Why CRM is not enough

Yes, CRM systems have evolved. Now they are drawing on sales staff emails, calendars and databases to offer tips on how to best interact with specific customers. They’re trying to incorporate more analytics, provide more data and incorporate social media as sales organizations move to become customer-centric.

But have they evolved enough? Are the plug-ins and add-ons helping sales teams achieve consistent, predictable results? Do they support the complex sale?

Forward thinking sales leaders say “no”

CRM systems offer no capabilities that allows you to operationalize, track and optimize your sales processes. This aspect is particularly important if you are undergoing a shift in business strategy, such as our client Scania.

They fail to provide both the sales professional and the manager with an overview and in-depth understanding of each prospect and opportunity, making it very difficult to coach to higher levels of performance.

They lack built-in goal setting and tracking capabilities that help guide everyone on the sales team towards reaching their targets. In short, they track “busy-ness” rather than effectiveness.
These are a few examples of capability gaps that our clients are finding. You can bridge these gaps by connecting your existing CRM with a sales improvement platform that is focused on total sales alignment: technology, process and execution.

Forward thinking sales leaders say “no”

  • CRM systems offer no capabilities that allows you to operationalize, track and optimize your sales processes. This aspect is particularly important if you are undergoing a shift in business strategy, such as our client Scania.
  • They fail to provide both the sales professional and the manager with an overview and in-depth understanding of each prospect and opportunity, making it very difficult to coach to higher levels of performance.
  • They lack built-in goal setting and tracking capabilities that help guide everyone on the sales team towards reaching their targets. In short, they track “busy-ness” rather than effectiveness.

These are a few examples of capability gaps that our clients are finding. You can bridge these gaps by connecting your existing CRM with a sales improvement platform that is focused on total sales alignment: technology, process and execution.

2. It will help you move from quantitative analytics to qualitative analytics

“Traditional CRM systems track “busy-ness” rather than sales effectiveness” GEORGE BRONTÉN

Classic CRM dashboards, with their colorful pie charts, mostly provide you with lagging indicators and quantitative analytics. A sales improvement platform focused on “sales goal specific business intelligence” will show you where you really are and where you’re going, not just where you’ve been. It gives you a view of changes over time and provides you with trend-based analytics that align each member of the sales team with their expected business result (quota), objectives and activity metrics. You’re able to get a view of how effective your sales team is at driving sales performance to consistently reach targets.

With a sales improvement platform, it is also easy to adjust your sales process to improve forecast accuracy and win-rates so there are no surprises for key stakeholders. If you’re using CRM analytics to complete your forecasts, you are often relying on your sales team’s subjective best guesses. The reason? Pipeline reports tend to be based on a stage-based probability percentage and individual sales reps are given the autonomy to set the stages based on gut-feel, rather than achieving customer-aligned milestones. Because of “happy ears”, there’s often a perception that the buyer is much further along in the decision process than they really are. By using a sales improvement platform that is aligned with the buyer’s decision process, there will be steps that must be taken to qualify leads for the next milestone. There is no best guessing!

3. It will help you move from a rigid sales playbook to a flexible sales process for unique circumstances

Your team may use your playbook filled with content, tools and a sales process that provides a system for sales enablement and execution with those prospects in their CRM – but, what happens if a certain type of deal requires a deviated approach from the standard one that can be found in your playbook? How does your sales rep proceed?

A sales improvement platform will provide you with the flexibility to create automated, customized deal-level strategies for unique situations. Your sales team will get the tools, content and playbook for those non-standard deals to get them to the next milestone all the way to the close. And they can add individual tactics when needed.

4. It will help you align everyone on the team with their sales goals

Oftentimes, sales quotas are assigned to sales people without thoroughly working through how the intended business result should be achieved. A classic CRM does not realize that there are limitations in what a sales person can achieve in a certain period of time.

Using a sales improvement system, you will differentiate between business results ($), objectives/leading indicators (average deal size, win rate, etc.) and activities/lagging indicators (new client meetings, proposals). With these definitions in place, each person on the team will know what it takes to reach their targets and the system will guide each team member towards accomplishing the activities that will lead to the set objectives and business results. This also removes the need for sales managers to micro-manage and remind their people about completing specific tasks, instead allowing them to spend more time on coaching their team to higher levels of performance.

A few final thoughts on CRMs and sales improvement platforms

A sales improvement system for complex selling efforts should connect processes and people needed to engage customers in an easy-to-follow workflow. It should automatically provide the predictive sales performance analytics that sales leadership needs and store relevant data in the CRM database for improved cross-functional information sharing and collaboration.

With Membrain, this is what you get – a sales improvement system designed to help sales teams navigate complex B2B opportunities, which makes it easy to execute your sales strategy and guide everyone on the sales team to consistently reach targets – with or without an existing CRM system.

 

 

By | 2017-02-16T09:22:14+00:00 december 21st, 2015|Sales Software|0 Comments

About the Author:

Ik ben partner bij SalesBreakThrough met het specialisme Mindset en Sales. Ik heb jarenlang ervaring in Salesmanagement in verschillende branches. Zo lang ik mij kan herinneren heeft het menselijk gedrag en denkpatronen mij enorm geïntrigeerd. Binnen SalesBreakThrough breng ik Mindset en Sales samen. In mijn werk geeft ik organisaties en hun medewerkers een kijkje in het menselijk brein. Waarom doen we wat we doen? Wat houdt ons tegen om succesvol te zijn. Belangrijke elementen zijn mentale veerkracht, hoe herstel je als Sales van een “nee”?. Ook focus is een belangrijk element die steeds vaker op de proef wordt gesteld. Een van mijn doelen is een mentale veerkrachtige en succesvolle salesomgeving. Met behulp van inzicht in psychologie en de juiste mindset kunnen we voor alle sales generaties een positieve en effectieve werkomgeving creëren. Daar zet ik mij graag voor in.