Everyone needs a CRM, right? But what is it? And for whom was it really designed? Storing information about customers in a central database was a break-through decades ago, but is it enough today? Will storing contact information and tracking activities actually help you sell more in today’s sales landscape?
If we didn’t have the baggage of a CRM, how would a system to improve sales performance be designed? It will vary depending on what you sell, but in a complex selling environment, with sales cycles of a month or more and multiple stakeholders involved in buying decisions, it would involve some key ingredients:
- Sales goals aligned with company strategy
When the goals are set to support the company strategy and broken down to sales objectives and activities on an individual level, we can get everyone on the right rhythm. In software speak, this kind of functionality is called sales performance management and needs to be a part of the solution.
- Sales analytics to keep your sales rhythm and continually improve
What good are goals if they are not followed up upon? Classic CRM dashboards with colorful pie charts just don’t go all the way. To get a feeling of changes over time, you need trending reports of leading indicators to get predictable results. Sales-specific business intelligence is needed to provide this leadership cockpit.
- Coaching with quality and bring out the best in people
Once each team member knows their targets and the plan to achieve them, coaching is key. There are different types and contexts for coaching. One being regular coaching on a deal-level, supported by the guidelines of your sales process, methodology and shared language. Then you’ll have one-on-one sessions to connect company strategy and team goals with individual goals and aspirations. The system would automatically keep track of momentum with each lead and opportunity, keep everyone accountable to prevent anything from falling through cracks and free up time for managers to spend more time coaching and less time micro managing and compiling reports.
- Prospect and qualify to fill your pipeline
Sales opportunities aren’t created out of thin air. The entire organization needs to be focused on identifying opportunities with new and existing clients. Prospecting done poorly, too slow or inefficient, will lead to low sales performance. Tools to support effective prospecting include prospecting lists, social media, email communication and the good old telephone. In addition, we’d like to be able to segment and qualify based on client-fit and make sure that we don’t prematurely create opportunities into the pipeline, wasting valuable sales time.
- Opportunity and account management for optimal execution
Once we’ve identified customers and opportunities to assist, and be profitable doing so, we need proper plans and convert theory to practice, by implementing proven sales process and methodology. Sales process and enablement software will make those plans come to life; ensure consistency and continuous improvements to make how you sell into your competitive advantage.
- Pipeline management to ensure momentum
To increase win-rates, we want more opportunities created in our pipeline to convert into paying customers – changing the classic “funnel” into a “tunnel”. To make this happen, every deal needs to be well qualified and get the attention it deserves. With the guidance of a good process, methodology and solid coaching, you’ll move the needle on win-rates. Software to visualize your sale pipeline and quickly spot anomalies and areas of improvement will be what you’re looking for.
- Productivity, collaboration and time management tools
In our daily work, some we need to keep track of our tasks, schedule meetings, write emails, log phone calls and deliver on our promises. We also need to collaborate effectively internally and with prospect and clients throughout the sales cycle and customer lifetime. Tools to support us at this level are needed and can save a lot of time and money.
“A sales improvement system for complex selling efforts would provide us with these modules and tools, nicely intertwined in easy to use workflows.” GEORGE BRONTÉN
A sales improvement system for complex selling efforts would provide us with these modules and tools, nicely intertwined in easy to use workflows. It should also store relevant data in the CRM system, used as the master database for the company for improved cross-functional information sharing and collaboration.
With Membrain, this is what you will get – a sales improvement system designed to make it easy to execute your sales strategy and guide everyone on the sales team to consistently reach targets. If you’re fed up with how poorly your traditional CRM system supports your sales efforts, contact us today and we’ll get you started!