We’ve written a lot lately about segmentation and role specialization. About how individual specialists working each stage of the sales pipeline (hunters, closers and farmers in both the producer and management roles) can lead to faster, sustainable growth. And we have talked about how marketing needs to create and send messaging appropriate for each of these stages. Nowhere have we said that these individuals should work alone. As we touched on in Sales as a Team Sport, the best long-term results are achieved when all parties involved work together. That’s where a good contact relationship management system comes comes in. And by that we mean a true optimized system with actionable information easily accessible to all team members with a few clicks of the mouse.
Say goodbye to “ask Joe”
Perhaps the Marketing team wants to know how many leads were converted from the campaign last quarter. They should be able to pull a report showing which leads came from which sources, what percentage of them closed, what percentage are still active, etc. so that they can intelligently plan their next steps. Or maybe an enterprise rep is traveling and needs to be able to quickly access all background information compiled on a prospect… or a new team member comes on board and needs to get up to speed quickly. The scenarios are endless. That is why it is so critical that information is housed in one central repository. The typical, “ask Joe, he knows” response to a request for information is not scalable.
Get the info in the system
For it to work as intended of course, the information needs to make its way into the system.
Unfortunately there are many who think they can’t be bothered. Busy enterprise reps, for one, are notorious for not making the time to properly log data. There are others who feel they need to hold “their” account information close to the chest. After all, that’s job security right? Wrong. It actually just makes the business of selling all that much harder – even more so when there are specialists handling each stage of the pipeline. Information that doesn’t get entered into the system is basically lost to the rest of the team.
Not just info … the “right” info
When it comes to running actionable reports you have to collect the “right’ data. To make this as simple as possible, make sure that the data fields in your system match your particular sales cycle. For instance, set them up so that the advancement from Leads to Accounts to Opportunities (and subsequent pipeline stages) reflect key qualifiers that you have determined are necessary for your product/service/industry. Consider your client’s buying process. At what stage does the process demand a demo, NDA, RFP? Each should be a step in your cycle or field you track. This is not something that is uniform from industry to industry or even from organization to organization..
It is very important for the system to be “true to life” or true to the way your team should ideally be using it, so you can maximize its potential. Often a CRM which is set up by the IT staff with all the latest integrations and steps which IT thinks are really the state of art, but are of no use in the sales cycle. What’s the point? Bells and whistles that don’t get used are at best a waste of money, and at worst a distraction from what is really important.
Bottom line. Anyone who is in business should be in it to win it and to win it you have to go “all in.” For a sales team to perform at optimum levels and grow the business by sales execution not by market force takes role segmentation and a good, actionable, optimized CRM system.
Want to take your business to the next level, but don’t know where to start? Consider outsourcing your business development activities to the team at NuGrowth Systems. We’ll work with you to set up your CRM, we’ll enforce CRM discipline, we’ll create a cache of actionable intelligence and we’ll help you grow your business.
Concerned about losing control? When you work with NuGrowth the opposite is true.
As one client told us in a recent interview, ““You can talk about market research … What NuGrowth is doing for us is market feedback… All the activity, everything they are doing helps to create and build that corporate memory in the CRM. If we stopped working with NuGrowth tomorrow, we would still have all that data.”
For more information, contact 800-966-0351.