Stop Hobbling Along – Really Engage with CRM


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When the fear of change is greater than the value of the solution:

At some time in our selling careers we’ve all seen this statement pop up.  They originally get all hot and lathered up about the solution your offering provides. BUT then nothing happens.  Time goes by. No decision. The prospect is thinking that things aren’t that bad now, they have too many things on their plate and there’s not the time for the hassle and risk.  These deals go only so far in your sales process and then stall.  No decision is made by the buyer.  The buying process and sales process are probably not aligned. We are not helping the customer to buy.  We have no strategy to move forward.  Sound familiar?

Has a case been made yet to change?

You probably have NOT made the prospect realize that the consequences of doing nothing are far more than the risk and challenges of changing.  If you think about your own experiences in buying something, that if the pain of doing nothing isn’t greater than the pain of change, the only rational result is no decision made.  Nadda, no action.  This could also be said for improvement opportunities.  If the benefits of a better outcome cannot be visualized and reaching the outcome is too much pain versus gain, then No Decision occurs.  Read more: 8 ways to embrace change and receive increased CRM value


What’s the Deeper Causes that is Hobbling Us?

You might think of the following as hobbling yourself and the business. Action is hampered and progress is impeded.  It is like tryingWoman_Hobbled_without_CRM to move around with a set of crutches or having a cast on your writing hand.

There may not be a sales opportunity tracking and management system in place.  Ideal prospect are not identified based off the businesses best, most profitable customers that are enjoyable to serve.  Thus low quality leads get identified and valuable selling time is wasted working on the wrong type of leads.

Marketing is probably not working with sales as closely as it needs for today’s customer and the way they buy.  You might have moved away from product to solution marketing but it is probably focused more on the way you do business and not tailored to the stages your best buyers go through.  Marketing using the sales intelligence from your CRM should be able to better market to the target customers with content that really matters.  The prospective customers should be guided along their buyer journey.  Additionally feedback should be swift so the sales team immediately receives notice who is opening the emarketing messages and showing specific interest.

Also if there is a weak CRM system in place the prospective intelligence is spread in multiple places. Departmental database systems create disjointed silos.  Duplication and mismatched contact information is frustrating and a big time waster.  Also lone-wolf sales reps are hording the contact intelligence in their heads and now easily shared with others in your business that could really find it helpful.  There needs to be one place, one version of the truth easily available.

Accountability based Impaired Vision

Another set of causes are accountability based. People aren’t paying attention to what is right in front of their eyes.  Some of the transactional communications may be found in your Email system but it is definitely more visible and useful to have your CRM system holding that one version of the truth about accounts, contacts, opportunities, service issues and what your people are doing. 

When talking with a prospective client we hear: “We simply aren’t paying attention – we are not keeping our sales pipeline and deals updated.”  If you were to use CRM effectively and ever look at the sales performance dashboard, you’d see the downward trend of wins versus losses. You’d see the steadily increasing number of days opportunities are in the pipeline.  You’d be able to notice that there are less and less new accounts being added per 90 days and less communication transactions of calls, meetings and proposals.

What’s the Solution?

  • Start Doing Your Job

Hopefully this can be easily remedied.  Do your job or your management will find someone who will.  It’s each sales person’s responsibility to make sure each opportunity is moving forward.  It’s management’s responsibility to coach them to help move deals forward.  When something gets stalled, help the sales person figure out what to do.  Pay attention, do your job.  Visit CRM related benefits by Role and Responsibilities.
  • Use the CRM tools available

Today’s CRM solutions provide the foundation to effectively attract, convert, retain and grow more profitable customers.  Relationship development is your first focus with People First CRM. Ebook available here.  Integrate your CRM with your Outlook or Gmail system so email communications and your schedule are available in either with bi-synchronization. Implement a full Web portal to use the full capabilities of CRM and also have a smart mobile accessible option that works the same but uses the capabilities of your smart device.

Personalize your CRM system so that it is only setup to show want matters to you.  Simplify by hiding tabs, group lists and fields that don’t apply to your job. Configure CRM so you will first see key lists of groups for:  My Accounts, My Contacts, My Activities, My open opportunities, My open service issues, etc. The ability to slice-and-dice a list with a simple click on filters like City, Sales territory, Account type, Industry and Opportunity stage in Saleslogix is very useful  Finally setup management dashboard to measure key metrics for you business role:  Sales Management, Customer Service Management, Daily tasks.  

Use the tools to help sales professionals visualize how the CRM system can be used to more easily manage their daily tasks, connect with the best opportunities and restart the conversation to move opportunities forward or to stop beating the dead horse. Once personally configured you can be more focused and  clear.What’s most important rises to the top and trends are much easier to spot and then act upon.


  • Update and use your Mobile technology

The CRM solution has to be readily accessible whenever it is needed by the sales reps.  This means a web portal and mobile (smart phone/tablet) portal with Internet access.  Optionally it may mean having an updatable copy of the data on your laptop when the Internet is not available. There are popular and effective smart phones from suppliers like Samsung, HTC, LC and Apple that can access mobile CRM like Saleslogix is know for.  Gain productivity by simply speaking notes of important meetings into a contact note as automatically generated text and immediately share that insight.


  • Update your skills

You don’t have enough time to know all the best practices of CRM and what is new that will improve your productivity and enjoyment while using CRM.  Maybe there is something available to help communicating with your customers’ business contacts: educate them, track what is important, stay top of mind and reach out when they show interest. Just as in successful sales, you need to be a continuous learner.  It may be from YouTube How to Videos, looking for the steps under the CRM Help button, attending a Tips and Tricks webinar or sitting in a hands on training session.  Our clients have found additional success by us providing short “How-to-do….” videos using their real data and their operational processes.  Ideally this is done from the sales manager leading the video.

  •  Use your CRM business partner resources

You know how to sell and support your product and service offerings.  It is what you deal with day in and day out.  You have years of shared experiences.   Likewise CRM professional service firms know what works best, know how to help a business acquire, retain and develop customer relationships and can collaborate with you to tailor a CRM that works the way you do business. These CRM business partners are business owners, entrepreneurs, sales people and customer service oriented people that live to help their clients improve their business and become more successful.

Be the Leading Hero: Time to ACT and stop no decisions:

Yes, a better future awaits you and the business by getting more from your CRM system both strategically in changing focus on the customer-buyer experience and tactically by using consistent processes and up-to-date technology.  CRM can help the whole organization be on the same page and have one trusted version of the truth.  Quality decisions are better timed and based on stronger knowledge of your customers.


 Take the next step by starting a conversation:     

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dick Wooden
CRM specialist to help you get the answers you need with sales, service, and marketing CRM software. I help mid-sized businesses select, implement and optimize CRM so that it works the way their business needs to work. My firm is focused on client success with remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools.


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