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