Twenty years ago, CRM systems were considered as an electronic Rolodex or a “Big Brother” management surveillance system.
A lot has changed in 20 years and the new CRM solutions are really sales enablement tools. Modern CRM’s put information your team needs at your fingertips and puts more dollars in your sales reps’ pockets. As a distributor who started using CRM’s twenty years ago (full disclosure I was a White Cup Customer), I can attest a lot has changed for CRM’s and the way distributors sell that have made them much more effective.
In my opinion, there are 5 key steps to making sure your CRM delivers the sales growth you need.
Establish Metrics that Matter
Be sure to have metrics in place and clearly articulate, what does success look like? What is the company trying to accomplish? If it’s a growth year, an appropriate metric might be growing your share of wallet with existing customers. If the focus is greater profitability, the metrics might be different, such as improving upsell rates within the existing customer base.
Focus on What’s in It for Your Sales team
Does your CRM make processes easier and more efficient for the sales rep – i.e., reducing the time to prepare a quote, or eliminating the need to send ten emails back and forth to close out a deal? The most successful companies focus on features that significantly improve the daily life of sales reps. This should include providing visibility to things that help them build relationships and ultimately sell more – i.e., What products did the customer buy from us over the past six months?
CRM’s need an Executive Sponsor
Executive sponsorship and leadership is crucial to a successful CRM rollout. An executive sponsor who embraces and evangelizes its importance to your strategy and goals can be make or break to success.
Make a Big SplashFirst impressions count
It’s important to your entire organization excited about the CRM rollout to generate com. Punctuate your launch with an ev – ent; it doesn’t have to be fancy, but order in pizza and beer at the very least. And don’t wait – just do it; perfection is the enemy of good. Focus on the “Magic” Technology does the things that humans and spreadsheets can never do. CRM is particularly powerful in identifying things that matter – such as critical correlations and helping with task prioritization. This helps triangulate the opportunities representing the highest and best chance of closure and value to sales reps.
The most valuable resource your sales reps have is time
The “magic” of CRM lies in its ability to surface the “unseeable” and help guide sales to those actions producing the most outstanding returns in exchange for their time. ERP systems offer a tremendous amount of information, but they are cumbersome to extract data from; CRM makes valuable data insights easily consumable for sales. Start Simple, It’s probably a mistake to try to do everything at once when it comes to training. Your organization may not be ready for that level of change. Not many people like to work on something they don’t understand; this can be very defeating. Narrow the focus of your training to start with high-level operations that provide significant value to sales reps. Once your salesforce has the basics down, they will have the foundation to level up their skills.
As a distributor if you haven’t checked out what a CRM can do for you. Now is the time.
If you want to learn more, I recommend you check out the White Cup team to learn more.