By Lauren Fenthum

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A study done by CIO magazine in 2017, reported that on average one-third of all CRM projects fail. Failure can mean a lot of things; over-budget, data integrity issues as well as technical limitations. CRM systems are too often being used for inspection rather than creating improvement of the sales process, which is where businesses are falling short and not being able to see improvements because they are not using the software accurately. 

CRM software has the ability to serve on a wide variety spectrum, from that of finances to technology and of course, sales. CRM software addresses multiple objectives and can thus become overwhelming and complicated when implementing the system. In one aspect the marketing department was pleased with being able to track every lead throughout the sales process and on the other hand, other departments complained about data-integrity issues. But the real problem lay within the sales department. They felt that they had to add in a lot of information that meant little or nothing to them, and added little value in providing help to sell more. Because the sales team had little motivation to keep up with the data entry requirements, the quality of the data became less reliable. This leads to inaccurate information being created. To increase revenue from CRM implementations try these steps:

Re-think Your CRM As a Tool To Increase Revenue - This is precisely the reason you invested in the software, so keep this as the ultimate goal. This message needs to resonate throughout the whole company from the CEO to sales. Your sales team needs to understand that they are the drivers of the execution. The implementation of a CRM is not about fulfilling an administrative requirement, which is often how so many people view them. CRM is a tool to help sell more, access support resources and manage the territory, once you are able to do this you will be able to see the metric and forecast information you desire.

Marketing Efforts Vs Sales Activity - This goes back to the old cliché. Marketing blames sales for not following up on all leads produced and sales points out that marketing doesn’t understand field reality and truly qualified leads. It is imperative for these departments to work hand-in-hand throughout the sales process. There should be a clear understanding of your ideal customer profile both in terms of company and the level of the buyer. And thus marketing should work at client objectives and case studies.  By using CRM as the backbone of this process you are able to accelerate the sales cycle as well as gravitate potential prospects.

Provide Coaching to Improve - Businesses need to understand that in order to have a successful CRM strategy they cannot rely on the individual salespeople make it successful, sales managers need to be involved to make it successful. If the system is only being used to log activity, check call volumes it is going to be of low value to the sales team and will most likely be rejected or fictional data. Try to see it as a tool to jointly create strategies for major opportunities. Management shouldn’t be policing their sales reps but instead, they should be providing positive feedback and recommendations to the reps to help them improve their performance and bring in more sales.
BluWave Software

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