Sales Process and CRM Success

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Your CEO wants to grow your company and realizes that a full service, integrated CRM like Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be an important part of your strategy.

Your sales team is a bit hesitant. They don’t want to be micro-managed by an inflexible, automated sales process.

Implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can transform a company. However, if it is not adopted by users, it can be a costly failure. The key to CRM success starts with your sales process.

Here are some points to consider when you are considering CRM for Sales:

Sales is a process
The success of your sales team does not depend entirely on good people skills and closing techniques. As valuable as those are, there is a whole process that goes along with sales success. When your business was small, you may have been able to get by with a fairly informal sales process – maybe even as informal as word-of-mouth. But if you want to grow and scale, you need to transform your sales processes from informal to formal.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives you the tools your team needs to formalize your sales process.

Sales Processes are not like other business processes
Thinking of sales processes like your other business processes can result in over-engineered and overly-rigid sales processes that don't allow for the individuality of your sales reps, your product, your customers, or the complexity of various selling scenarios.

Also, this approach sends reps the message that management believes that anyone can do the sales job just by following the process. This results in disengaged and unhappy reps that are even less effective at closing new business than they would be with no process at all.

Some business processes can be standardized, but sales processes require a lot of flexibility to account for ever-changing human factors. However, they also require a rigid core that allows them to be repeatable, measurable, improvable, and scalable. Sales processes are a combination of personality and procedure.

The sales process comes before the CRM
Successful sales managers were using sales processes long before modern CRM solutions became available. Microsoft Excel remains one of the most popular sales process applications, and intranet tools like SharePoint enable Excel-based sales processes to be tracked across a team.

In fact, our research has found that when sales leaders develop, test, and refine a sales process before rolling out a CRM solution, their CRM solution rollout tends to be much more successful.

Your sales process may not be built into your CRM
If that CRM demo left you with the impression that you could just purchase the solution and you would have a sales process that you could start using, you might have been misled. Looking at built-in functionality for lead and opportunity management and pipeline reporting can be a siren song luring the sales leader or system administrator to believe this functionality should be leveraged right away.

The reality is that sales processes differ widely from company-to-company, even within the same industry. Each company needs to configure and refine a sales process that is unique to their products, culture, and customers.

Buying CRM software is the easy part, but it must be configured to deliver the right process for your sales team. This is where a CRM partner who understands your processes and your goals can be invaluable.

Contact C5 Insight if you’d like to learn more about a proven method for defining and refining sales processes.

Successful CRM projects focus first on bringing efficiency and visibility to existing processes. Forcing the team to not only learn new software, but also a new process, almost inevitably results in a failure to fully adopt the CRM solution. For many organizations CRM success might mean starting with better contact management or call reporting, and only adding sales processes once the other functionality has been fully adopted.

Our experts at C5 Insight will help you avoid CRM failure and reach your technology goals.

By C5 Insight,

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