Submitted by: Chris Dohl, CEO, The Alias Group
The playoff race is in full swing for Major League Baseball but attendance continues to drop year over year. Currently, MLB attendance is down 975,000 fans in 2019 compared to 2018 at this time of year. As society continues to drive towards instant gratification is America’s pastime is becoming a thing of the past?
The sales process can also seem and be too long to maintain the attention of our salespeople, especially without a systematic approach to continually touch potential prospects. Many of your companies have CRM systems (customer relationship management systems), and many of you are struggling with managing them correctly to ensure that your sales team is getting what they need to effectively work through a long sales process.
A million articles have been written about the key reasons that CRMs fail. Instead of describing what doesn’t work, I’d like to describe why ours has been so successful at The Alias Group:
- It’s a critical part of the culture: The management team actively monitors and uses the CRM system as much as the sales teams. Utilizing our CRM in the sales process is a salesperson’s primary job. When you have a culture where not using the system is a performance issue, its adoption and success go up dramatically.
- We use the data to modify sales strategies: CRMs do an excellent job of tracking high-level opportunities to ensure that the sales team is pushing things to close during those sometimes long sales cycles. We utilize our CRM system to collect important pieces of information about the competition or customer buying decision processes. This enables us to utilize sales conversations to develop or modify sales strategies.
- We use it to manage our salespeople: Using the data from the CRM to track critical performance indicators like close rates, average opportunity open time, and overall quality call numbers ensures that the information from your salespeople will be entered in a timely manner. Actively talking to them about the data that you are using from the CRM lets the sales team know that your managing from the system and that in order for a call to count, it needs to be entered.
- It keeps you organized and on track: If you are an inside salesperson at The Alias Group, you can’t start your day without opening your CRM system. The specific campaigns that management kickoffs are grouped and prioritized within the system. So are the sales peoples’ individual tasks that have been prioritized as a necessary part of moving business to close. Having all of your sales activities prioritized and in one place makes it much easier to sleep at night. It also helps to quicken the sales cycle by continually moving those long sales opportunities forward.
- We resource it: Things will change as your sales process evolves or new product lines are launched. New marketing campaigns and management report requests are continually added and deleted from the CRM. It is important to allocate a resource to become an expert and manage all of these ongoing and natural modifications to your sales process. Or outsource that administration to a company passionate about CRM and sales.
Sometimes sales are like the regular season of the MLB and might require 162 touches before winning business. Not all of those touches are exciting, they might not yield any instant gratification, but utilizing the five things that have made our CRM successful will guarantee you a spot in the playoffs every year.