Are you looking for a right CRM system for your startup?
Do you know how important is to have a sales process that follows your ideal prospects from start to close?
In this article, you will learn how to develop a sales process and choose the CRM system.
With a startup, an entrepreneur or several entrepreneurs are quite literally diving into the unknown. As anyone who has done it will tell you, there is a great deal of “learn as you go” involved, along with unpredicted obstacles, unforeseen expenses, and many other factors. Hence, the more you can brace your startup against change and confusion, the better off you’ll be. The evolution of a sales process early on, along with the correct choice of CRM software solution, are two ways you can guard against unforeseen circumstances.
One group of web developers who stepped off into business for themselves thirteen years ago, despite the success they now enjoy would do things drastically different if they were to begin again as a startup today. While hindsight is certainly 20-20, they have learned much by their experiences—as can anyone from an analysis of what they encountered.
Evolution of a Development Process
These web developers specialize in complex web sites—sites that involve e-commerce, multiple different functions and the integration of leading-edge platforms. Because this work is not cut-and-dried, the first hard lesson our developers had to learn was the importance of creating an accurate development process. This of course is necessary for the long-term planning and execution of each particular project, but it is also crucial for economic reasons.
Way back before the burst of the dot-com bubble and in the embryonic days of IT consulting, it was possible to tell a potential client, “This is going to take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 hours. We’ll just bill you as we go.”
Today, however, due to the tightened spending of corporations and advancement of software tools, this will no longer fly. Once you give a client a quote, you must stick to it. Without a workable process with which to control a project, it is very easy to exceed the budget midway through that project—and suffer a loss at its conclusion.
If they had to start over again, these developers would seek out advice from other experienced developers and consultants, and create as much as they could of such a process before starting up. Lacking such a stable process, they ended up making some costly errors along the way that might have been avoided.
These web developers have now thankfully honed their development process down to a fine science, which allows them to operate profitably in the far majority of cases. But equally as importantly, it allows them to bid jobs accurately.
Merging of Processes
It’s an interesting scenario: for this particular company to succeed, they must skillfully blend their development process with their sales process.
When they obtain a new prospect, they must view the potential project in light of the development process. This sequence not only shows them how much time and resources they’ll need to spend throughout the project, it can also spawn questions they might not have otherwise thought to ask the prospect about the project. The net result is an accurate bid—one which they can submit with confidence and comfortably stand behind.
Interestingly, these developers have never had a CRM which followed their sales process. When starting out, they acquired the contact management system they could afford, and through the years have ended up changing several different times due to several different issues, not the least of which was usability for their particular company. The sales process itself was always followed separately through numerous other applications, including spreadsheets.
The developers now understand how their ideal CRM solution would work: one that follows their sales process exactly, which of course includes applicable steps of their development process.
It can be clearly seen from this analysis that:
- An established sales process is crucial to the operation of a startup.
- The ideal CRM solution is one which can be easily and quickly adapted to a company’s sales process, so that its use is intuitive.
This will save a tremendous amount of time having to deal with other applications and methods in creating quotes and submitting accurate bids—and will allow a startup to rise smoothly into a profitable financial status.
See our other articles on startups and CRM systems.