I’ve been working with a client recently and we’re getting ready to upgrade their Act! As part of the project, I asked my client what was their defined sales process. And I got the answer I was actually expecting. There was none.
Most of the sales reps had been selling this product line for years. They knew what to do. It just came naturally to them. So I asked him were they planning on bringing anyone on board who was not familiar with the products or how they all sell. He said yes. I asked him how they were planning on training them. He said the boss would follow them around showing them the ropes.
This happens all the time. It’s been this way for years in many organizations. But can you imagine how much faster a sales person could come up to speed if there was a defined process and a tool to keep track of it. The tool part is easy – pick a CRM. My choice is Act! but what I’m talking about here would work for any tool. It’s the defined process that is typically either missing or varies depending on who you talk to.
As I was talking to my client I told him of my 3-word description of a successful CRM implementation. Define, Train and Enforce.
Define the process.
When there is no defined sales process it’s hard to design a CRM infrastructure or to keep everyone on the same page. Yes, it’s probably true that all the reps know what to do but it’s a good chance they all do it differently. And keep it in their heads or on yellow pads. And all that business knowledge and experience goes away if they do. A defined process keeps everyone on the mark and a good CRM keeps track of it all. For easy access later.
Train on the tool and process.
Once you have defined the process and built a CRM implementation, now you need to train the users. That does not mean putting a link to a website or an icon on a desktop and then saying – “here ya go.” It means documenting the process and the CRM tool and showing people how to use it. Hold periodic sessions to talk about the tool and if there needs to be extra fields added or steps enhanced or changed. The end users become your most valuable resource in tweaking the system to perfection.
Enforce the Process.
The word Enforce sounds harsh but it’s not meant to be. What it means is gently reminding people to update their information. Keep track of the opportunities and leads. Follow up on things not dealt with recently. Establishing a good discipline of updating information is very valuable for so many reasons. But someone needs to make sure it’s happening. You need a person in your organization who becomes the gentle “enforcer” to keep everyone on track. The paybacks will be huge for everyone. Management knows what’s going on. The users can find historical information quickly and tell who has not been contacted recently. You can establish Key Performance Indicators to validate that the process is indeed working.
A good CRM is a win/win for your company, your staff and most importantly, your customers.
Here’s a little chart I designed to help show this process. [Infographic]
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