Combine Sales Training and CRM for a Winning Environment

This blog continues the look at how sales training needs to be combined with CRM implementations to ensure success. Moving on from last week’s blog, addition steps in ensuring that sales training and CRM implementations are effective are:

Fully integrate your CRM and sales processes.
If your CRM processes do not mirror your sales processes, stop using the CRM processes immediately. The situation needs to be remedied as soon as possible, because it’s highly likely that you are confusing your sales force and possibly wasting their time.

Using the example above, if you have three “gates” in your sales process, your CRM approach should be used to measure the sales performance at each gate. Your CRM function should guide your salespeople through the actions needed to progress from one gate to the next.

CRM is not software that companies should purchase to fulfill an objective on a long list of things to do. It is a working process that should serve to fully support the sales function. The companies that do not succeed are those that fail to integrate CRM with their sales process. This approach can be likened to putting diesel in a car that requires unleaded fuel; it won’t work, but you don’t realize it until your car breaks down in the middle of the street. A good salesperson knows when something is wrong and can tell you immediately when two processes are not congruent. That’s why many of the top training companies have built their sales methodology into their CRM system. It’s simple; really, all you need to do is make sure that your CRM function reflects and supports your sales objectives.

Implement training processes to fill gaps your CRM and diagnostics identify.
You should avoid using your CRM system as a glorified address book; it should be used productively to identify what is working and what is not. Successful practices should then be replicated, and those that fail to meet customer needs should be modified and improved. For example, your CRM software may indicate that you have a 65 percent conversion rate between Call One and Call Two. That’s fantastic. What elements of your process are contributing to this high rate of success? Identify those elements and ensure that all of your employees understand what they are and why they are working. Every employee needs to know and understand the performance metrics.

You may find that many employees are achieving a 65 percent conversion rate, but a small number have only a low conversion rate. In this case, the data should be used to diagnose and understand what’s going wrong. Once you know, you can implement a coaching strategy that aims to fill the gap. This should be integrated into all future training. This will help your people grow and develop in a way that meets your business needs. Each individual will know who the top producers are and how their own performance compares. More importantly, this information can serve to fuel your employees’ drive and hopefully motivate them to excel.

Look at professional golfers, for example. When they practice hitting a bucket of balls, they don’t take every club out of their bag and hit six balls with each club. You can’t improve by hitting just six balls. The successful golfers hit a whole bucket full of balls using one, maybe two, clubs. They are developing a very specific skill and muscle memory by concentrating their efforts on one thing at a time. This allows them to focus their learning process and fully focus their attention. This method is very successful. CRM is great because, when used effectively, it actually tells you where you need to focus, both as a manager and as a single producer. CRM also opens your eyes to trends that you normally wouldn’t pay attention to.

CRM is a great product but you really need to use it in conjunction with sales training. Most people treat the two separately…and that’s where their problems start.

ProAptivity specialise in the deployment of CRM solutions into small and medium size businesses. They are the Northern Ireland solutions partner for Maximizer CRM which offers both on-premise and on demand solutions with full Mobile CRM capabilities. For more information contact 028 90735630

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