Sunday, February 17, 2008

10) Changing a great tool into a burden

The CRM Dilemma is everywhere
As you read this, think of my cycling statistics as sales activities and my cycling computer as CRM.

I am an avid, non-competitive road cyclist. In the month of August, I road my bike thirteen times, totalling 284.22 miles, at an average moving speed of 17.5 MPH. My average heart rate was 150.7 BPM and my average cadence (Pedal RPM) was 90.
The reason I can provide such accurate information is I wear a Garmin Edge 305 Cycling Computer every time I ride. This unit records everything about my rides including how long I stop to rest, where I am and how much a steep grade slows me down. I am told these numbers are pretty impressive for a 44 year old. I bought my Edge 305 so I could use it to measure my own progress and challenge myself. This information with GPS is gathered automatically assuming my Edge 305 is turned on, charged up, and I have pushed the button to start recording my ride. I also need to put on my heart rate chest strap and it gives strange readings if the battery in the transmitter is low.

I upload all this data to a web site where other people can compare their rides to mine. I can choose to make each ride private or public.
In July, I worked to improve my Cadence (Pedals RPM) because in comparison to other riders, mine was much lower (80-83 RPM). After much work, I can now run a cadence over 100 without killing myself. I was glad I was able to see the information shared by others because it helps me improve. I am also glad to share my rides with other riders because I am proud of my riding skills. This year I will work with an online coach that will view my ride data and make suggestions on areas to work on while letting me know what I am doing well.

If CRM worked like this, I think everyone would be pretty happy. I would even be able to improve my selling skills by looking at the activities of top sales people and adjusting my activities based on their successes. This could all be done without having to admit to them that I didn't know I was doing it wrong. My sales manager could look at my activities and coach me on areas to work on and let me know what I am doing well.

Back to my (CRM) Cycling Computer with ride (Sales) data:
I didn't tell you before, but of the 20 hours it took to ride the 284 miles in August, only during 16.5 of those hours was I actually moving. I spent 3.5 hours resting during those rides. I think I also had two flat tires which take a while to fix. My largest climb in August was 1271 feet so I live in a pretty flat area. But of course, you already know all this if you have the data from my Edge 305, rather than just the information I choose to tell you. If I give you ALL the data from my Edge 305, you can overlay my ride on a map and watch every element (Activity) of my ride, in real time or accelerated.
In this example, my Edge 305 is the perfect example of CRM working the way it is supposed to. But there is no accountability in the information because no one but me has any authority over my cycling and the data provided by my Edge 305.

The Coach adds accountability:
My coach says I am riding too many days in a row and I should ride longer every other day. He also wants me to climb more hills than I have been and try to increase my cadence to average over 100 RPM.

The Edge 305 moves from Tool to Burden
  • I really want to ride today but I rode yesterday so the coach says I shouldn't. If I don't use my Edge 305 or use it and delete the ride, the coach won't know.
  • I ended going on a long ride yesterday and so I deleted the ride from my Edge 305 because I don't want the coach to think I am not trying.
  • I was really sluggish today because I rode so far yesterday. Rather than upload these crappy numbers, I think I forgot to charge the Edge 305 before my ride. Sorry coach.
  • I used to love competing against myself and other riders. Now that I am accountable for providing all the data, I am not enjoying my Edge 305 and I keep making excuses to my coach so I don't have to provide the data. We spend more time talking about the data than my riding.
  • I have dropped my coach and have gone back to competing against myself so I could use my Edge 305 that I love. It wasn't the coach's fault, he was only trying to help me get better. I just want to ride they way I want to ride and I seem to keep getting better and better with the system I have.

This was all true, up to the part where I get a coach. I have decided not to get a coach because I think the accountability in providing the information from my rides will become a negative for me. I also understand I am giving up the tremendous benefits in having a coach and how I could improve if I provided the data. Have I mentioned what a great tool my Edge 305 is?

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