Where's the Leads! Why Salespeople Hate CRM and How to Make Them Happy.

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Your organization has invested tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of person-hours implementing and fine-tuning your  CRM system so that your processes for sales, forecasting, and service management work like a well-oiled machine. As you sit back and admire your personal CRM masterpiece,  you may suddenly find that all of the planning, all of the custom fields, and all of the highly personalized work do not solve one fundamental problem with CRM, the sales team hates it!  CRM is a mature technology.  Most professional sales people today have been using CRM for many years.   So why, after all this time in the technology adoption lifecycle, are CRM systems still the stuff of data entry and administrative nightmares for a sales person?

The answer is more simple than you think.  Why do sales people sell?   To make money.  How do sales people make money?  By closing deals.  Are CRM systems set up to assist sales people to close business?  No!  Salesforce automation systems are designed for the specific purpose of tracking and managing (controlling) sales personnel.  In essence, Sales people work for the CRM.  The CRM does not work for them.  This fundamental philosophy behind CRM is at odds with how sales people work.

How do we change this philosophy so we can improve user satisfaction and adoption of CRM by your sales team?  Give them what they want...leads.  Leads equal opportunities and opportunities equal commission and that's what keeps your sales team happy, motivated, and driving to close more business for the company.  Fortunately, for today's average CRM user, there is a new class of lead and demand generation solutions that are specifically designed to increase the flow of high quality leads to your Dynamics CRM. Solutions like SalesFUSION360 - Marketing automation for Dynamics CRM, have built specific processes into its enterprise marketing apps that will make your sales team fall in love with CRM all over again.  Below is a list of the key processes you should implement and automate to answer the sales question; "Where's the leads?"

The marketing automation systems that integrate to CRM today allow you to create a myriad of campaigns, generate web traffic, analyze web traffic data, capture leads, score and route leads, and track campaign ROI.  There's a lot more to these apps than bulk email.  As such, you can easily become confused about the processes you may not have implemented before, such as lead scoring.

Whether you create complex, mutli-variate models for lead scoring based on product categories or geographies, having some form of basic lead scoring in place will ensure that, at the very least, you are classifying the value of leads as they come into your organization, as a result from your marketing campaigns.  Lead scoring allows the lead gen team to group  leads based on their behavior and demographics.  Lead scoring models like those employed by SalesFUSION facilitate grouping of leads based on scoring ranges.  Once a lead enters a group for the first time, a series of workflows can kick off.  These may include enrollment in nurture campaigns, lead routing, lead alerts and more.  Each action is designed to either engage sales or continue "working" the lead to proper level where sales engagement is warranted.   A good lead scoring model will look at 4 types of data; Email Response, Form Response; Web Activity and Demographics.  This combination of implicit and explicit data will ensure you have accurate scores.

Lead Routing - Once you establish a baseline lead scoring model, you are now ready to implement lead routing.  Lead routing in SalesFUSION allows the administrator to take a variety of actions against leads.  This may include sending email alerts to reps, enrolling in campaigns, routing leads to inside sales and more.

Lead Alerting - This is where the rubber meets the road in getting your sales team to fall in love with CRM all over again.  When your leads hit the pre-determined threshold, you can send Outlook-based alerts to reps that show summary level information about the activity that lead to the score/grade.  The alerts are delivered, based on the aforementioned points, when they are "sales ready".  The alerts have a link to open the lead in CRM so that before a sales person makes a call, he can easily view all of the marketing response, web activity and scoring information up to that point.  When properly deployed and agreed upon ahead of time with sales, lead alerts can have a tremendous impact in CRM satisfaction with sales. Find me a sales person who doesn't like to have qualified leads delivered to him on a silver platter!

Nurturing - Not all leads will convert immediately nor will they all be "ready to buy" at that moment.  In Dynamics CRM, an administrator can create a lead status called "Nurture".  If a sales rep is speaking to a lead who indicates they are interested but not ready to buy, the rep can tag a lead with the "Nurture" status.  Once tagged, the marketing system kicks in and begins to send a series of timed, nurture-styled email campaigns.  This process offloads the traditional and manual way sales people used to manage tickler files to check in with leads over time.

Implementing the above processes will have very positive effect on your sales team.  One of the other side effects is the collaboration that will occur between marketing and sales in order to arrive at a fully functioning lead scoring/routing solution.  Collaboration between marketing and sales in ANY capacity is a good thing and will only improve your CRM system.  The marketing automation systems available to Dynamics CRM users today are so much more than integrated email marketing.  They are platforms that support lead to sales models and add value to the CRM system through better measurement of lead flow by increasing the adoption and satisfaction of the most important user community for CRM, the sales team.

by SalesFUSON

2 thoughts on “Where's the Leads! Why Salespeople Hate CRM and How to Make Them Happy.”

  1. One of our partners integrated our marketing automation software with MS Dynamics CRM and has seen the positive effects you're talking about - sales people actually excited to get into CRM because they can see exactly which web pages their prospects have spent time on, what pdfs they viewed etc. We've also had great feedback on a dashboard they embedded in CRM called "big movers" that shows them prospects whose lead scores have been rising rapidly and why.

    Integrating marketing automation with CRM is a big step toward making CRM a tool that works *for* sales people rather than a PITA that watches over and *manages* sales people.

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