A new discussion upon organisations problems in CRM: what keeps them away from efficiency
- Is data input in the CRM time expensive?
- Does CRM management take focus away from sales?
In this article Choosing a CRM: An everyday sales tool
Are sales people overwhelmed by tasks and clients’ instance?
Sale activity has been told impossible to plan: just a call from a client can change the whole day. Dealing with always urgent, unplanned requests from clients, makes impossible to stick to a plan. On top of it results are notoriously out of control.
What we can control, in the sales process, are the activities we do in order to bring people along the journey from lead to client.
The CRM, as a sales process management tool, should facilitate sales people to stick with activities against each lead, bringing them along the journey to make them discover the value proposition. To achieve that, pipelines must be designed according to the real “journey” so that sales persons will be empowered in taking control of everyday actions. It will bring forward each lead to the next stage up to complete the journey.
Activities in sales happen everyday.
When salespeople keep the ball rolling day after day more prospects become clients. Quality of actions and consistency along the journey, from requirements collect to gap analysis, from qualification to trial, will boost the sales process conversion rate. If sales people track activities seldom, the result is a discontinuity and it influences effectiveness: leads’ journey can be unmanned and conversion will stuck.
By making activities management enjoyable, CRM can help to skip that risk. Less effort, allowed by a well designed user interface and a proper logic behind it, will keep salespeople engaged. We can design what activities and when, the why, which is the logic of the CRM, whilst the User Interface is something embedded in the system. This is about the quality of the tool.
Activities Based Sale
This is a great benefit of Pipedrive: the whole logic has been developed upon this concept, that relies on the simple assumption that we cannot control sales results, what we can control are the quality and steadiness of activities we perform on the sales process.
When we keep focus on the “persona” as the main actor of the value proposition journey, design activities becomes easier in the CRM. Creating activities that matter to the persona and his journey will support each lead in exploring the value proposition and, on the other hand, support sales people in managing valuable activities to engage clients.
A visual pipeline shows activities along the sales process stages making easier to stick on each activity, record as done or renew it if necessary. When it happens it keeps high the commitment in use the CRM on everyday basis. It results into a more proper data structure, available in real time to everyone in the team.
Sale is a people game
Any tool, especially digital tools, should facilitate salespeople in playing the game. When everything is designed around the relationship it gives the ability to manage more useful data to close deals, and empowers salespersons to be more focused on the persona and his/hers needs.
Designing pipelines and activities is not a unique modelling, each business model requires a proper sales process, there is not a unique way. Some companies benefit of a pipeline with few stages some other required up to 5, 6 or even 7 stages, some companies propose a product trial and it implies more stages, other organisation instead benefit of a limited number of stages.
Stages in the pipeline are visual informative labels that allow everyone in overseeing sales trend by visualising:
- the number of leads at entry level – Lead Generation effectiveness
- the decrease of contacts at each stage – Sales process effectiveness
- the quantity of prospects in the latest stage of negotiation – Closing deals forecast
Pipeline stages optimisation
Some organisation risk to mix activities and pipeline stages, it is not so rare to find pipelines built on 10 and more stages. For instance: “lead to be contacted” – “lead contacted”, or “doc to be sign” and “doc signed” are both parts of the customer’s journey but meanwhile the two stages “to contact” and “contacted” can make sense in order to provide information, “document to sign” and “doc signed” can be an activity more than pipeline stages. The rational is to keep stages within a limited amount, it will smooths the process and speed up admin tasks, keep focusing on relevant information then show them by different layer of view.
How to avoid to stuck with a useless CRM
When an organisation is about to build its first CRM there is not enough awareness about these issues. Engaging salespeople in trial sessions from the very beginning may allow to evaluate deeper how the sales process management’s user experience works from their own position, then outsource a CRM expert able to highlight the future benefits and risks in the planning can be beneficial for organisations.
We at Pipedrive keep the focus on the user experience, we know the importance to smooth the process for sales people, to show valuable data easily, to build useful reporting to facilitate organisational learning upon the sales process.
We at easyCRM have the right skills to support business people in getting the best out of their CRM, our know-how on sales process management and all the little tricky issues of it, allows organisations in smoothing sales people job as never before.