September 26, 2016 James Banbury

Is your current CRM losing you sales?

Is your CRM losing you sales?

CRM today should be more than just seeing what Calls, Meetings and Emails are assigned to a Contact in the system. It should be about building relationships, providing Business Intelligence and closing the sale.

My implementation experience has lead me to witness two very different approaches to how the CRM user closes a sale.

Example company “Bright LTD” and company “Spark LTD” both have the same CRM system, SugarCRM in this case. They both sell similar marketing automation software, but in a very non-similar way.

Bright LTD user “Jay” has been working on a potential customer for around 3 months. He has a planned call today with that customer and is doing some prep work before the call. His CRM is displaying the:

• Projected revenue for this account
• Expected close date
• Take-home commission figure
• Previous history of calls and emails

Spark LTD user “Sarah” has been working on the same prospect as Jay. Also preparing for a planned call this morning, she is preparing herself with data from the CRM. Her CRM is displaying:

• Current Customer Situation
• Customer recent tweets
• Customer Environment
• Customer Goals
• Customer Challenges
• What Success looks like for the customer
• What lack of success looks like for the customer

Jay goes into the call with quota at the forefront of his mind. Sarah goes into the call with the customer’s current challenges and future goals in mind. Who do you think had the better sales call?

Now, this isn’t necessarily to do with which CRM system you use, although I must point out, to get the most out of a CRM system it has to be easy to configure. This is more to do with the way the CRM has been set up. Sure, you need to be able to analyse your pipeline and get up-to-date revenue projections but this certainly shouldn’t be the main focus for the Sales Guy.

Without taking the time to stand in the boots of the customer, a Sales Guy can quite often go into the sales call with information that doesn’t extend beyond “these are our products and services…you buy? You buy?”.

Sarah from Spark LTD had a huge advantage over Jay. From the outset, her CRM was providing her with REAL intelligence and a customer-focused sales pitch.

Why some CRM systems are losing good business.

Should the products/service from Jay be cheaper than Sarah, she still would have won the deal. Jay was focused on quota; Sarah was focused on the customer.

Last year I was working with an advertising agency that implemented a new CRM but failed to boost sales numbers. They brought me in to find out why.

Straight away it was easy to identify the issue after spending time with the team. Nowhere could I see any customer-focused information, critical information in the advertising business. Where is the intel on the customer’s goals? The customer’s challenges?

The CRM was the culinary equivalent of giving Gordon Ramsay a Lego set and saying “cook with that”. You need tools, and in business, that critical tool is information. But the right type of information.

Since hiding the ‘sales metrics’ data and putting customer focused data to the forefront of the CRM it’s no wonder their sales have gone up 40% in 12 months.

Out-of-the-box CRM is generally more focused on the pipeline which makes for an undistinguished sales pitch. Focus your CRM around the customer, and you’ll be giving Ramsey his utensils.

James Banbury

James is the managing director of Sugabyte Ltd.For several years, James has been consulting with organisations in Europe and building customer solutions.

About the Author

James Banbury James is the managing director of Sugabyte Ltd. For several years, James has been consulting with organisations in Europe and building customer solutions.


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