A customer relationship management system (CRM) will not transform a business without the buy-in of key players. Higher ups, sales and marketing teams need to actually want to use the CRM and collaborate together to make the process work within an organization.
A CRM is not just another piece of software to purchase. It represents change to internal processes within a company. When people are invested in using a CRM and making improvements to internal processes, resulting changes occur in business performance.
How does one get sales teams and the marketing department to understand the usefulness of CRM and its many benefits? After all, purchasing software that no one intends to actually use is an exercise in futility.
The Myth of CRM
“A CRM is another way to waste my time” or so some may think. According to HubSpot, many salespeople who are part of the “unhappy quandrant” see a CRM as a disruption. Without laying the groundwork of what a CRM can do for an organization and how to master a CRM system, an organization will simply be throwing its money away.
It’s not that a CRM is not effective. Typically, it’s that the collective team has not been prepped to understand or properly motivated to want to use the system. One potential strategy is to roll it out to a handful of star performers and let them give it a test drive. A company can then gauge the change to the performance of their selected group and use it as an internal measurement to motivate other team members. In addition, not all CRMs are alike. Rolling out to a small group allows time for feedback from salespeople and an understanding of the intuitiveness of a system.
A few adjustments may be necessary before inviting everyone in the sales and marketing departments to use the system. Teams tend to lose faith in such products if the CRM slows down their practices, is difficult to use, or fails to integrate with other in-house systems.
The Benefits of CRM
It is reported that up to 75 percent of companies do not have a process to nurture sales leads. Sales are lost each and every day as sales and marketing teams address immediate issues and overlook this critical area. Integrating CRM with marketing automation and other platforms can alleviate this problem by building an internal system to address the nurturing of sales leads and help sales teams close more deals with prospective customers.
CRM is not only helpful for sales and marketing, but also to improve the customer experience. It can be difficult to convert prospects. Why not have a system in place that records each interaction with a prospect not only as a first-time customer, but as returning customers to provide intelligent personalization that drives additional purchases and upgrades? Plus, a positive customer experience often helps pull in word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers.
These benefits are in addition to the ability of sales to have access to prospect, customer and deal data anywhere and anytime.
Construction and Sales Technology
Sales technology can do much for construction companies, as noted by Rowland T. Moriarty and Gordon S. Swartz in the Harvard Business Review:
“In cases we have reviewed, sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%, and investment returns have often exceeded 100%. These returns may sound like the proverbial free lunch, but they are real.”
By using technology to standardize processes for sales and sales stages, greater consistency in bidding and winning work from new customers can be achieved. Steps to be included in a sales stage for construction might include details on qualification, bidding, proposal development, negotiations and closing.
Other ways to benefit construction companies include:
- collect and update data on customers and their relationship all in one place;
- add contacts associated with each account; and
- track bidding information on viable projects, such as opportunity name, bid dates, contract value, construction type, sales stage and market segment.
Sales and marketing technology tailored to the needs of a construction company can incorporate many of the “to do” items and tasks required by a sales team and make it easy for a salesperson to stay on track and manage contacts, potential bids and get additional support from the team when necessary.
Mobile Access Tops It Off
Marketing and sales teams benefit from the integration of a CRM with a sales enablement platform, making communications and access to information easier for all involved. The marketing team can get the details they need quickly as sales handles and updates information on sales calls. This allows them to tailor content to the real needs uncovered when prospects and customers are engaged by a salesperson. Further integration with marketing automation can help to close the data loop, connecting what happens with a prospect offline with their online activities, and that is a powerful thing indeed.