Interruptions rob account managers of productivity - how can they be avoided?
I've seen one common frustration after helping hundreds of small businesses implement and fully utilize their CRM software. There are simply too many interruptions! Diligent account managers who strive to reach their daily goals instead wind up putting out fires or spinning their wheels on repetitive tasks.
The good news is that a
In this third article in our series on helping you get the most out of your CRM software, I will show how account managers can get proactive and increase their productivity.
#1: Get in the Zone – Find and favorite common activities
Many proactive workers "have a system," the common tasks or activities that contribute to their success. You can identify these in your CRM system and favorite them for quick access.
You can organize that data into focus using Dynamics 365 Views and Dashboards, drawing out what is most important.
Your CRM will continue to build a more detailed, accurate picture of your organization with data and analytics as time goes by. You can see trends and activities of the entire team and share the good experiences and best practices with everyone else on the team.
#2: Build an "Early Warning System" – Dashboards help identify problems
I'm probably showing my age on this one but think back to the movie "War Games" with Matthew Broderick. The NORAD bunker had a wall of screens called "the mountain." If the screens were empty, all was well. But if something out of the ordinary occurred, say a Russian jet over Alaska, the whole "mountain" came alive with alerts and warnings. A system like that helps you identify problems early and act on them before they get out of hand.
Here's an example: If you have a dashboard that shows you a list of accounts you have not contacted in the last 90 days, the ideal scenario would be that it stays empty. However, if you see a name or two begin to appear in the list – warning – you are alerted to call them and keep the relationship going.
Another handy dashboard will show quotes that should have closed in the last 30 days. If things were looking promising, with all procedures followed, but the quote never reached the finish line – warning – there's a problem. It could be that the date wasn't realistic, but it could also mean there was an unexpected delay with the paperwork, or even that the customer got cold feet. With this dashboard, the prospect won't fall through the cracks; action can be taken to close the deal.
#3: Allow customers to serve themselves – Create a Portal
No, we're not advocating a replacement for your valued account managers. Rather, this is an opportunity to lighten their load by moving routine requests to a self-serve system, a customer portal, leveraging the building blocks already present in Dynamics 365.
Maybe you already have this concept in place for service or support tickets, but the Sales department can benefit from them too. For example, think of common requests your customers make, such as "What was my last purchase?" or "Can I see your catalog?" They could see order history, product information, spec sheets, and more with a portal. Rather than tying up an account manager with this request, they could log in and find the information they need, 24 hours a day, while your reps are busy with activities that drive more value (or even when they're off for the day).
Especially now that the pandemic has disrupted the lives and schedules of so many, customers expect, or actually demand, to have the information they need right when they want it.
Think about the interruptions that keep you from being more productive. Could some, or even most of them, be dealt with by leveraging CRM views, dashboards, and customer portals? How much more could you accomplish with those interruptions out of the way?
When done right, CRM software can help account managers accomplish more in less time, reducing stress and selling more.
By Peter Wolf, Azamba Consulting Group,
Check out the other articles in this series: