Before You Get Into CRM (or Microsoft Dynamics CRM)

Why bother with CRM? It’s true – the market is cluttered with countless Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software vendors pitching solutions to help your company capture more sales, deliver targeted marketing campaigns and overall improve service levels with your valued customers. Well, here is what is often forgotten.

 

What’s Often Forgotten

A critical item, often left off the table (and what many individuals forget) before considering CRM, is to do an initial project that  focuses on reviewing your current sales methodology.

During my 20 + years as a sales professional and having used a half dozen CRM software programs, the common dominator that helped increase sales ultimately was the underlining selling best practices in place.

 

CRM Accelerates Your Existing Sales Processes

A CRM system is truly adopted by the masses only when it improves and accelerates the sales cycle. Why do you want sales people entering volumes of prospective leads and opportunities into a CRM, unless the necessary consistent steps are taken to speed-up the close ratio for new deals?

That being said then, how do you define good selling best practices? Ask yourself, are your sales people asking the right questions to elicit the prospect’s needs and desires? Are they identifying the appropriate product or service that meets these needs that the prospect is willing to pay?

Questions such as these are just the “tip of the iceberg” to get answered before considering an investment in CRM. In my experience, once sales methodologies are well defined, the chances of successfully adopting a CRM system significantly increases.

 

Not All are Equal

Not once you’ve defined your sales process, remember, not all CRM systems are created equal. Keep in mind during the research stage that “out of the box” workflows, business intelligence, and integration capabilities should be well  investigated. A few questions to ask yourself in regard to your CRM:

  • Does the CRM automate and improve workflows?
  • Can you easily view a dashboard that presents deals stuck in the sales funnel, deals in a proposal stage, close sales by quarter, etc.
  • How many pre built-in workflows does it have?
  • Advanced business intelligence (ie: dashboards)?
  • Does it integrate easily with other highly adopted productivity applications?

In summary, don’t get caught-up in the hype of advancing technologies before sales standards are established, then and only can you trust that a CRM system will get adopted.

CRM Implementation: 12 Key Questions Answered

What are the steps in a CRM implementation? What are the biggest causes of failure? How long will it take?

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CRM Implementation: 12 Key Questions Answered

Read FAQ