CRM System Dos and Don’ts
Putting in a great CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System) will enable your sales people to sell more and help the business become really successful.
But your journey doesn’t stop when you implement your chosen CRM system.
Far from it.
Once you have bought your system and “plugged it in” (so to speak), your journey is still just beginning.
So… you’ve bought a new CRM system . Now what?
DO: Clean your data before you export it in. The reporting you get back from the system will only be as good as the information you put in. If you’re stuffing it full of duplicate data, you’re going to get rubbish back out. Consider making essential fields mandatory so that your sales people are capturing mission critical information.
DON’T: Make every field mandatory. I’ve come across plenty of CRM systems with mandatory email fields stuffed full of email@example.com addresses. The intention is always good – usually put there by a sales person eager to progress the sale. Take a view on what is mission critical and be realistic.
DO: Explain to your sales team, all the ways you intend to use the CRM system. I once caught a letter, created using a mail merge from the CRM, which was addressed to Joanne (the rottweiler) Sanderson. A sales person hadn’t had the foresight to realise the system would be used to produce mail merges and had added a “helpful” note to her peers about the type of character of said lead in the system. Be aware that your CRM system could be called upon in a court of law if required – so keep it professional.
DON’T: Immediately increase sales targets hoping the CRM will deliver double digit growth. Your sales will improve over time as a consequence of giving your sales team the right tools, for sure. But it won’t happen over night. Your team will have to learn a new system and get used to its nuances. Give them the time they need. Encourage them to see the benefits and explain how it will help them achieve growth on their numbers.
[Read: Why Sales People Hate CRM here]
DO: Give people a well defined sales process which the system can replicate (such as lead to prospect, prospect to opportunity, opportunity to quote etc).
DON’T: Expect all your sales people to use every part of the system. Some sales people will only use the bare minimum – like logging a basic customer interaction – while others will want to write War and Peace. As long as they are following the process and the basic needs of the customer and business are being met, let the staff get on with establishing their own use of the system.
DO: Use the system to measure and track the success of your sales people (for your own information) and encourage them to do the same.
DON’T: Use it as a stick to beat them about the head with.
DO: Encourage feedback about your new system, in an open platform, where your sales people feel able to speak freely.
DON’T: Let sales people sabotage the success of it by undermining the system behind closed doors, bitching about it with their peers over lunch.
DO: Consider the system to be about 50% responsible for the success of your sales team. If you give your team the right tools for the job, you are allowing them to excel. A good system will free up their time to sell more, it will enable them to sell better and it will automate a lot of the boring administrative parts of a sales role.
DON’T: Expect every sales person to excel because you have given them this great CRM System. A bad sales person will still be a bad sales person, regardless of whether they use the CRM system well or not.
DO: Consider giving your sales people a cloud based CRM system, which they can use when they are out and about in the field or on the road. Many a great sales person has worked far later than should be expected, updating CRM at home whilst pulling all the information onto their home PC using a horribly slow VPN line. In this day and age, with solutions like NetSuite on the rise, your sales people should be able to easily access their CRM through apps or on mobile devices with a 3G connection. It’s the 21st century people. There really isn’t an excuse to have them working like it’s the dark ages.
DON’T: Expect your sales people to update the CRM remotely, if it is painfully difficult to do so. I once went out on the field with a sales rep who spent over an hour and a half sitting in a Brewers Fayre; failing in attempt, after attempt to update the CRM using a crappy Netbook and a horrible VPN line in a hostile broadband environment. She had to update it there because the line didn’t work in her house (which was over 30 miles away from the office) and if she didn’t update the client appointments on the same day the MD would be querying her productivity the next day.
Thinking of putting in a new CRM system? I’d love to hear from you. Share your stories in the comments below or get in touch.
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient and CRM Timelord.
To talk to someone about how NetSuite CRM could be the best investment you make this year, get in touch.
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