A growing number of salespeople and sales management executives agree:
The traditional CRM solution model doesn’t cut it anymore.
A new generation of CRM solutions has appeared on the market that signal a new paradigm in CRM (Customer Relationship Management)—a new trend that weighs heavily on the side of empowerment as opposed to time-consuming administration with no real assistance to the sales force.
Here are five key benefits brought about by the new CRM solution paradigm:
#1: Company Patterns
Before the implementation of a CRM solution, a company already has various patterns it is following to bring its products and services to market. The most immediately important of these is the sales process—that series of exact steps a sale is taken through from lead to close.
A CRM solution of the new generation is highly flexible so that it can easily mirror a company’s sales process. That flexibility allows sales reps a tight level of control and view of their own sales pipelines—and for the first time means that a CRM solution is actually contributive to sales.
Such a model greatly reduces sales rep time reporting, as sales management knows where to find the data they need and can easily create the necessary reports themselves. Sales reps can create analyses and sales forecasts of their own, which of course can be passed along to sales management but also can be used to put salespeople more in control of their own sales cycles.
Since the remainder of the company is also knowledgeable about its sales process, other key departments such as marketing, customer service, tech support and development find interaction with CRM not only possible but highly useful.
Having the CRM solution follow this pattern also leads to another substantial benefit.
#2: End of Unnecessary Data
A common sales rep complaint about CRM is the enforced entry of data the salespeople will never need to do their jobs—and often data that will never be needed by anyone. This practice turns highly skilled members of the sales force into data entry clerks; the salespeople and the company lose valuable time and income.
The situation is compounded when data actually needed by sales reps and sales management is not entered in CRM in such a way that it can be easily retrieved, requiring reps to create all kinds of extra reports—and further time is wasted.
When a CRM solution is designed and patterned as in #1 above, it becomes evident which data is needed and which is clearly not. Time spent entering data is therefore time well spent as opposed to wasted.
Correct and useful data being entered leads to another critical CRM benefit.
#3: CRM Solution Analysis and Forecasting
It is quite common for a CRM solution to only partially contribute—or not contribute at all—to the analysis and forecasting so vitally needed for a company to function properly. This becomes so commonplace that a company considers it normal to conduct analyses and forecasting through spreadsheets, other applications, and lengthy meetings.
With a CRM solution patterned after the sales process, and correct data being entered in the system, analysis and forecasting not only become far easier and less time-consuming, but actually attain a whole new level of accuracy.
#4: Existing Application Compatibility
When a new CRM solution is brought on board, a company is already using a number of applications such as spreadsheets, word processing, email applications, PDF and many more. These are used for quotation systems, marketing collateral, important communications and document creation for various steps of the sales process. When these documents must be stored separately and cannot be easily related to the specific sales cycles and sales process steps they are part of, more time is wasted in having to retrieve them when needed—or having to re-create them if they are lost.
The new CRM solution paradigm not only allows for complete compatibility with existing company applications, it allows for instant delivery of needed documents to each stage of the sales pipeline. When needed they can be instantly found and recovered.
#5: Availability on All Platforms
Email integration and iPhone, smart device and tablet computer platform availability can no longer be considered “additional features” for a CRM solution. Sales reps rarely have their favored platforms for communication and the conducting of business for the purpose of “being cool”—they use them because they are the most expedient methods of getting the job done. Just because a CRM solution isn’t available on one or another of these platforms doesn’t mean a sales rep will stop using them; it simply means salespeople must take extra time-wasting measures to include CRM in their business dealings at all.
A new generation CRM application is available on all platforms, at no extra charge and with no extra effort. It is simply a given, as it should be.
Save countless hours, recover wasted costs, and at the same time greatly empower your sales force—and your entire company—with the new CRM solution paradigm.
See our other articles on the new CRM solution paradigm.