Three Reasons Why You Must Get Good CRM
Yesterday I delivered a short talk at B2B Roadshow in Aberdeen. It was good fun and I was pleased so many people came to hear me talk about my favourite subject of sales.
I was, of course, trying to raise awareness of our lovely software company Cofficient, but I was also trying to raise awareness of the necessity of CRM for those who work in sales and rely on sales for business growth. I have 20 years of selling experience and have worked with and without CRM. I have also worked with good CRM and bad CRM so I have credible experience when it comes to outlining the impact of good CRM on a company bottom line. I have pulled some key points from my talk into this blog to highlight what kind of impact you might expect good CRM to have on your business and your sales people’s effectiveness.
#1. Good CRM helps towards your business’s reputation of trustworthiness
This cannot be underestimated in a climate where competition is stiff and budgets are low. A business cannot be deemed trustworthy unless it shows reliable business behaviour. Similarly, ethical characteristics are most commonly associated with trustworthiness. Yet, it’s all too easy to tar sales people with the same brush with many being painted as duplicitous and dishonest. It is absolutely essential for you to arm your people with the tools required to maintain their integrity and help them keep their promises. If you fail to do this you let down your staff as well as your customers. Something as simple as making a telephone call at the right time, on the right day, can help prove your trustworthiness. If a prospective customer asks you to call back after 3pm on Tuesday – guess what? – you need to call back after 3pm on Tuesday. Even if your prospect isn’t available, you will still have kept your promise and proved that you are an honest business person. Similarly, knowing what kind of dialogue has happened prior to the phone call or meeting shows that you have integrity when it comes to your messaging and that you are not indiscriminately mailing anyone and everyone in the system. Good CRM will also give your sales team access to all the email marketing a prospective client has received and opened. Being consistent with words and deeds really is the key to showing conviction.
#2. Good CRM helps you measure your sales people
Ask yourself this; is your best sales person your best sales person? I worked for a company who consistently rewarded the sales person who hit their target each month by selling the highest quantity of adverts. Sounds reasonable right? In reality what was happening was this person was cooking and eating the golden goose. Our best customers were being attracted to buy cheaper and cheaper deals until eventually the value of the product was being lost completely. The sales person was taking the route of least resistance and the sale was easy to get because it was based purely around cost and not value. We didn’t have any new or high value business coming up behind to replace our lost custom and we eventually went into a tailspin which caused us to re-evaluate our entire business proposition. This stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap outlook is really common in business but unless you really know the metrics of profitability then you could easily be allowing your sales star to be getting away with the death of your business – and rewarding them for it too.
As a sales manager I was once chastised over not being able to accurately predict the results for the coming month. I felt terrible about myself, how could I not know what my team were bringing in? I’d poured over the spreadsheets, run pivot tables and interrogated the content with each team member but the results were still way off the mark. I couldn’t figure out which pitches were legitimate and which weren’t. In truth, I wasn’t given the right tools to manage the team, and they weren’t given the right tools to manage themselves.
#3 Good CRM Helps Sales People Measure Themselves
Don’t have your sales people working in a vacuum. You wouldn’t ask a sportsperson to run a race without telling them the distance they need to run. Give your sales team information to help them improve their performance. I sure as hell want to know how many calls I need to make to convert a sale. And when I convert the sale I want to know my average value order. That way I can work back and figure out how many calls in total are required to hit my target … then work back from that and figure out how many leads I need to find. Likewise, I want something which helps me understand the status of each of my prospects. How many calls have I made? How many conversations have afforded me the opportunity to pitch? How many proposals have I sent? What % chance of conversation have I attributed to each?
Sales people should be able to log on to CRM daily and attribute notes, diary items, emails and pipeline probability to each of their prospects. Sales managers should be able to interrogate them with ease and apply logic based on having all the correct information. Details should be stored against each company record and also available as a bird’s eye overview. Dashboards should analyse key metrics for sales individuals, teams and managers without the effort of several hours of guess work.
Whether you are in sales or manage sales people, don’t settle for anything less.
Here’s my other top tips for sales people (and those who manage them)
Written By Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Geek at Cofficient.