Keeping track of your sales data
Helps and guides salespeople on their decisions and sales actions
Sales strategy and operations alignment
Sales operations are aligned with sales strategy
Sales efficiency and effectiveness pinnacle
There are four consecutive stages regarding your CRM journey. You start from one, eventually and hopefully, you end up with the last one. Let us explain each stage one by one:
- Record keeping
This is the first and foremost reason companies jump on the CRM train. You probably have the billing data, but when you move to the initial phases of the sales process, you would be craving for more sales activity and customer data to have a better understanding towards your sales pipeline parameters.
To have a CRM platform up and running never guarantees that you will have all the data you need. Do not forget; CRM is the place where you should have the digital footprint of your sales actions and the related data. To have a complete picture, you do not have to put in more data nor every possible KPI to track. Some sales data is more defining and more potential insight than others. So, you should choose the most valuable data and KPIs and change some of them periodically not to let any spot to stay in dark forever. A proper data hygiene and data completeness practices should also not be missed.
2. Guides salespeople
Most of the CRM implementation incidents fail to reach this phase. CRM structures of the previous phase may function as process enforcer drawing strict paths to be followed by salespeople, but mostly they fail in guiding the salespeople through their daily struggles. That is one of the main reasons of low engagement by the users. Because if salespeople are continually required to put in data to CRM, never have its benefits in return, this means you stuck in the record keeping function.
If designed and implemented correctly, a CRM should help salespeople in deciding which opportunity to follow up, which pricing policy to choose, which customers are inclined to be churn, alternative sales approaches to choose if they stuck, and valid arguments to use to beat the competition.
3. Sales strategy and operations alignment
On top of guiding function, CRM functionality and the way user experience is designed should bring in and reflect company’s sales strategy to the sales operations. Which customer segments to focus on, which value propositions to use on different customer profiles, which sales channels to put forward are some of the issues addressed at this stage.
Even more than that, CRM has evolved to become the epicentre of collecting feedback and insights from stakeholders and a medium to generate new sales strategies and tactics. This stage represents an ongoing sales performance optimisation where two-way communication channels between stakeholders are set up and running. Action, feedback, learning, and optimisation loops run on the CRM.
4. Strategical leverage
Suppose you continue to better your CRM in every possible way up through the stages better than the competition, including integrating all your related sales platforms and systems. In that case, you can reach a stage where your whole CRM structure and functionality will serve you as a killer competitive advantage. This last stage is represented by the sales efficiency and effectiveness pinnacle. Your CRM turns into a strategic leverage. You can make the same amount of sales with half the number of salespeople or double the sales of your respected competition. The best part of it is this: All your highly customised processes, ongoing optimisations, AI-based smart decision-making tools, your sales enablement tools, and the way you use sales data become so integrated, blended and cemented in your CRM, no competition can distinguish the unique factors or comprehend what lies behind your unbeatable success. This is the paragon of the CRM.
Which stage represents your CRM?