Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a holistic and comprehensive approach to the sales lifecycle with a well thought out paradigm of servicing the customers. With automation and the implementation of a CRM system, the sales team can rationalize their costs as well as leverage the benefits of the integration of hitherto discrete processes. Moreover, workflow automation helps reduce time and money. It has been found that the global market for CRM is now estimated to grow to around $80 Billion USD by 2025, thanks to the advantages to businesses from it (https://techspective.net/).
Importance of CRM
How CRM is useful to Sales
Customer Relationship Management helps the sales team streamline their sales processes and reap the benefits from the economies of scale and leverage the synergies from the integration of discrete processes. The sales team can reach their sales targets quickly and actualize cost savings apart from increasing profitability. Closing the deals in is smoother, and the end to end sales value chain is optimized, including the benefits from faster sales funnel processes. This has resulted in an increase in the overall CRM usage from 56% to 74% (https://www.superoffice.com/).
Five reasons why sales team need CRM
- Better Time Management as automation reduces tedious manual processes as well as helps reduce time-consuming offline steps by bringing them online
- Helps the sales team target potential customers better in addition to better relationship management with efficient servicing of customer needs
- Helps the sales team in sensing the needs of customers and intuiting what they want from them.
- The sales team can minimize the administrative and routine work
- More importantly, the sales team can cut down on costs and increase its revenues from both existing and returning customers.
Indeed, customer retention costs go down as do the customer acquisition costs due to technology-driven analytics that help better targeting and customer servicing.
Effective Ways to Train Sales Team
For effective training of the sales team, they must first be motivated to try the new system and then, incentivized for their hard work. Without the active participation of the sales team, CRM training sessions are bound to fail and hence, there must be a reward system in place to ensure that the sales team participates enthusiastically
There must be a detailed training plan in place, and consists of phases of the entire training process wherein learning outcomes can be measured at every step to monitor the process. Constant feedback from the trainers and tests and mock or dry runs of the sales team using the CRM system must be conducted to track the progress. This would enhance the Sales CRM Usability. As such, there must be greater emphasis on hands-on training and in the field exercises so that the eventual rollout would be smooth.
Companies can also initiate something like ‘Train the Trainer program’ can be put in place wherein knowledge transfer happens to the latter by third-party consultants. In turn, the trainers can train other users who would then cascade down the line creating a community of users from the sales team, adept at using the CRM system.
Key Tips to Implement CRM Successfully
Research has shown that nearly 75% of CRM implementations fail due to various reasons, and hence, it is important for businesses to have an effective CRM Implementation Plan in place. Here are some of the ways how businesses can ensure that their CRM is implemented successfully.
Top Management Buy-in is critical to successful CRM Implementation. Without active encouragement and backing of the top management, it would be unrealistic to expect the rank and file employees to be motivated enough to use the CRM system.
Identify a capable and effective Project Manager who can ensure that the sales team is trained well and adapts to the changing nature of work processes after the CRM is implemented.
It is also important to have an effective CRM strategy and a detailed CRM implementation plan in place to ensure all-round adaptation to the new system.
One cannot overemphasize the need for effective training of the sales team who would use the system.
A Super User or a Know it All can be identified who would be the SPOC or Single Point of Contact for all users to go to him or her whenever there are problems with the implementation. This would lead to more productive Sales CRM Usability.
Customer Relationship Management is no longer a luxury and a necessity in these times when uber-competitive market forces demand agility and speed as far as responding to fast-changing market conditions is concerned.