Sales reps and sales managers alike Technology, such as customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, will be more critical as we progress towards the future. Many companies have already put money into CRM platforms, and many have written about the ways in which the systems haven’t delivered the promised results. Thankfully, the CRM market is evolving and introducing new technologies which will improve results from investment in sales force automation.
The purpose of CRM
The concept behind CRM implementation is to boost the efficiency of the sales team by using better data. Salespeople are able to enter the most current plans and actions associated with an opportunity, contact, or account. This information is communicated to sales management and other people who are involved in selling. Because the information is constantly updated, teams are able to access the most up-to-date information. This means that the right hand is aware of what the left hand is doing, and the plan of action for that customer is a coordinated effort.
In the same way, CRM can help make selling more effective and collaborative by allowing all parties which are involved in the process to gain from the individual reps’ expertise once it’s entered into the CRM system. When the data is compiled and analyzed, the data output is more accurate to be used for planning purposes. “Collaborative selling advocates say it will help businesses achieve greater close rates, speed up the sales cycle and win more lucrative transactions,” writes Lisa Picarille in “Market Watch Collaboration Selling” (DestinationCRM.com Dec. 1st, 2003).
It’s a good idea, but it was the case that in past times, integration of technology into sales reps’ established and tried-and-tested method was often was met with resistance. Why is that? The majority of the time, the implementation of CRM systems hasn’t resulted in any tangible positive outcomes for salespeople.
At one time, “CRM used to be a storage facility of data, and is in a way,” says Chris Hens, who is the COO of San Mateo, Cal.-based White Springs. Salespeople would input information into the system, and that data may be helpful to the company in general. However, the salesperson was never able to appreciate the advantages. “That’s the old way of doing things.”
“What is causing customers to be excited about what CRM is going to be in the near future] is the ways that CRM platforms or the accompanying applications provide information back to the salesperson,” Hens says. “A computer is supposed to help you, but it can’t do that if it doesn’t have enough–or correct–information. The aim is to create enough information so that computers can provide salespeople with suggestions.”
Realizing that increased user engagement is essential for sales executives to benefit from the increased amount of data, both terms of quality and quantity, tech innovators have been working towards creating a more effective mousetrap: software that connects to CRM systems of companies that help salespeople complete their job better and more efficiently.
To encourage user adoption, Create Value.
White Springs is among those pioneers who are trying to improve the personal sales rep’s experience using CRM. White Springs helps Miller Heiman integrate its sales processes in conjunction with the various CRM systems of its clients. Systems.
For example, Miller Heiman’s Sales ManagerSM (SAM) permits salespeople to utilize strategic Selling(r) Blue Sheets and Conceptual Selling(r) Green Sheets that are integrated into CRM, so salespeople are able to utilize the sales process in a digital format. The information they input on the sales strategy sheets is automatically in your CRM’s database. The CRM database is popular with salespeople because it is now supporting the sales process they’ve opted into and are using.
Applications that integrate with CRM, in addition to sales methodology integration software. This includes software that gives information about areas, details on important decision-makers, key players, or competitors, as well as the appropriate sales collateral for an upcoming selling situation.
To add an increase in sales force value and improve their adoption, Hens states that you need be aware of what they require. Each salesperson, every day, requires something unique. “In the end, the process we’re implementing is creating an environment on which sales best practices or techniques are integrated directly to the CRM platform and are able to be used within the context of the daily sales cycle. This means that it will make CRM more effective than just a place for data,” Hens says.
With the introduction of these types of apps that can connect to CRM systems and give immediate value for salespeople, the outlook is wide-open. According to Hens states, “the way of the future is that those who are skilled in providing the elements that salespeople or sales managers require, just when they need it, will help propel the forward movement.”
The Effects For Sales Leaders
“Sales leaders are focused on two things What’s the issue? How can I solve it?” Hens remarks.
If the user’s adoption is low, the CRM may not have sufficient data within the CRM software to address those questions, or it could be that the data may not be correct. Users can be motivated through a user interface that assists the salesperson; however, sales leadership has a significant role to play for CRM to be fully effective and to live up to the vision of functionality that is beyond it. Adoption must be pushed by the managers, Hens says. “It is essential to make it an integral part of the process of business. If every salesperson is doing his own thing, then you’ll not reap the rewards.”
As more people use this CRM software by salespeople, more – and more accurate data will be inserted into the software, and more precise analysis of the issues and solutions will be feasible. Sales managers will be capable of taking the next step towards advancement: using analytics to identify the things that are working and not in the selling process.
The information that is reliable is able to identify patterns in the customer’s behavior and create more precise forecasts. In the event that sales representatives quit the company, their customer records don’t go with them. It’s still part of the CRM system. It’s accessible and easy to reassign.
Miller Heiman has been an innovative thinker and leader in the field of sales for over 30 years. He has helped clients around the world achieve complex, high-value deals as well as grow and protect important accounts to manage talent and optimize sales strategy and operations.
With a distinguished client list that comprises Fortune 500 clients, Miller Heiman assists companies across every primary industry build highly efficient sales teams that provide consistently sustainable results that drive revenues.