CRM is probably the most widely used and least well exploited type of technology in the B2B world. Here's what not to do.
Misusing a CRM can have a very negative impact on the sales process. And yet, the value of CRM best practices is often underestimated.
In December of 2018, business authority Scott Edinger published an article about CRM failure in the Harvard Business Review. According to his experience, in 90% of cases, adopting a CRM fails to grow the company.
That number is as spectacular as it is unsurprising.
But the situation is not hopeless.
So let's make sure that the 91% of companies over 11 employees that use a CRM do so productively!
Not evaluating your needs
The best thing you can do to improve and streamline your sales process is to get a CRM.
The worst thing you can do is not evaluating what you expect from it.
If you're doing it just because you heard it was a good way to improve sales, you're running straight into a wall.
All CRMs are different and have their own approach to sales. They're all designed for certain industries, company sizes, complexity of the products,...
You need to take that into account as well as your own specific needs.
Maybe a couple of Excel sheets will do the job. Or maybe you'll need Salesforce with 27 native integrations.
The only way to figure that out is to figure out your own needs.
Not getting input from end-users
The first thing you should worry about in a CRM, outside of the features, is whether your team is going to be able to work with it.
This isn't just a matter of CRM best practices. You need a tool that's user-friendly. In general and in your specific situation.
When you consider a platform, you need your salespeople to play around with it and see that it's a good fit.
Because if it's not, not only is it not going to improve your sales, but your team will hate using it. Also, they will resent you, because if the tool isn't for them, then it means it's only for your benefit.
That is not to say that CRMs aren't great to track your team, but if that's your only goal, it'll never work.
Confusing CRM for process
CRMs are great when it comes to streamlining your sales process.
Not your sales; your sales process. If you don't have a good process, you're going to be streamlining something that doesn't work.
Your buyer journey is the heart of your sales process. You need to map the whole thing, understand it, and control it before thinking of ways to streamlining it.
CRM is not about software, it's about customers. Only once you know how to approach your future customers can you optimize the technical aspects.
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