With Martin Driver
Q - We have invested in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product and I don’t feel we have improved our sales, well actually it is telling me we haven’t. I have lots of stats and pie charts, but I don’t know what to do with them.
I have 3 sales people and myself, I tend to manage our larger clients, can you tell me how to get the best out of my CRM package?
A - Firstly I would like to say that in my opinion the CRM products that are in the market today, are in general of a good quality and successfully deliver what they were originally designed for, this is the generating of information and data for the management of your customer operations. I think the key here is the word “operations” as this doesn’t necessarily reflect how you and your sales people have to manage their sales and sales activity on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. My view is that all CRM’s give you all the information about your customers to prepare a sale but they do not give the methodology of sales itself.
It is interesting to think how we ran sales teams 15+ years ago when there were no CRM computer programmes and yet sales people where successful. The lesson we can take from this is that technology will not always solve the problem, in the right place and time we all do benefit from technology, but it is no replacement for good quality sales skills and activity.
I would suggest you focus your attention on the skills of your 3 sales people, who they need to sell too, how they are selling and their actual current sales capability. My advice is to get closer to the sales taking place and the sales people, there is no substitute for accompanying your sales people for at least 1 day per month to assess, coach and motivate your sales force.
The important factor is to understand when data is to be used and when concentration on the human element of the sales process will improve your results.