Customer relationship management (CRM) is the most efficient and effective way to tackle operational challenges. Everyone claims they can manage their business using an email client, task checklists, and a calendar, but we need to see the big picture. Organizing all your information into one system gives you that big picture. A CRM seamlessly integrates emails, tasks, calendars and so much more in one easily maintained and managed place that every employee can access in real time. CRMs have a proven track record of increasing*:
  • Sales by up to 29%
  • Sales Productivity up to 34%
  • Forecast accuracy by 42%
The challenge now becomes, how to get everyone in your organization to regularly use it? The CRM is only as valuable as the data that goes into it. Here are some points to keep in mind when looking at your CRM:

1.   Keep it simple.

Implementing a CRM that is too complicated will create resistance from those who already think they can operate without one. As a starting point your CRM should at the very least require:

    • Prospect Information
    • Last time of contact along with notes of that conversation
    • Follow up action (call, email, meeting, etc) with automatic reminder
    • Sales rep the opportunity is assigned to
    • Dollar value of the opportunity in your pipeline.

2.   Integration with your company’s other systems.

Does the CRM complement the systems and programs you already use (e.g. Microsoft Outlook)? Is it easy to import and export data? Can you sync your CRM with your e-mail client? A CRM that is isolated will not be useful.

3.   Train your team… routinely.

Teach your team how easy it is to complete tasks or to set a reminder for a month down the road. Show them the success stories of staying on top of a qualified prospect who keeps asking you to reach them in another 2 weeks. Find someone else in the office who is well trained and have them serve as the advocate for the system.

4.   If a call was made but it’s not logged in the CRM, did it ever really happen?

The CRM should serve as the only repository for history (calls, emails, meetings, etc.). No one gets credit for anything if it’s not recorded in the CRM. Every executive at the company has to adopt the CRM and use it religiously!

5.   Real-time Reporting

Make sure you are using your data to run reports to answer questions like: What meetings did your Sales Reps go on last week? What opportunities are “closest to the money”? How far are we from our monthly sales goal?

Implementing change can cause resistance from employees. Luckily, no one has ever regretted integrating a system that made their business more organized and productive. The integration process will take a few months to run smoothly but it is a necessary investment for your company’s successful future. For more information on how AltaVista can help your team integrate a CRM into its sales process please contact us by filling out the form on this page, calling us at 410-760-6680, or emailing us at [email protected]   *Source: https://www.salesforce.com/form/sem/sales_manage_sales.jsp

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