If you’re trying to pitch the idea of using a CRM to a person or group that’s averse to trying new technology, ask them to imagine the letters stand for “career redefining moment.”
As you walk through the benefits, you can explain that they actually stand for “customer relationship management,” but initially you may need to get to the heart of how a CRM can transform those working in sales or other parts of a small business.
Technology can be intimidating. It can sometimes bring up worries about the possible learning curve involved, or changes in business processes that people know so well they could perform them in their sleep. And if they’ve ever bought personal technology products that are difficult to figure out, the trepidation might be even worse.
A CRM offers far too many advantages for companies to let those fears and misperceptions get in the way.
One of the potential pitfalls organizations make when they deploy a CRM is focusing too much on the technology and not enough on what it means for an employee’s day-to-day life.
Instead, you’ll make a stronger business case for adopting a CRM if you offered a walk-through that was uncomplicated and made someone like a sales rep the “hero” of the story.
This is what that would look like:
You’ve been out on sales calls all day — even if “out” means you’ve had to do them from home via phone or video conferencing.
It’s only natural that at a certain point, you want to make sense of all the conversations you had with customers and figure out how to prioritize what you’ll do tomorrow to close more deals.
You look down and all you see is a mess — figures you scribbled on the back of an envelope, other details you put in a notebook without jotting down the customer’s name and a spreadsheet on your laptop that’s only been half-completed.
Contrast this picture with one you’re looking at on a CRM, which allows you to update or cross-reference everything you need to plan for tomorrow. This includes:
With all that information in a single place, it doesn’t really make sense to map out your to-do list on paper, or save your notes from a customer conversation in a desktop folder somewhere.
It also wastes time if you need to log into different applications to look at how your activity is translating into actual revenue for the company.
A CRM not only consolidates data, but offers a multi-purpose tool you’ll use throughout your day. This includes:
You can’t always make every call on your own. You might have to check on a custom price or quote, get sign-off from a manager or wait until you get back to your desk to look something up.
When your CRM is in place, everything changes. You’ll find yourself realizing the benefits of:
Let’s return to the analytics we mentioned earlier in this post.
When you use a CRM to bring data together and ease business processes, you also get a lot of insight into what’s working and what’s not. That insight isn’t limited to how you’re performing as a rep, or the overall performance of the company. You can slice and dice it to specific territories, specific customers and even a specific deal that may still be in play.
The analytics in a CRM will be able to help accelerate the time it takes to report on what’s happened. That means anyone in the organization who needs to look at the numbers can understand what they mean.
Perhaps more importantly, analytics will let you turn your CRM into a sales forecasting machine — one where the entire company will be able to have faith in what might get closed in a particular quarter, month or other period.
These insights become even more powerful when you adopt a CRM with artificial intelligence (AI), which not only assesses what happened in the past, but aims to show how many different factors will affect a company’s future.
Your CRM can do a lot, in other words. Although we’ve used a sales rep in this example, the truth is that it can be equally transformative for those working in marketing, service or other functions.
The technology is sophisticated, but the end result isn’t really that complicated: you’re bringing greater speed, agility and effectiveness by using a CRM to its fullest potential.