3 Ways to get more out of your CRM

By now almost every business is using some kind of CRM. But how effectively are you actually using this tool? Studies have shown that over 70% of businesses using a CRM are dissatisfied with their current CRM. But is this really the fault of a platform? Or is it perhaps how it is being used (or not used in many cases)?

As an innovation consultant I’m often asked what is the best CRM to buy from frustrated business owners. Rather than give a list of suggestions for new platforms to change over to, I prefer to dive deeper into how they are using their current CRM, and what is the engagement of the employees using that current CRM platform.

There is no “Silver Bullet” when it comes to picking the right CRM. Success with the system is often the result of setting it up correctly, training staff on how to use it, and showing them ways that it can help them do their job better. Below are 3 common ways to get more value out of your CRM.

Make sure your sales pipeline aligns with your customers buying process

When setting up your sales pipeline there can be a tendency to organize your pipeline in the way you would “like” your prospects to buy from you. Pipelines that are not aligned with how your customers actually go through a buying process can prove to be very frustrating. Make sure you are:

  1. Including the deal stages that your typical customer goes through
  2. Having measurable action steps that salespeople can use to help guide prospects through the different stages
  3. Incentify salespeople on deal stage moves rather than just how many prospects they have in their funnel
  4. Determine the “likely to close” percentage at each deal stage and use this as a tool for more accurate revenue forecasting.

Re-occurring training is key

It’s not enough to have the CRM company show people how to use the functionality of the software. Your team has to understand how your company will use it as a busines tool to make their life easier. Set up monthly ongoing training sessions that can cover:

  1. Cheat sheets for different functions to make it easier to get systems in place
  2. Screen video grabs that show how to use features that are not part of daily use
  3. Set up a “knowledge bank” of tips, screen share videos and helpful hints that all employees can submit information into this bank (have monthly “give aways” for best tip shared).
  4. Identify “CRM Champions” in your organization and give them time for peer-to-peer mentoring of others struggling with adapting to the systems.

If it’s not in the CRM it didn’t happen”

When you make the decision to implement a CRM it has to be “all or nothing”. It is tempting to allow certain individual “sales stars” to opt out. But remember that the CRM should be integrated into the actual business process. If someone is opting out of that process, that is more than just a CRM issue.

Sales managers should be reviewing deal stage moves in the pipeline prior to sales meetings. There needs to be visibility in real time on what is happening with prospects. Sales meetings shouldn’t be about asking questions about what stages prospects are at, but rather what strategies can be used to help your prospects with forward progress through the pipeline.

Manage with metrics bases out of data that comes from your CRM. If there are individual goals based around number of prospects, deal stage moves, and monthly touch points, you need to go by what is in your CRM dashboard. Salespeople need to realize that “if it’s not in the CRM it didn’t happen”.

Here at Zubak & Associates, we embrace innovation through technology and help you to apply it in a safe, user-friendly and profitable way. If you wish to discuss how your company can take the next steps towards digital transformation, contact us CONTACT US..

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