CRM is still a capacious term. And its implementation result at organizations is still different from the initial vision, due to timeline, lack of preparation, compromises, cost savings, poor planning. What’s more important, „finished” projects are not continued. This continuous development (to still enable more to Business) is usually not done or done not enough. And yet there is so much that could be helpful, that could drive for better performance of our sales teams.
Following points are something that companies should strive for, something that will help enforce CRM as per vision, and is feasible as technology is more powerful:
„360 view” of a customer and contact – concept is still alive, although enabling it is a tough job. Not only from solution perspective but from organizational processes as well. Let’s imagine we can see in a common place:
- Marketing activities, customer interests and potential, satisfaction and NPS results
- Sales is easily visible by subscriptions and install base, pipelines for various business types, last orders with its logistics statuses
- Product design collaboration – for more customized businesses
- Full financial view (synergy of having ERP and CRM – you bought it for) with sales volume statistics, credit limits, margin, receivables, timeliness of payments
- Customer service and service cases like complaints, service requests, cyclical inspections, devices status from IoT
- External sources like network news, social media (e.g. LinkedIn) and stock updates – all as possible decision helpers.
CRM should be something that helps Sales rep indeed. But how?
- Present leads from various sources, not only forms filled in if we play much with e.g. inbound marketing concept or promotion, but also automated proposals including sales trends – both from customer perspective (history? cross/upsell? others bought this as well?) and industry/product category needs and specifics
- Also other sorts of information like decreasing sales signals as effect of our anti-churn strategies, notifying on important tasks
- Customer engagement scoring – let me see what customer is actually doing and how often interacts with us (our product info page? newsletter actions?)
- Already nurtured leads – before forwarding to Sales rep (warm or hot)
- Recognizing similarities – kind of AI assistant when working with new RFP. Similar offers might be done already by others. Let’s just show it. And I am not talking only about duplicates here when same RFP come from various channels – here it would be good just to show them contextually to Sales rep.
- Guiding during sales process and advising on steps as per our methodology e.g. by activity advisor
- Helping in routing a case to correct person (region, skill, product)
Easy to use and helping in onboarding for incomers,
- Easy, proactive, but helping keeping company’s sales methodology
- Enabler but also process and data quality keeper
- Handheld device app available – as place of work is no longer an obstacle
- Source or home page for looking for most important company, process and portfolio information, but also market news
- Enabling collaboration and team communication – on deals, or in general cooperation as well
Help drive totally different BU’s,
- Sharing accounts and not duplicating those (especially in bigger businesses with BU’s selling different goods to same customers)
- Information sharing as well both on account team and company level
- Enough place and functionality so that customer support and backoffice could also work daily in it (both for helping customer and sales)
- Intuitive dashboards helping understand company pipeline, not only single business type/unit pipeline
The one open for next challenges,
- Helping in quick adaptation (days not weeks or months) – new processes, new businesses
- Customizable – in a controllable manner
- Easy to integrate as well
- Still being enforced with features helping in future challenges.
CRM Product Owner with a team that,
- Thinks of process and solution. Listens to Sales. Motivated to help.
- Tracks releases and plans the internal roadmap
- Streamlines CRM usage and adaptation (Engagement Manager role)
- Conducts trainings, creates and manages how-to guides (CRM Trainer role)
- Solves Sales team business needs and answers questions (Data Analyst role)
Please write if you want to discuss how to push further your CRM (both application and organization).