Most of the companies that we work with have invested in their sales organization to some degree. Whether it is money spent on sales training, a time and territory management offering, or an outing for team building, companies are investing in their people. The disconnect we see is that companies are willing to spend the money but don’t necessarily follow up to reinforce the lessons learned.
One area where most have invested is in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs. It’s consistently clear that CRMs are not being used as tools to optimize the dollars spent in your people. Here are 3 questions, with suggestions to consider, in assessing your sales training optimization as expressed through your CRM:
- Do tools reflect the steps in the sales process and promote the common vernacular used in training so everyone speaks the same language? Matthew J. Boyle, marketing director at a Massachusetts accounting and consulting firm describe this scenario, “When employees manage their own contact information and share it unsystematically, data-quality issues proliferate, and compiling and sorting correct, current information becomes an immense task. This can result in a firm that functions like several different small practices under one roof instead of a cohesive whole”. CRM’s customized with company-wide vernacular can help.
- How do salespeople internalize their customer’s needs and what steps are necessary to complete the sale? This can be laid out in a CRM as well. If companies had even one step defined and followed up on in a CRM for salespeople to track, wins would increase and training would be internalized. For example, if the salespeople attached their follow up letter outlining their sales meeting with the client and attached it to client in the CRM for all to see, Managers could coach to the correspondence, communication skills would increase, forecasting accuracy would improve, and trends could be analyzed.
- How do managers coach through the information in your CRM? Organizations can all have the same training experience yet, skill levels still vary dramatically. This is natural to an extent. There are always those people that just have “it”, but all boats can rise with the training tide. With a CRM based on a well defined sales process, Management will be able to quickly assess where individual development is needed. For example, a CRM would show that samples are sent to a prospect and date sent. This is useful information, but it can also show that there has been no meeting or discussion of that prospect’s needs. Product sent to client before goals shared is money down the drain. A manager could see this and use this as a coaching opportunity to reinforce the skills taught in training.
Like all good relationships, the match between training and the CRM is reciprocal. We help companies utilize their training dollars and dollars spent on CRMs to be mutually beneficial. Let us help your company design and implement a sales process that is optimized through your current CRM.
Flannery Sales Systems helps companies to define (or refine) and implement a repeatable sales process. Implementation success is increased when aligned with technology. We work with a broad cross section of industries. We are confident that we can enhance your results.