Winning the specifications game with a CRM The Great Game of Specifications Winning at the great game of specifications in commercial construction is complex, laborious, and simply … trench warfare. There are so many moving pieces to keep track of that it becomes almost mind-bending difficult to really excel. Fortunately, tracking large databases and automating complex processes is exactly what a CRM is designed for. At Hunley, we’ve been working to perfect this process in Salesforce.com for fifteen years; we break it down into seven elements: Capture Conserve Flip Maximize Hold Bid Close Capture: Grab every project as it emerges There’s a giant, swirling sea of construction projects out there. They range from a trivial renovation in a rundown strip mall to the construction of a new World Trade Center. And they may come onto your radar when they’re a concept-stage twinkle in the eye of a developer … or mid-construction when subcontractors are already being selected. The key is to capture each one as soon as it emerges. A substantial majority, naturally, will come to you through the Dodge or ConstructConnect databases - that can be automated to flow straight into Salesforce, with automated assignment to the territory manager covering that geography. And any project a rep, a contractor, or an architect surfaces for you should go straight in [...]
We identify six steps in an implementation: Requirements definition Configuration Testing Data migration Training Adoption Requirements Definition We feel that the requirements definition is by far the most important part of the effort. Our point of view holds it appropriate to view CRM projects as process automation exercises, not technology projects. Therefore, defining processes thoroughly and aligning the best-fit approaches to automating them in the CRM such that the CRM then fits like a well-tailored suit is a step whose importance we cannot over-emphasize. Configuration The configuration is the actual architecting and development of the platform to meet requirements. This requires competence and experience in execution. Testing Testing is the user acceptance process to ensure that the system meets requirements – and that in practice the requirements were actually defined correctly. Data Migration A solid CRM is a Ferrari. But a Ferrari is no fun to drive if the gas tank is empty. Data is fuel for a CRM. Therefore, well-groomed Account, Contact, Opportunity, and other data should be preloaded to the system. Training Training of users is critical to their embrace and effective use of the system, particularly if they’ve never used a CRM before. We recommend training be done simultaneous to system launch – CRMs are best learned by doing, so users should be expected [...]
Is your CRM a failure? Is it the CRM, or is it you? Wow. More Than a 50% Failure Rate So we ran a little survey. Polled about 1,000 executives and sales users on their perceived CRM success. And less than 50% considered their CRM a win. So We Asked Some More Questions. And It Got Really Interesting. While we were at it, we also surveyed the group on their adoption of CRM best practices. Wow. It turns out there’s a very strong correlation between whether those frustrated with their platform were adhering to those best practices. The reality? It’s not whether a CRM will work for you; it’s whether you know how to make it work for you. Grouping the Key Questions Adoption. Adoption means your user set has embraced the CRM as an embedded tool. Users adopt a system that is an indispensable productivity tool for users, that management can’t function without, and that management mandates use of. Organizational Commitment. You've almost certainly heard the adage, “if it isn't in the CRM, it doesn't exist!” Cliché by now? Yeah. Well, it’s true. Successful embrace of a CRM does not happen by osmosis. It happens because the management team is determined that a CRM is a mission-critical system. They’ve ensured that all users are trained and [...]
The Hunley Group Blog: Building Product Manufacturers: Making a CRM Pay Off: Stop it with the paperwork, already!
Building Product Manufacturers: Making a CRM Pay Off: Stop it with the paperwork, already! Burn All that “Paper” First! Are your reps maintaining the following? Trip reports in Word or Excel Manual document assembly for a commercial specification substitution request Pipeline opportunity lists in Excel Form-based new-customer onboarding paperwork Paper lunch and learn attendance sheets Excel expense reports Et cetera, et cetera ... Eliminating documentation represents one of the first and easiest paths to gain value out of a CRM. Look for documents (Excel and Word count; not just actual paper), and target them for integration to the CRM Trip Reports & Pipeline Management are Core CRM Functionality The most core thing a CRM does is track activity. That means calls, visits, emails placed on leads, accounts, and open opportunities. A properly configured CRM will make recording activity easy and in real-time. Calendars and emails will sync easily to capture key communications. Mobile apps will allow reps to voice-dictate in call and visit notes while they’re in an elevator or walking across a parking lot. Pipeline management of opportunities comes next in line for essential capabilities. Sales reps track new customer sign-ups, cross-sells / upsells, and large deals all day, every day. Visibility to progress, status, and next steps help them focus - and communicate forecasting information upstairs. [...]
Think you’re ready? 7 questions to ask yourself before implementing a CRM. 1. Do you have your business impact objectives identified? IE, what you’re going to use the CRM to do for you? Too many people purchase a CRM “because they’re supposed to have one” and think it will move the needle for them based on that. We’re not clear there’s many other investments that businesses make where they’re not sure they’ll gain an ROI from the expenditure. The CRM should be the same. Clearly define what you anticipate the CRM doing for you. Here’s some common use cases to get you started: Maintaining a segmented database of targeted customers and prospects for the sales team to pursue Establish an easy and automated way for the team to track calls and prioritize follow-ups Establish a measurable system to capture, track and monitor leads Gain market share in core products Automate manual and time-consuming processes X, Y, and Z Gain share of wallet with key customers Manage commissions Make sales data readily visible in real-time to sales reps 2. Are your processes clearly defined? It is appropriate to think of a CRM implementation as a process project as opposed to a technology project. Because that’s what it’s supposed to do - sales, marketing, and service process automation. And CRMs are great [...]