A Sales Directors Guide to CRM
WHY a sales director and the sales team should be using a CRM
If everybody wins you win!
That might be the shortest way to explain why a sales director should insist on having his Sales team passionate about using a well-functioning and well configured CRM system in the cloud.
Customer Relationship Management is nothing new, it has existed as long as humans have been trading across the world. But the profession of selling has changed more in the last 10 years, than in the last 100 years. Independently of your company, or your sales plans.
Today, the customer has access to more information than ever before. The internet delivers information instantly and constantly. Your customers and prospects access product facts they review independently of your marketing departments output. They listen to your competitors, and your former clients. They are able inform themselves from a huge range of sources.
Therefore, the role of a sales person today is to become a trusted advisor. Selling needs to deliver value to the customer, even before they are a customer.
This is where a CRM system in the cloud will help you win, but be aware if you present the first CRM system in the organisation as a new sales tool, some sales persons or the entire sales team initially sees the CRM system as a way of controlling their daily whereabouts and how much effort they put into achieving a sale!
And just be honest… so it will be but it must be seen positively for everyone.
A CRM will if it is easy to use, and well managed lead to more sales, just for the simple reason of systemising the sales and data flow in well-defined processes and activities.
At a higher level it will also be able to deliver Business Intelligence and reports for the management team to make better planning and decisions.
As a Sales Director, you should make the sales team understand that they will themselves be benefitting from using a CRM system correctly. It will be a win-win for everybody.
If you have just one of your sales people discovering they can achieve more sales and therefore higher sales commission by using the CRM correctly, then the CRM system will automatically become self-promoting internally in your sales team and the company.
Consider the following:
With customers increasingly accessing information on the web before even talking to a salesperson, companies can dramatically improve their lead funnel by combining a wide range of information about customer activities with insights into what their customers are clicking on. This can include which pages they visited or documents they downloaded from the company’s web site, as well as social media activity on sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
With a cloud based CRM system you can change the way you acquire, retain and develop profitable customers. CRM can improve your key sales processes, including lead management, opportunity management, forecasting, up selling and cross-selling. The cloud technology allows us to register instantly and in real time share any activity created and related to sales or marketing.
Cloud based CRM can drive Sales and Marketing, Customer Service or Customer Retention and profitability.
Therefore you should plan and investigate your own sales process and setup your initial criteria for what your CRM should do for you.
And when you start looking for CRM solutions in the cloud, then the following questions will help in your selection process:
Do I have a clear CRM strategy?
Can the system be access anywhere at any time on any device?
Can the CRM system be implemented quickly and changed as needed?
Do we have the right IT hardware?
What KPIs will confirm that the CRM is working as expected?
Are internal IT people required?
Is there a clear process for understanding my business needs?
Does that partner have consultants with a track record of success in sales?
Without a CRM strategy you cannot keep up with the increased competition that the web has unleashed. Foreign competitors, without your cost base, are just an email away. Customers no longer accept pricing obfuscation. The internet has empowered customers in ways unimaginable to many.
With a CRM strategy you have the commitment and a plan to change. CRM in the cloud is a tool to help change the process combine it with webCRM consultancy together they give you a chance to compete and achieve more sales.
Get it right and you will once again be managing customer relationships.