Why your CRM should speak human

Your CRM is often seen as a database by most. I see it as an extension of the human language. It is something to be appended with theories of people (The Clayton Christensen application of a theory, please). The only way this can happen is if you append not just the obvious data sets but create new ones that are 3 and 4 chess moves out. Most people are still trying to clean the address fields. I think it is time to own the CRM as the heart of the company. Not just the CRM as it is defined today but a future state CRM that includes the entire US CRM.

Time to step back: One area of focus for me has been the study of the Lexical Hypothesis. Also known as the Sedimentation Hypothesis, it has its recorded origins in 1884 by Sir Francis Galton. His book, Measurement of Character begun the long and somewhat long path to personality characteristics and language usage.

The Lexical Hypothesis is defined by two key postulates:

  1. personality characteristics that are important to people will eventually become part of their language
  2. the most important personality characteristics are likely encoded into language as a single word.

Research on this subject was slow as computing power did not exist to scale the research. It took some 50 years before Gordon Allport et al created a psychological classification of words. By combining this work with trait theory, one can begin to approach a classification system at scale.

Most input today on who we sell to comes from things that are generated with our hands. Clicks and cookies and past sales data really don’t tell the story of ‘why’ we bought what we did. It only records clicks. In a mobile world, click data mixed with desktop data becomes a mixture of conflicting stories. My point: we have bad data going into our CRM that feeds a stunted story to business leaders and marketing.

By studying personality characteristics without actually speaking with customers or violating their privacy, I found a way to connect the language people are comfortable with, the language in their daily life to a calculated personality type to CRM and look-a-like. I use Myers-Briggs but have also used temperaments, first studied by Hippocrates. It has evolved and to its current state by Dr David Keirsey, who calls it Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS-II). I also suggest that a conversion key does exist between DISC, Big 5 and MBTI but only for the purposes of growing a business. Our research at MakeBuzz has lead us to looking at personality of entire cities and States but not connecting this to a CRM is of no interests right now.

I would argue that because the data is now available, computing power, speed and capacity make this possible only today. Most research could only be produced at small levels, just like a focus groups always works from the lens of constraint.

All of this would be just research if you did not connect it to CRM. That is where you come in. By connecting calculated personality to what people buy, you see a source of truth that gives valuable ‘markers’ as to why people buy, why they desire and why customer expectations does not need to wait for purchase decisions. This work begins to validate the original research that dates back 132 years.

I invite anyone interested in personality, trait theory, CRM and customer intelligence to connect with us. It has been a desert. When you bump into someone, ask them for water. The good news, media is no longer cheap or that effective when it comes to filling a CRM, so now is the time to start from an entirely different and powerful direction.

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