Long-Distance Relay: A CRM is Worth It
Workgroup Report: How can you get a big CRM payback?
Topic question: How can you make a CRM provide a big payback?
See term 2.5 Sales management from The GMs Index for relevant Approved Resources
The 3 unanimous lessons
- A CRM definitely increases sales and margins in all sectors
- Get compliance by making the CRM reports the basis of recognition and reward
- Use the CRM to build customer-to-company relationships, not just to track sales
- Nathan Bares
- Susan Dineen
- Bob DeVita
- Patti Epstein
- Kevin Hickman
- Bryon Johnson
- Tony Lawson
- Bill Mitchell
- Kristi Thering
- Derrick Van Mell
- Pete Vogel
Workgroup discussion questions
- What have been your biggest success or failure with a CRM?
- What’s your CRM’s most valuable output?
- How did you get people to enter information?
Selection, features and start-up
- Degree of integration
- There are CRM differences among sectors, sales cycles and for bid vs. negotiated sales
- There’s a difference between simple lead-tracking and fully integrated CRMs
- The CRM apps are improving, becoming simpler and sturdier
- Training and acceptance can take a year. Contests and awards can help.
- Take advantage of salespeople’s natural competitiveness
- It must be ridiculously easy, particularly for inputting notes. Use a mobile app, reminders
- Use only 3-4 reports
- Be able to tag prospect by sector, stage and likelihood
- Use a disciplined selection process (see 4.1 Applications from The GMs Index)
The sales manager’s perspective
- A CRM is an excellent way to keep individuals from thinking the “own” the relationship
- Getting contact information into a system protects against loss from manager succession
- Sharing information helps build a culture of collaboration
- Managing the pipeline: define sales stages and a few measures, such as conversion rates
- Include influencers (including other prospects and customers) in the CRM
- Using the CRM to inform sales meetings makes non-compliance obvious
- Celebrate successes to highlight how the CRM helped individuals succeed
An integrated view
- Being able to integrate all or most customer communication is essential
- The CRM pipeline should integrate with operations and customer service flows
- The R in CRM is Relationship, not just sales
- While healthcare doesn’t have sales, electronic medical records and telehealth are analogous
Forecasting and analysis
- Selecting the key reports and KPIs will keep the organization from drowning in a “data ocean”
- Center members have used the CRM to forecast and stabilize sales over the year
- Be sure to validate data with other system’s data (e.g., ERP, production reports)
The Workgroup set “analyzing success and failure” as the next topic.
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