CRM Solutions Accelerate Sales Methods – Q & A #1
Question 1: I can see the value of the use of CRM software for sales managers, but I have difficulty selling the idea to a salesperson. What would convince them to use it?
Change management is always challenging. You can’t apply a recipe that ensures acceptance of changes. However, best practices include having the sales team involved from the start in the selection and implementation of a CRM solution as they are the ones who will drive the most benefit from its implementation. The collective goals of implementing CRM software must be kept in mind. If, as a team, we agree to select an automated mobile CRM application for ease of use on the road and the software selected is delivered with a lot of chunky buttons which are not easily accessible and it requires the latest version of the most fashionable smartphone to access it, then it is more likely that adoption issues will arise as will questions regarding who this software is really for.
Question 2: What is the ROI of purchasing CRM software if I only have two (2) salespeople in my team? Is there a minimum sales force size required to achieve return from a CRM implementation?
There is no minimum number of salespeople, apart from usage limits imposed by some software vendors. We have definitely seen organizations that had 2 or 3 salespeople with a sales director and customer service agents who used the CRM software. Think of it as enterprise software, much like we see an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software). CRM solutions enable us to support client relationships and provide the ultimate customer experience. You may ask, if a company has a president and a salesperson who are responsible for sales, why do they need a CRM solution? It may be that through the sales process they trigger new demands that will impact their company’s operations. Automating the sales process while integrating it to your operations will result in time saving for the entire organization and allow your sales staff to spend more time selling rather than answering a lot of email.
Question 3: I’m amazed that salespeople spend only 25% of their time on selling. Where do we get these numbers from and how can we increase this percentage?
Paceproductivity.com , is a benchmark organization that produces productivity studies. The study that was produced in the last few years highlights statistics of salespeople’s activities and although the figures may have changed in 2016, we’re not going back to 1992. Today, Pace Productivity works with mobile devices or applications for smartphones in order to map and track all the activities of a given sales group, and then publishes the results.
Question 4: Based on your experience, what are the main reasons for implementing a CRM solution?
The implementation of a CRM solution will generally bring benefits to the organization in terms of productivity gain. Thus, if an organization is able to take time-consuming activities with little value and automate them using a CRM application, this represents a return.
Going back to the previous question regarding the fact that salespeople are selling only 25% of their time, if a CRM implementation can raise this ratio to 30% or 35%, just by restructuring the work process, wouldn’t it be worthwhile? These numbers are ambitious but attainable! Instead of spending one day a week on sales activities the salesperson will spend a day and a half. This means that rather than closing 1 or 2 opportunities per month, perhaps he/she will close 3 or 4 new sales per month – a gain for both the salesperson and the company.
Last important reason, although there are tons of other reasons, is that the centralization of “customer information” brings great benefit to the entire organization. Beyond the sales perspective, the fact that everything is in one place for marketing, customer service, social media managers and other departments allows us to create a better customer experience because there is more integrated information available about our customers.
(To see the second part of the Q & A, click here.)
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