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 [...]
The 4 C’s: Driving CRM adoption “Adoption” means your users have embraced the CRM. They’re using regularly, relying on it, and consider it a part of their daily work cycle. There’s nothing simple or easy about this. Yet there’s nothing more important to achieve, because this is both core to getting your CRM to bear ROI fruit and core to proving that your CRM can bear fruit. Yin and yang. The Four C’s to Adoption Success How do you distill the essence of successful adoption practices down to a few words? Let’s try four: Championing Cheerleading Coaching Confirming First, before you do anything else, identify and gain the commitment of a corporate Champion. The champion’s title starts with a V or a C; no one more junior will do. And they must be in a position of authority over the users. The champion’s job is simply this: “an authoritative stance that the CRM is a key part of our processes; it is my expectation that my managers and their reports will use this system regularly. I will be watching.” The champion doesn’t have to be any sort of big-time user of the CRM, but they should definitely be looking at the dashboards and setting the expectation to “show me” within the system. Next, while you’re in the process of [...]
Heard of companies who launch a CRM … because they’re supposed to have a CRM. That ever been you? The CRM is sales, marketing, and service automation. Done right, it becomes fruition of your business objectives, an extension of your corporate strategy. It’s becomes tactical execution of your plan. So, if you’re just starting out, and you don’t have a set of strategic objectives for the platform that can be distilled to a set of bullet points on one slide, grab the reins, reserve a conference room and get there. Here’s a set of examples drawn from for building materials clients we’ve worked with. Which sound like your business? General We need to establish a shared database of our customers and target prospects - distributors, dealers, contractors, home builders, and architects - appropriately segmented. We need a laser focus on relationship management with our channel, with transparent visibility to the calls our sales team is making on them. Our sales team needs to be able to be more responsive to sales trends with individual customers, and be able to provide immediate answers on the status of orders and shipments when asked. We need to provide our customers with login web access to their shipment status, sales history, rebate accruals, and claims status. Commercial With our new [...]
The Hunley Group Blog: Building Product Manufacturers: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. KPIs in the CRM.
We asked a group of executives at a building materials client not long ago to provide us with a list of their key performance indicators (KPIs), or the measures they use to drive their company’s performance. “Uh, we’ll get back to you.” Two months later we received a list of the measures. Yay! But … wait … it was just a list of what to measure, not what the actual goals were, the how-much-of-what-period kind of thing. Sigh. Now. I’m sure that’s not you. But just in case you’re looking for some fresh ideas for how to suss out key insights from your CRM, we’ve got a few for you. Relationship Management Some folks call this call tracking, but let’s call a spade a spade. Tracking activity from a measurement perspective should let you see that your team is making the right kind of calls on on the right customers - in other words, they’re measuring whether they right things are being to do maintain and enhance business relationships with your most important customers. Calls per week Visits per week Prospect first meetings per week Literature drops per week [...]