-> Cold calling, email shots, lead nurturing…
Is this still part of your sales process?
-> Customer qualification, needs analysis, solution exploration…
Is this also still part of the old sales process?
If yes, just keep your old CRM system, it was designed to manage exactly those kinds of tasks.
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Old sales process with new buying pattern?
But if you look at the new buying pattern, you recognize that you (the sales person) get contacted when the prospect already made their homework. You recognize that the lead flow dried out. You know that the number of “inquiries” has dropped to nothing. Prospects today already know their choices, they know what their needs are, they know what is possible, they even learn what existing users of a given product say about it. AND they won’t let you cold call, they ignore your voice mail and discard your emails.
In the old sales process terms that you learn at Miller Heiman and others, today’s customers appear after process step 5 – i.e. the next step is negotiation and then closure.
So when you go Social CRM you need to make sure you know what you need to change in your organization to make this a successful “comeback of sales”:
1) Buying Pattern
Do you know the typical buying pattern of your customers?
I.e. do you know what they do when they explore, select and decide?
ACTION: The first thing to consider is to actually talk to your customers but equally important find prospects who are willing to share their thoughts and processes. You don’t need a research institute to do that but sales people who can listen.
2) Sales Process Alignment
Did you bring your sales process in alignment with the new buying pattern?
I.e. Are you there when a prospects looks for recommendations? Are you in their networks? Are you able to introduce your customers to your prospects in the right time? Are you social?….
ACTION: Take what you learn in step 1 and work with your team towards a new alignment. Again TALK to customers and prospects and hear what they have to say. You will be surprised how helpful they are and you will get enough answers within 5 days.
3) Compensation Adjustment
Did you adjust compensation, goals and objectives for your sales team in order to focus on the right targets in the right time?
ACTION: Revenue may still be the number 1 aspect of compensation but given the new processes you may find it more successful and even more fun to compensate based on customer interaction.
4) Social CRM selection
Do you know what tools are out there? Not so much the social media tools to be social but the social CRM tools to manage the processes?
ACTION: Go look carefully for solutions. Many of the social newcomer are not necessarily on Paul Greenberg’s list – yet a list to watch. Make sure that the software matches what you try to accomplish in step 1 – 3 not so much what is available and you twist your arm again to make it work.
Do you have a good idea how you like to execute the whole project?
I.e. do you know what resources are available and know about the difference between social selling and traditional sales. This is probably the hardest part because if you want to be a leader you can’t look what others already did – or you settle being a follower and wait how others make it work.
ACTION: Decide if you want to lead or follow. If you want to follow, then just wait. If you want to lead, be ready to take a risk (like always).
OK – to do this all right there are a few more things to think about but I wanted to inspire you to think process when you think social – there is nothing wrong with it. There is an interesting webinar on Feb 5 you may want to listen in: Social Selling & Social CRM