This is part 2 of our Top 12 points on implementing sales CRM software. Part one can be found here: Part 1: Top 12 points on implementing sales CRM software
- Next is to keep a record of communications with your client base. In enterprise level software systems they have a functionality known as email synchronisation (Mamut Enterprise Software). This means as long as the email address is inputted against the contact person’s name, then the contents is copied into an activity and the attachment as a document. If the email is responded to in outlook then the activity is auto completed. The same is true of phone calls as they can recorded or a summary note attached to contact. Why is this important? it keeps all the information dealing with that customer in one place and means the whole organisation customer focused? In my industry the gestation period from first contact to final sale can take years. I was told a story of a client who rang back a vendor after a few years and the sales rep could repeat back to him the conversation they had 5 years previously including sector and technical details. The customer signed off there and then as he wanted that system. The deal was worth 40k.
- The reason it is called a “Contact Resource Management” is that it should also ensure that goods or services can be provided to the customer in a timely fashion. There is no point in getting the sale if you have not got the goods. A good CRM system should have displayed current stock levels, with backorders so that a customer can be informed of when their purchase becomes available. This a must for businesses that have physical inventory but also applies to services industries in terms of deploying personnel ensuring that that a business has access to trained staff to handle large orders. (Architects would be a prime example)
- As part of charge management, staff need to be trained, and success measured by adapting and using the new system. Rewards should not just be dished out simply on meeting sales target’s but also on how many follow up calls are made, new contacts entered into the system and have the been entered directly? People need to be encouraged to use the new system and know their performance is measured on its use.
- Like all databases it operates like a library. It’s either gold in gold out, or rubbish in rubbish out depending on the data entered into the system. Unfortunately people are people and they are prone to mistakes. As a process I limit the amount of choices a user has to enter information. Use of drop down menus minimises spelling mistakes is good practice. Appointing a staff member as a database policeman, to audit the system and “name and shame” culprits, also adds to a culture of being careful with that information.
- The last is your CRM system should to at least the invoice stage as %80 of your sales comes from existing customers. The ability to data mine your customer for potential up sale opportunities can be invaluable. In this exercise a wizard can be run to send a group email to anyone who has bought a related product within certain period (i.e. desk but not a chair). This communication is seen as non-obtrusive as you are looking out for your customer’s best interest while generating more sales.
- Review the success of the program against organisational budgets and expected outcomes. From this data you can then keep abreast of technological advances or other adaptations to the system that could then improve its’s functionality.
Once properly deployed technology can greatly enhance the sales process. Yet this cannot take away from the soft skills of dealing with people. It is when this human element combines with the benefits that information technology brings can a business grow in an ever changing environment.
We will be hosting a seminar on using technology in sales on the 28th of January 2016. Find out more here- Seminar: Using Technology to Drive Sales
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