3. Optimise existing processes
After taking the outside-in customer view, it's time to look inside at your existing sales and marketing processes. This not only serves to map current processes that you may want to replicate in the CRM, but it also identifies inefficiencies and break-points that you need resolve before you make the switch.
A CRM tool is not a magic wand that will instantly transform your sales and marketing effectiveness. Transferring weak legacy processes to a shiny new digital platform will only create more costly frustration.
To map internal processes and identify their breakpoints, it is imperative to adopt the point of view of your sales team on the front-line. By observing and tracking their time spent on different tasks you can spot opportunities for automation and improved process flows.
Finally, by overlaying your customer journey map with your internal process map you can see where the two are misaligned. You are then in a position to redesign your sales and marketing process to optimise customer experience and sales force effectiveness.
By doing this redesign prior to CRM selection you are able to define your requirements more precisely. You also take advantage of the flux of the transition process to change ingrained ways of working before new behaviours get established.
4. Decide the key metrics to track
You have now mapped your customers' actual journey and your existing processes and aligned the two to optimise customer experience and sales force effectiveness. The next step is to identify the key metrics you require to monitor progress toward your business goals, as well as the relevant data points you will need to capture.
One major advantage of powerful new CRM tools is their potential to help you make the quantum shift from reviewing only backward-looking performance measures to also tracking forward-looking leading indicators.
The advantage of tracking leading indicators for the sales and marketing organisation is their ability to flag up potential misses whilst you still have sufficient time to take corrective action and achieve your goals. By reviewing leading indicators your team's energy shifts from justifying past failures and towards overcoming obstacles to your goals.
There are literally hundreds of potential sales and marketing metrics you can track, therefore clearly linking your earlier identified goals (or Key Result Areas) to the relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is critical. Once the KPIs are defined, the task is to identify the correct leading indicators that can then be tracked and visualised in your CRM's dashboard.
For example, the health of your sales pipeline is an important leading indicator of future sales. Therefore, identifying the different stages of your deal process to replicate in the CRM, establishing the most important qualifying criteria at each stage and calculating the typical conversion rates, can help tell you whether or not you're on track to achieve your target. By contrast, the traditional Excel-based approach to collating and analysing such information was often so time-consuming in a large sales organisation that it could never produce actionable insights.
5. Identify and address the barriers to user adoption
You've now got a set of optimised sales and marketing processes and identified the metrics you need to track. It's time to move to evaluate the CRM, isn't it? Not so fast. In our experience companies often dedicate substantial management bandwidth to evaluating the financial and technical elements of a new CRM solution, but pay little attention to the barriers to user-adoption, which ultimately make or break your CRM implementation.
The most important barriers to adoption - and the most difficult ones to overcome - relate to the deep-rooted cultural change that is required to support a successful CRM transition. Sales and marketing executives have often gotten used to closely guarding their key client relationships and can be reluctant to share information which they may feel reduces their value to the organisation. At the same time, your people may feel threatened by the greater accountability that comes with greater transparency of individual and team performance. Further, many executives may lack the comfort and skills to work with these new digital tools.
To overcome these barriers, leaders need to first bring the fears and anxieties of their people to the surface through open conversations and then develop clear strategies to overcome them. For example, identifying digital natives in the organisation who can train and mentor older team members can overcome the skill gap. While clearly articulating how the new system will help individuals in achieving their targets can ease their fears. Furthermore, linking individual and team performance reviews to CRM based metrics can help incentivise adoption.
By preparing the ground with these five steps, companies can ensure that they select the right CRM tool for their business needs and also build robust processes and positive mindsets to fully realise its benefits.