and consultants due to the holistic visibility and exposure they have to an interconnected business landscape. Today, there are a plethora of roles – from Senior Business Development Managers, CRM/Data/Business Intelligence Managers and New Business Managers through to Client Listening Research Managers and Pursuit Executives. The opportunity is for the taking!

Fiona Jackson

Fiona Jackson has spent over 15 years implementing and working with InterAction in professional services firms, including legal and accountancy. In these in-house roles, supported by InterAction, she managed marketing communications, devised and implemented business development strategies as well as trained and mentored fee earners. She worked closely with internal clients to understand their business processes end-to end and guided them in utilising the 'intelligence' gathered via InterAction to help them be successful at customer relationship management.

Fiona was previously a Client Advisor for five years at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions; and was often described as "an extension to our business" by her clients. She has now returned to the company to drive an InterAction ‘repositioning’ project for a large London law firm. Fiona is also working with other firms to help them align CRM to wider business development strategies. She specialises in strategic and tactical CRM best practice, and as an expert in devising user adoption strategies, her experience in rolling out and repositioning InterAction as a business tool is proving invaluable to clients.

Fiona is mother to two teenagers, who keep her firmly on her toes. Living in Hertfordshire, she loves walking, is often found obsessing over the latest box set and enjoys all that country pubs have to offer. She also has a spectacular Gin collection of her own. Recently, Fiona has discovered a love for cooking – the varying degrees of success hasn’t stopped her from continuing to giving it a go!

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