Most CRM systems are used as a reporting tool for the management and not as a supporting tool for the sales team. Many salespeople consider CRM an administrative burden, while in fact it could be their personal coach. If you use CRM efficiently, the entire sales team can monitor the positions of the different customer contacts in the buying cycle and better prepare themselves for a next meeting. If you use CRM wrong, your sales team will lose valuable time and miss out on potential deals.
Investing in CRM is always worth the effort and the investment does not necessarily make up a large part of your budget. Time and attention will already help you to benefit more from CRM. Make sure your customer contacts are central to your system. Rather than the measurement and reporting of general statistics.
Turn your CRM into a pleasant system for everybody: increase the user-friendliness, delete unnecessary fields, use live CRM screens at meetings and adjust your processes. You will achieve results within one month and especially reduce the time spent on leads that are not ready yet and lead nowhere. A lead is only useful if you know where the contact is situated in the buying cycle. That is when sales and marketing can intervene at the right moment and in the right way. Coaching helps you align sales and marketing.
Spend more time on small data. We focus too much on how we must continuously gather new information and big data are a hype. As a result, we may forget to use existing data properly. A great deal of CRM systems are full of incomplete or outdated information. Instead of considering a new CRM system, you should make an in-depth analysis of the current situation. You will see that you are able to advance a lot with a few minor adjustments.
Improve quickly in five steps
- Examine each step of your potential customer’s buyer journey and make sure this is highlighted in your CRM
- Make sure sales and marketing are on the same wavelength in terms of buying stages and use the same definition of ‘lead’
- Analyse the situation of the current data in your CRM and focus on the most important information
- Adjust CRM so that it can be used as soon as possible by marketing and sales, asking less information, making it less compulsory and providing more structure in the screens and choices
- Do not turn CRM into a reporting tool, but instead use it as a supporting tool for salespeople to offer added value to the buying customer