Take back control of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool

 

Incorrect use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is rife! In a recent survey, 43% of businesses said that they weren’t fully utilizing their CRM system, hampering the ability of these organizations to access vital information, manage existing accounts, note trends and sell effectively.

Part of the blame lies with clunky CRM tools that are overly complicated and difficult to use. Despite these shortcomings, optimal use of your organization’s CRM software is crucial to the successful management of your sales process. Here are 4 ways to ensure you are getting the most out of your CRM software:

1) Get your Sales Culture Right First

As Peter Drucker famously said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If your sales culture is obsessively measured by quota and managed by activities (cold calls, quotes, demos, etc), you risk creating an environment where sales reps may not use the CRM tool at all . Or they may falsely report activities and information impacting data quality e.g. registering an inbound lead as a cold call. Of course, sales goals are necessary, but an obsession with them above all else risks moving the conversation away from overcoming barriers to how to apply more of the same.

You can use the best CRM tool on the market, but if you do not have a transparent, open and collaborative sales culture, it won’t matter. There is no easy path to an excellent sales culture, but a good place to start is a frank assessment of where you currently stand.

2) Create a Best Practices Guide

When you initially bought and implemented your CRM software it’s likely that you customized it with it’s own unique properties, pipelines & deal stages. In the intervening years new sales reps have joined and there may be fewer of those initial employees. Now the definitions are less clear. These new employees aren’t receiving the same initial training and so probably don’t understand the CRM system as well as its original users did. This is why creating a detailed CRM best practice guideline for your team is invaluable. Even if one exists it may be outdated and desperately in need of review. Above all else it should clearly map your sales process and organization specific sales definitions so that everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet.

3) Record Everything

Too often company’s CRM systems data is sparse and incomplete, shock horror information on key accounts is missing. Though it might be time-consuming at first, it soon becomes second nature to record key points from every conversation. A big advantage of this is that if your top salesperson leaves, their replacement can immediately see all of latest information for key accounts in one convenient place. It helps with the business’ continuity, never mind ability to gain clear insights into what’s working and what isn’t.

4) Use Reports & Dashboards

Reports derived from your CRM are crucial to understanding what is going on in your sales department. Yet very few companies know how to mine all this potentially valuable data and if they do it’s usually in a time-consuming manner i.e. they spend considerable time moving information from the CRM system they use into Excel.

Having a proactive CRM system could save them hours of grunt work. BriteBiz offers much more than a CRM, it’s a way to manage your entire sales process from start to finish. Companies have used it as an intelligent, proactive sales management system that makes it easier for salespeople to focus on what they do best, selling.

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