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Sales CRM: Top 10 Best Practices

By on Mar 14, 2011 No Comments

Does the zip code that exclusively covers the Empire State Building produce more sales than a zip code in Salt Lake City, Denver, or Greenwich?

How Do You Measure CRM Success?

Creating a CRM program that maximizes sales doesn’t start with selecting a CRM software package. Rather, it begins by knowing the right questions to ask.

Accordingly, what are the top 10 questions that the best CRM consultants ask when they meet with you to improve your sales program?

Let’s start here:

1) Territories: Do your territories maximize the effectiveness of every sales person — as opposed to being a slice and dice exercise?

Innoveer worked with one large software company that based its sales territories on zip codes (aka “postcodes” for our British readers), dividing them equally amongst sales representatives. But senior executives suspected that this approach didn’t split territories in the most efficient way, and turned to Innoveer to help them identify a better approach.

Zip codes are a funny beast, as we learned. The Empire State Building alone, for example, has its own zip code. Sales-wise, the rep covering just the county of Fairfield in Connecticut had sales results that far exceeded territories in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Accordingly, Innoveer helped the company design a new territory plan, remapping territories to provide the best coverage. As a result, the firm could ensure that its salespeople were always focused on prioritizing activities that provided the highest possible level of return, and working in territories.

2) SFA Adoption: Have your salespeople widely adopted CRM?

Want to succeed at CRM? Beware the cloud. True, the cloud provides great functionality, at an attractive price point. But too many cloud-driven SFA programs will fail, because project teams think the technology is a silver bullet. It’s not.

Rather, creating a successful CRM project — whether on-premise or in the cloud — starts by defining your business requirements, and then selecting the best CRM software to meet those needs. Implement the CRM software in small, rapid stages, ensuring that it provides essential new functionality to users (thus increasing their interest). Finally, from the get-go, focus on user adoption, because it’s the single biggest contributor, in our experience, to creating a successful project.

3) Conversion: Do you track and maximize the exact percentage of leads converted to sales?

Maximizing the impact of your sales program requires making the right offer, at the right time. Doing this doesn’t require a 360-degree view of your customers. In fact, you could make do with just 20 degrees — provided they’re the factors you need for knowing how and when to make the right offer.

At Innoveer client ABN AMRO, for example, advanced dashboards and business intelligence capabilities help the firm best support its high-net-worth individuals. The requirement isn’t to know everything about customers, but rather, just enough to identify the right service, at the right time. That’s why the firm tracks customers’ major life events — births, deaths, marriages, and so on. This information enables ABN AMRO to advise its clients about when they should open a retirement account, move into equities, or funds, or bonds.

In other words, the financial services organization doesn’t try to know everything. Just the right things.

CRM Answers? Ask The Right Questions

The above are just three of the top 10 questions that our consultants ask when working with organizations to improve their sales program.

How did we arrive at this top 10? At Innoveer, we’ve taken our experience of working on over 1,200 projects with more than 500 customers — including the likes of Abbot Labs, Biogen Idec, Bose and Integra LifeSciences — and distilled it into our CRM Excellence Framework.

The framework helps organizations understand, “What’s the next, best step that we should take to make our sales or CRM program better?” Because to succeed at CRM, that’s the first question you should ask.

Learn More

To ensure that your CRM program excels, understand the big picture. To help, review our “top 10″ marketing, sales or service steps to see how your program compares to best practices and our benchmarks.

Even better, we’ve now placed a subset of that framework online, enabling you to play CRM consultant from the comfort of your own home.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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