CRM and the Sales Manager

Without doubt a Customer Relationship Management system is the way to achieve total customer satisfaction and generate repeat sales. A good CRM strategy can take a company with a good quality product or service, to the top of its market sector. The benefits however, extend further. Internal systems and relationships can also gain a significant boost.

Time to Look Inward

It’s not uncommon for sales teams and their associated processes to have evolved as the team grew. Everybody had their own input and the resulting systems have little overall structure.

As part of a successful CRM implementation an in-depth analysis of the whole sales process should take place. This should involve not just the management team. but representatives from all levels and areas involved with sales. It will soon become apparent just how many times the same information is re-keyed, stored unnecessarily, stored secretly or duplicated in different formats, i.e. databases, spreadsheets, personal records and so on.

CRM and Sales Management

A good quality consultation session can pay for itself several times over by achieving better use of resources and so freeing up people’s time. That extra sales admin person you’ve been asking for might already be sitting in the office, doing other work which is unnecessary or easily automated.

Information gives You the Power to Act

Once your CRM systems are in place and the sales are really humming, you, as Sales Manager, suddenly have access to more information than you’ve ever had before. In addition to knowing who your current and potential customers are, and how you can best serve them, you’ll also start to see what your sales team is really doing! Nobody is suggesting you should become a Genghis Khan, ruling by the sword, but now that you have vastly improved performance information you can use it in a really positive way.

If your sales team is typical, you can safely apply the 80/20 rule; which is to say that 20% of the team brings in 80% of the business. The question is, what makes that 20% so much more productive than the rest? You might just assume they work harder, and you’d probably be right - up to a point. But almost certainly they work smarter too. Now you have the time to find out how they work smarter. Once you know the answer to that you can make sure those skills are passed on to the rest of the team.

Consider too the poorer performers. They probably work hard enough, but somehow don’t quite make it to the final sale as often. Do you know at what point, or why, their deals fail? It’s worth finding out. It could well be that a simple training issue in one small area could turn them into your top salespeople

Identifying the key points in the sales process and recording them in the CRM system will provide you with the reliable activity statistics which will highlight what your team is doing well, and also where individual members appear to skimp or lose the plot.  

Take it personally

Now consider your own situation. Have you ever been guilty of  studying quotas and bottom line sales figures and then making decisions based on those factors alone? With a good CRM system in place, you will find yourself able to make a more informed evaluation of your team’s performance. Then you can take whatever steps are necessary to build a better future for it and of course, for yourself.