A CRM is an interface between an enterprise and its market. Its effectiveness can spell the difference between a business’s success and failure.
A vital basic element of a CRM is the sales process. Without an established sales process—pipeline management—a CRM will never deliver its full potential.
Establishing the Sales Process
Evolution of the sales process is often arrived at by consultation with the most experienced and successful sales reps, summating each of their successful actions that lead to closes.
This series of actions then becomes a path for all salespeople to follow, and always leads to higher close rates and improved company viability.
A sales process should also be flexible so that steps that prove to be unnecessary can be removed, and important stages initially left out can be inserted.
The pipeline must be able to change to reflect a dynamic market, and factors external to the company.
CRM Process Management and the pipeline must be as closely integrated as possible. If they are not, it leads to wasted salesperson time as well as potentially lost information vital to a sale.
When a CRM successfully tracks a sales pipeline:
- Sales reps are able to input data into the correct steps of the sales process.
- Other reps can come along, where needed, and pick up sales of their colleagues.
- Finance executives are enabled to make accurate forecasts for all stakeholders.
CRM-pipeline integration makes it far easier for sales management to analyze past and present sales, and accurately forecast future sales.
Management of sales personnel must accurately reflect ongoing activity so that productive sales reps are not disciplined and removed, while this not actually carrying their weight are promoted.
The right CRM will quickly show you who your closers are, who needs some assistance to succeed and who should be working in another department. With the right sales process you will be “making the right call.”
Make sure your CRM and sales process are full integrated—and take your sales through the roof.