CRM Meets the Sales Process [Video]

4 min read
June 30, 2016


Closing the Sales Loop on Sales and Marketing

This past week, we were thrilled to host a happy hour networking event, Closing the Sales Loop, for businesses in Minneapolis. In a presentation that evening, we discussed the topic of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, specifically the benefits, implementation practices, and the importance of sales and marketing alignment.

CRMs are transforming the way organizations and businesses interact with prospects and customers. Here are a few statistics from the presentation to highlight what a CRM can do for you:

Video Presentation: CRM Meets the Sales Process


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CRM & Sales Process Consulting

Video Transcription

Today we’re going to talk about the CRM. I don’t know about any of you guys who work in sales, but I’ve never heard a sales person say any of these things before. But these are all that a CRM really should do, right? In fact, most people when they talk about their CRM, it kind of sounds like this.

[video on the problems sales people have with CRMs]

Why Bother With a CRM?

What are we suppose to do? So, why bother with a CRM when it’s got all these bad connotations to it? Well, because research shows that companies that do use a CRM are more productive.

  • They save time. And especially, I think, [reference to audience member], you were eluding to earlier, the fact that you can automate a lot of things like emails and all of that makes it [CRMs] very time saving.
  • Research also shows that it improves communication. If we look at what were the aspects of business that were most impacted by a CRM, customer retention is at the top.
  • With the CRM, you can segment your list, because we all want to feel like we’re getting personal attention. And so, if we get emails continually that are irrelevant to us, we just delete them without opening. But if we feel like it’s exactly our problems, because we’re in their bucket with people who have similar issues, we’re more likely to pay attention to those things [emails].
  • CRMs also improve organization. As sales people today, our role is more of a trusted advisor. Trusted advisors, that takes time to build relationships, build trust, and all that. And it’s usually not a one off meeting. It’s usually lots of meetings, lots of calls before someone eventually becomes a prospect. CRMs help you keep track of all of that as well as all the history that goes into everything, and keeping track of when you need to follow up next.
  • Ultimately, the CRMs should help you sell more. In fact, the research shows that generally sales people sell 41 percent more when they’re using a CRM.

Why CRM Implementations Sometimes Fail

  1. [reference to audience member], like you were saying earlier, your company does have a CRM. Not a lot of people are fans of using it, and it’s usually because something went wrong during the implementation. Like pitching an idea to anybody for any reason, nobody wants to feel forced into having to use something. So the implementations go much better when the whole team, or at least a subgroup of the team, meets together to talk about what are the objectives, what are the main things that we need to have in this CRM.
  2. Another reason that implementations fail is because people feel they are too time consuming to use. Hubspot is an example; when their sales team use to use Salesforce, which is one of the most popular ones. They did a survey and realized that their sales people were spending an hour and a half every day just on data entry. So when they went to go build their own CRM, they made a point to eliminate as much of the data entry portion as they could.

How to Successfully Implement a CRM

So, essentially all the tips for successfully implementing are all the opposite of what goes wrong, or why do implementations fail. Something we hear often is usually a sales manager saying:

“I’ve got just one guy who refuses to use the CRM system. What do I do about that?”

What we recommend to prevent that from happening, is to incorporate the CRM as part of your training or onboarding processes for that person. And also to integrate the CRM into your whole process, so that it's just one step in the whole thing. And then we’ve seen people include that piece of the process in updating the CRM in that person’s job description, or that role’s job description.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

The single largest opportunity for improving overall business performance in any organization is the collaboration of the sales and marketing team, which is pretty profound I think. And the reason that this is important now is because the CRM piece is what enables this relationship to work better. That’s what unites them both, is the CRM. The collaboration with sales and marketing.

Here’s a couple of ways to do that. Basically it's about communication, and having both teams on the same page as far as what is exactly considered the target persona that we’re going after. Who, in any organization, has the most information about customers? Who has the most contact with customers? Sales.

And who’s usually responsible for the website content, sales collateral, and emailing customers? Marketing, right? So if they’re not sharing that information on a regular basis, there’s no way that marketing can do their end if sales doesn’t give them that information.

3 Important Takeaways Regarding CRMs

So, just to recap, the CRMs are basically to help you with these three things.

  1. efficiency,
  2. communication, not only within your company but also externally with your customers, and
  3. personalizing content that you’re sending to them.

But CRM implementations need to planned carefully. And the way to achieve real business growth is through having not only the CRM, but also the sales and marketing alignment piece of it.

Take the next step:
CRM & Sales Process Consulting