Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM for achieving sales efficiency

By Manas Kumar, CEO Genesis Interactive

Would it surprise you to know that many salespeople don’t use the tools your company has invested in, supposedly to help them to do their job better? The problem is of course that many of these tools were designed and developed with little or no input from the people who are going to use them.

This is no exaggeration over the years I’ve talked with many salespeople in this situation; many turn to developing their own tools using such things as spreadsheets and email clients to manage their workflow. I’m also guilty of doing this having worked with companies that have spent often hundreds of thousands of dollars on these sales tools and I’m somebody that’s completely at home with technology.
In my experience these companies believe that development of such tools is the total domain of the I.T department, which obviously is the first mistake. The second mistake is defending the I.T department when they come up with a solution that perhaps does the job - if you have the time to manage the processes and sub-processes needed to make it work. The reality is that sales people just don’t have the time or the inclination to suffer such things and will quickly turn to those tools that work for them so that they can stay motivated to do the job at hand which is… to sell!

Now it is, at least in my view rather uneducated of companies to look at developing sales automation tools in-house, come on and admit it… is your sales process so radically different from other industries? Yes, there may be some differences but nothing that radically different.
With the advent of online application development it is now possible to simply customise offerings like CRMs to fit those few points of difference in your sales process.

Good online CRM offerings can help your team to hit the ground running once the technology is deployed. And because many of these tools have been developed with end users in mind they are often far more superior than their in-house counterparts. Many offer a full range of sales force automation tools to help your sales team manage each step in the sales workflow from lead management through to proposals, sales and ongoing customer relations.

Such CRMs are very easy to use, update data on the fly and offer far better reporting than their offline counterparts… why? Because in today’s competitive environment it’s no longer a matter of the big and the small in business, it’s a matter of fast over slow. The faster your sales teams and customer support teams can react to sales calls, requests for proposals or customer support requests the better your chances of winning that business.

And because the role of your sales teams is to, well, make sales then you need to focus on those tools that maximise sales efficiency. CRMs can offer these types of efficiencies without hamstringing your teams by burying them knee deep in paperwork and process because good CRMs make sales force automation a reality.

These efficiencies along with the associated cost saving make CRM a valuable business building tool, even if you require some level of customisation you are still launching with a platform built with the end user and sales development in mind.

About the Author
Manas Kumar is CEO of Genesis Interactive, the parent company behind Live CRM and several other SaaS initiatives.

Tags: CRM, Contact Management, Customer Management, Live CRM, salesforce crm, crm live, contact database

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