Many would have you believe that implementing a CRM system for Sales is about asking process questions like the ones that follow. While you read them think about what your organization is trying to accomplish and what your focus as a company is all about. Bear in mind your major strategies, product niche and the unique competitive position your are trying to build with your company. Now read these questions and ask yourself, does my process reflect my strategy? Do these questions help me implement unique value for our clients in selecting our products because they are a superior fit for our clients’ needs? Read on and expand your thinking beyond the questions.
How does a customer contact you to get information?
How do you track and record leads?
What items do you need to provide to the lead during the sales process?
What steps are taken to turn a lead into a customer? What types of activities?
Are the steps in the sales process recorded somewhere as a record for others to see?
Who talks to potential customers?
When does information get shared so that other departments know that there is a potential customer?
How long does it take before a new lead becomes a customer?
What type of data is collected about new or existing customers?
Where is data stored and who is responsible for making sure that the data is collected? Does anyone review the data? Are there specific reasons for various pieces of data that are collected?
Is there specialized information about the customer and/or the request that you need to complete the sale?
Who prepares quotes?
Who prepares orders?
How do orders get from the Sales department to the fulfillment part of the business? How do orders move through to Accounting for invoicing?
Do you market to your existing customer base? Do you contact them for recurring business?
Are your customers repeat customers? Why or why not?
Is the sales process different for existing customers than for potential customers?
Do sales and marketing personnel have visibility into the process after an order is placed?
What things need to change to make sales more effective? What things need to stay the same?
Can a customer place an order without involvement with a salesperson? How does this occur?
What kinds of reports are used in relation to sales?
Once you understand that CRM is as much about strategy as it is about process, you will understand that your company needs to be visionary and vocal in the implementation. Most CRM implementations fail to create strategic change and therefore create the burden of process without the value of strategy.
Strategy is the big topic in your CRM implementation and without the strategy to be your guiding principles, process will be nothing more than burden. Invest in your strategy and use that to drive your CRM implementation.
Jeff Loucks is the Chief Strategic Officer for Winrox, a company which focuses on creating competitive advantage by guiding business process improvements with strategy.
Chief Strategic Architect | Winrox | 425-577-7377