We aren’t breaking new ground by telling you that business is all about growth. But you would be surprised to see how easily companies enter their chamber of comfortability. And it happens quicker than you think. One day you’re an emerging business; the next you’re plodding along in your routine.
Shocking people out of their comfort zone can be hard. Nobody likes change, and we tend to be more reactive than proactive by nature. For that reason, many businesses think their processes are fine and don’t need tweaking.
Let’s use sales as an example. Your reps are turning unqualified prospects into hard leads, which then convert into customers—all through a simple Excel sheet. But sooner or later, such a basic method is going to hinder rather than help.
I Don’t Want a CRM
As your incoming leads grow, managing them through Excel sheets and paper will become a pain point. It is much better to diagnose potential obstacles before they fester into a real problem.
You are at the point where you feel like a software more sophisticated than Excel is needed to progress. You do some research in your network and look to the internet for answers. The suggestions that keep coming up: “Choose a CRM”.
Fight the Resistance
A quick glance at CRM software can seem like information overload. Some of them boast thousands of features and are centralized to several disciplines. It’s not long before you decide that it’s not for your business.
You probably started searching for a sales CRM and found one for marketing needs, customer relations and retention and even e-commerce products. How did everything become so confusing so quickly? You were just looking for help with your sales process.
The reason is because most CRM software is built with big, corporate companies in mind. Smaller businesses, however, don’t have much need for the flashy back-of-the-box features many a CRM promises. SMBs want a process that is simple and doesn’t take away from the main goal: Selling.
Salespeople aren’t admin clerks who enter vast amounts of information into a computer. For that reason, it’s easy to see why reps, managers and CEOs might shy away from a CRM. They’re happy to continue using methods that seem to work. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
You don’t need to break something to improve it, though. Nobody likes change, but sometimes it is essential for moving your business to the next step. Finding a software that is core to your needs is part of a succinct message architecture within your team. Even if you think you don’t need one right now.
Manage Leads with Software
So what is the answer? Back to your trusty Excel sheet? Perhaps. But as the pipeline grows, your reps are going to end up missing important contacts. This can have a detrimental impact on business.
You can’t accept that you might miss a sale because Excel isn’t properly connected to your calendar. Nor can you afford to have your contacts’ data split between computers for each salesperson. It’s too hard to monitor stats or see your sales team waste precious time entering business card information for a future contact. Excel sheets are certainly not fit for purpose to manage a quick and painless sales process.
If Excel is too limited and CRM is too complex, the right solution is likely to be lead management software. It is the most optimized software for simplifying your sales and puts salespeople first, always focusing on the next step. There is a clear view of the sales pipeline – ideal for managers.
Think About your Core Needs
Ok, enough of the hard sell. Instead, really think about the points made above and why they are so integral to the everyday structure of your sales.
Let’s start with losing leads, which is something no salesperson wants to do. Missing out on a potential prospect is a cardinal sin and could be the difference between making a sales bonus. What is the point of having sales staff if they are letting leads slip through the net? With lead management software, as soon as a lead is created, it offers a next action.
And what about the data? Sure, you want to capture info so you can nurture your leads and customers. It helps you to upsell and make informed decisions about future campaigns. But none of that is relevant if it causes you to win fewer leads. Ask a salesperson to enter tons of data in a system and you will end up with a database full of poor information.
It’s also a chore for salespeople to enter more information on prospects than the FBI probably carries on its suspects.
Salespeople need structure, especially if they are managing so many prospects. That’s why the next step is the most important part of the process. A system needs to be in place that makes it easy to identify precisely where each prospect is in the sales process and what the next action that needs to be taken is.
It is important for the sales team and their manager to have clear access to the sales pipeline. You know exactly what stage your team has reached and any potential future outcome. There is transparency and a clear view of when calls, emails and appointments need to be followed up on.
Money Can’t Buy Me Love
So now you’re probably thinking, “that’s all well and good, but I already have Excel and I don’t want to pay for new software”. Don’t we all, but when software is so generic, it has a ceiling. Depending on how fast you grow, you’re either going to hit that ceiling or crash into it at 100mph.
Be prepared for growth, whether it is exponential or a natural progression. Let’s look at it this way: If you’re paying €15 per month for a product to equip each of your salespeople and aren’t generating a high ROI, you might as well pack up and go home. Blunt, maybe. Truthful, yes. What is 15$ compared to the salary of the sales person?
Most lead management systems are SaaS (software as a service), which means you have access from anywhere. There is no complicated software to install (unlike some CRM), and they have mobile apps for when you or your reps are on the go.
Put the Power in your Sales Reps Hands
You could say that a CRM is a “jack of all trades and master of none”. Once upon a time, when that was the status quo, businesses – no matter the size – had to make do. But in 2018, the demand is for specialized systems that enable people to do their job without frustration.
The sales industry is beating the drum loud and clear, asking for a service that focuses on converting leads with an easy-to-follow next step. Integrate more apps if you need to, but use a core system that empowers its salespeople.
That empowerment will ultimately lead to more conversions, which is all any salesperson or sales manager wants.