Running a CRM will help you win business, manage the potential; however, it has flaws built-in and if you want and need success your going to need to cross the chasm.
A textbook definition
A CRM gathers customer interactions across all channels in one place. Managing centralised data that helps businesses improve customer experience, satisfaction, retention and service.
Running a good CRM can be your best and most valuable business tool, but it can also be your route to failure if it is flawed.
Ok, let’s some get flaws cleared, CRM. “Customer Relationship Management”
- The data entered can be over-optimistic
- The data entered can be incorrect
- The data entered can be incomplete
- The data can be out of date
- Some say the relationship does not start until after the sales are done.
- Many record their prospective customers on it?
The reality check
If your CRM gets filled with flawed, corrupted or incorrect data, then achieving the desired outcome becomes unachievable.
Whose responsibility is it?
A manager’s role is laced with fear.
The role of a manager is to lead his people to achieve and exceed the target set by his manager.
How do you avoid the CRM being filled with corrupt, incorrect and worthless data, to do this you need to establish ground rules, the issue with ground rules to the team you lead may be working with their agenda. The only guarantee for success is for the team members to buy-in.
As all teams are a mix of individuals, unfortunately, this may be in contradiction to the points below.
- The rebel inside them likes to push back.
- Turning up and getting paid to attend is the goal.
- Go with presumption; it is easier to fill in the gaps rather than reveal the holes.
- Reason to be cheerful – Perception a view through rose coloured glasses
- Measured against stats, but not scaled against reality
A global view of what might come to pass?
Many managers take a view of the potential and where it lies in the sales cycle by viewing the dashboard, in the same way, we look at the dashboard when driving a car the gauges are only a representation of the effects as you apply pressure to the brakes, the accelerator and the steering wheel.
A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement, KPIs evaluate the success of an organisation or of a particular activity (such as projects, programs, products and other initiatives) in which it engages. Wikipedia.org
You don’t have to be around business for long before you start hearing the words KPI’s, the exciting word is the ‘I’ for ‘indicator’, It is what it says on the rapper an indicator of what might come to pass.
Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believ’d.
The Dashboard and the KPIs are interlinked as a prediction and an outcome, the challenge is when the judgements made as a result are affected by flawed, corrupted or incorrect data.
Common reasons for flawed, corrupted or incorrect data
The rebel in us all: Over the years I have worked with those that liked to see what they can get away with, its not only the sales industry that has Poets Day “P*** Off Home Early Tomorrow’s Saturday.”
Set against a different agenda: The agenda behind what is entered on a CRM can be over-optimistic, pessimistic, or determined by a lack of knowledge, lack of training, ignorance or laziness.
Failure to ask questions: Not asking the needed questions, the difference between failure and success is often as trivial as not asking a question.
Not listening to the prospect/customer: Regardless of it seems what level sales engagement.
Regardless of whether B2C, B2B, and even at the Enterprise level, the constant that keeps reverberating. Is that too many salespeople don’t listen to the buyers.
Presumption: “You can take a horse to water, but you can make it drink.”
If the salesperson in a conversation with the customer or prospect fails to ask the needed questions but rather chouses to infill the gaps with what they believe or wish the result always results in flawed data.
Reasons to be cheerful: “They love what we have” or “The deals in the bag.” We all like to feel wanted; salespeople are no different; hoping to hear or believing they are hearing what you want or need is commonplace. One hard reality of sales is that it has pain built in as there are no prizes in sales for coming in second.
Measured against stats, not scaled against reality: The Based on a scale off 1 to 10 principle, is relatively still new to many, the most likely place you will hear it used is if you are unfortunate to be in consultation with a Doctor or medical practitioner using it to measure the pain you are experiencing, as the scales help’s them prescribe the correct level of pain medication for you.
Implementing a process such as ‘Based on a scale off 1 to 10’ across a sales team understandable for many sales managers, could be a problematic question fraught with danger. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it to become an order.”
Now over the decades I have had several sales managers and managed several salespeople and, I am happy to admit there have been times when I would not have been comfortable to be asked the question or be willing to ask it of those in my charge.
After all, there are some things that we on occasion would prefer not to say or hear, I have known few senior managers that would not look for “On a scale of 1 to 10 how likely is it to become an order? To be used. After all, it has the potential to significantly reduce the potential within the dashboard, wiping out several perceived opportunities from the dashboard can be harmful to anyone’s employment status.
How might the “On a scale of 1 to 10” be playing out without you being aware of it
The Houdini vanishing trick
Now a few years ago the world of sales started coming up with two new quotes “They have gone dark” and “They have gone radio silent.”
The challenge for the brave and the pay off might be that if you asked the. On a scale of 1 to 10″ how likely is it to become an order?
The time and effort spent chasing those that go dark, or radio silent would reduce.
Are you feeling brave?
My first caveat: For those brave and venturous sales mangers asking your salespeople the question “Based on a scales of 1 to 10 principle” The answers may just require to self prescribe your pain relief when the realities start to checks in on the dashboard.
My second caveat: For Sales Managers, how and when might it be useful, it’s probably not correct to use it with members of your established team as a negative reality outcome may be damaging to both sides of the relationship.
My third caveat: My advice is to use it on your new team members, as despite their dashboard stats looking initially slightly weaker in comparison to the established team members, however when the measures turn to focus on the win rate, the view will switch.
Connecting the dots
For those that have not read or heard or aware of the principle of crossing the gap, may I suggest Geoffrey A. Moore book ‘CROSSING THE CHASM’ although it is the focus is on bring high-tech products into the larger market place there is a crossover for sales teams?
And when you aligned the connection with ‘The Golden Circle; an innovative concept by Simon Sinek.’ And how it plays into Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and your focusing on The ‘WHY’ as we are looking at best-fit customers to grow our business with our most important customers or clients.
Simon Sinek; The law of diffusion of innovation, with the bell curve, allows us to focus on creating a cultural transformation within your team whether you’re in sales or marketing or a blend of both.
On a scale of 1 to 10″ how likely is it: has and can be structured to integrate with both marketing and sales.
After all, if your in marketer asking your self. On a scale of 1 to 10″ how likely is this email going to get read by the target? Or On a scale of 1 to 10″ how likely is a video going to get seen by the target group?
Is no different to, sales asking its self On a scale of 1 to 10″ how likely is it to become an order?
I believe for sales and marketing, regardless of joined or run as separate segments of an organisation regardless of marketing operating against on a budget or sales measured against performance outcomes.
For those in the team, whose performance is measured by outcomes using.
“On a scale of 1 to 10” how likely is it?”
As in the principal of the bell curve the likelihood is that the Innovators you’re chosen few; as their stats start to be seen as having a better close rate.
For those that form the balance of the established sales team, they have a choice they can join your created Innovators, as the Early Adopters for the rest of the team to up to them to decide if they will be part of the, Early Majority, Late Majority or be the Laggards.