Historically CRM systems were implemented to capture and manage the sales process, to ensure that everything that the sales rep had learned from the customer was held and made visible, replacing the rolodex and little black books of sales of the past. The trouble is that despite all that investment in the best technology, no one uses it the way you intended. Some of your employees are diligent and use it regularly, most use it irregularly and some not at all so the return on investment is unclear for most businesses.
Most of the problems in CRM systems lie in their complexity, particularly when using them in field. Your sales and field customer people struggle to enter information when out on the road because the CRM are not optimised for mobile and the processes are often unwieldy. Data capture is therefore often poor quality and incomplete and therefore not useful for business reporting purposes.
To make things even more challenging, merely capturing customer and prospect data is not enough. According to the Institute for Global Futures successful sales today need to be armed with more proactive data, more human data, on-demand, any time, anywhere, any format.
So what does this mean to your sales processes and people….
- Data storage and mining will be essential to creating real-time access to customer information and identifying key customer opportunities
- Sales Knowledge Management – it is increasingly critical to get the right information to the right people at the right time to that they can make the right buying decision
- Wireless access to product knowledge on demand will differentiate sales peoples ability to win business
- Sales Business Process Transformation is required to maximise effectiveness and innovation
- Sales supply chain from production to end-user will be web-centric, offering end to end, transparent, streamlined and efficient processes.
A recent case study that we worked on illustrated nicely how a lack of proactive information for the sales teams was impacting sales success. The sales team were very mobile and using Salesforce One on the move but finding accessing key information unwieldy and time consuming. Although Salesforce One is a huge benefit for mobile sales teams the underlying sales processes of the business are often not changed for the mobile environment so tasks can take just as long to achieve when out and about as they do in the office.
99% of businesses have expressed a desire to improve productivity through mobility but often the complexity of doing this is preventing it from happening. More sales people than ever are accessing work systems remotely by mobile but are struggling to use systems designed for a desktop computer on a mobile platform. The aim is to reduce frustration levels amongst employees, by letting them easily access and complete the actions they need to focus on. What doesn’t work for sales is scrolling through 17 screens on a mobile to complete one critical field in a customer record (and that is on a mobile enabled CRM). It is fair to say that many established business processes do not translate well to mobile and CRM is one of them.
At Capriza we have looked at this problem in depth (because we have our own sales teams that could always be more productive). We have built personalised, role based apps (we call these Zapps) from the core CRM with the sales team involvement to mobilise the tasks that our people need to do on the road regularly. We have provided each of them with easy to use, intuitive Zapps that ensure that they can keep CRM updated quickly and painlessly. We have added intelligence to this process by building alerts and reminders that inform them at the right time about what is needed or what has changed. We have provided quick and easy access to all the decision points that an effective sales team need to see and access. All of these micro-apps have been built without having to touch the underlying CRM systems, with no api’s or coding.
Whilst many businesses fear mobilisation because of the security issues, the Capriza approach ensures that no data is stored on the mobile device itself, it is all kept in the underlying application and therefore is as secure as the core application is.
We all know the potential value of our CRM systems however we don’t want our people to get bogged down in the detail of it. Making it easy for your sales teams to be productive and innovative whilst using your sales processes on the go will ensure that your CRM delivers the ROI you expected.
By Russell Acton, VP and General Manager, International at Capriza. Russell is responsible for running International Business and has held various leadership positions over the last 25 years in high-tech industries.