The Five Things Your CRM Must Do...

I get asked every week from leaders, managers and salespeople about what CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) they should use for their business. With an abundance of CRM solutions on the market, choosing the one for you is a big job. In this article I discuss the five things your CRM must do for it to deliver the best results. If you are shopping around, this is a useful framework for evaluating alternatives.
1) Makes life easier
One of the most things important your CRM system must do is to make life easier for salespeople, management and the company. By automating key activities, eliminating double handling, and integrating with other systems and devices, your CRM system will achieve a much higher adoption rate amongst users. If your CRM doesn’t make life easier, people will resist using it, or only use the parts that suit them.
2) Captures what matters
Your CRM needs to have a high degree of accuracy to be effective. It’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. By capturing communications, activities, and key data about the customer, contact and deal, your CRM can be trusted. If your CRM doesn’t capture what matters, deals will fall through the cracks, forecasting will be out of whack, and decision-making will be poor.
3) Makes Progress Visible
Motivation expert, Dr Jason Fox, in his book The Game Changer, suggests that “Making Progress Visible” is the most important factor in driving motivation and performance. The best CRMs make progress visible at the opportunity level, individual level and company level. If people can easily see how they are tracking on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, they will achieve more. If people are running blind, their level of performance and motivation will take a dive.
4) Reinforces Process
Your sales process represents the step-by-step system for progressing an opportunity, from the initial engagement through to the final sale. The best CRM systems are designed to fit like a glove around your sales process. In addition to this, your CRM should reinforce your coaching process, and empower your sales managers to have more effective coaching conversations with your team. By reinforcing process, both your opportunities and your salespeople advance to the next level.
5) Enhances Collaboration
Too many people work solo. Even though opportunities, customers and projects may involve multiple people across multiple departments, out-dated systems and old habits can create disconnection, duplication and disharmony. Great CRMs remove communication barriers and make it easy for people to work together. Just as the beehive is to a community of bees, a good CRM serves as the platform for synergy, harmony and progress.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts. How does your system stack up against these five criteria?
Onwards and upwards!