For a time, the world’s most populated zip code (according to data entered online) was 90210.Not because of the number of people living in the exclusive enclave for the rich and famous, though.
It was the high volume of people outside of the US making it so popular. When asked to input their address to access content or complete a form, they entered the zip code referenced on the 90’s TV show, Beverly Hilly 90210.
What does this snippet of pop culture have to do with CRM? It is symptomatic of practices we see across many businesses today and what leads to CRM issues.
The vast majority of companies using CRM software do so to organize their prospects and manage the sales pipeline. They use the data recorded to forecast future revenues and plan accordingly. In theory, it’s flawless. In execution, it can be painful.
We hear many complaints, including the sales team being frustrated by the onerous, administrative task of updating information. The result sees them often not updating the information which leads to CRM issues. And even when they do, it’s rushed to meet a deadline and provides the least amount of input required.
The best case scenario is the c-suite relying on outdated or incomplete information to make forecasts and plan resources. In the worst case, the data is simply wrong – from telephone numbers like +1 000 000 0000 to projected values of $555,555.
While some of these inconsistencies are more significant than others, the fact remains that any business plan built on them is done so on a less than solid basis.
Let’s Play the Blame Game
Pointing the finger at sales teams for these shortcomings is wrong. The real challenge is finding a solution for them that aids their workflow. Amazing salespeople don’t sit at their desks completing data entry. And why would you even want them to?
High-performing salespeople find motivation from closing deals and meeting goals. They like action, relationship building and the art (and science) of persuasion. Those short-term objectives are what they are judged against. If they spend all their time on a SaaS platform and the result is no sales, nobody wins.
No statistic or segmentation in the world will close a deal faster – so why do we constantly ask them to spend time filling in data to populate reports? If we expect salespeople to fill in data, there has to be a payoff for them – moving deals along and closing more quickly is all that matters.
Any good CRM will engage the user to create the lead quickly and offer the most appropriate follow up to ensure that it’s handled efficiently. The salesperson spends little-to-no time on the platform, and the sales manager has visibility on the key metrics that determine success.
Find a System That Works For You
A salesperson wants to focus on easy lead creation from multiple sources. They want to set calendar synced follow-ups for the next step, ensuring the system is populated by all available leads and features details on the deal flow.
Such a process affords both salespeople and managers access to concrete data on the number of incoming leads, their progress and the speed with which they are moving through the pipeline.
This again is where a traditional CRM approach fails them, causing CRM issues. The contact-first approach has no mandatory next step assigned. Even the most conscientious sales star is likely to forget to call and therefore miss closing the deal.
Having the data in one place, and linking leads to calendar actions emulates the sales thought process. They can log activity and edit the lead status every day. By building these personalized sales paths for each lead, sales teams see a complete view and history of each lead.
Such a process is useful for the individual but invaluable for team leads trying to manage resourcing and share leads across teams. From a management perspective, this enables the creations of teams and assignments in a much more customized and transferable way.
Make Change Easy
As people join and leave the team, permissions can be set to help them view and act on the lead history. Equally crucial for growing sales teams is an ability to integrate with third-party apps. We all have individual preferences – from Gsuite to MailChimp to Quickbooks to Slack.
Tools that are tech agnostic are much more likely to be used and updated. The result will give managers a clearer vision of the lead flow and allows them to better manage and adapt to changes as they happen.
Traditional CRM software is built for marketers and managers, and yet we constrain the sales team to work with them, contrary to their intuition and skill sets. No wonder CRM issues arise.
By moving to a lead-first rather than contact-first approach, the c-suite empowers a sales teams to focus on selling. It provides data that offers the most comprehensive view of deal flows to inform future plans.
If you agree with our analysis, you can check out noCRM.io to help your salespeople close more deals while ensuring that you keep an eye on the company’s global sales pipeline.
Sunny Paris – noCRM.io CEO
Source: Originally published on MarTechSeries