Most buyers of CRM are primarily interested in gaining control of their sales pipeline – Opportunity Management. During implementation certain other items find their way into the mix such as lead qualification, activity tracking and account management. Whether it is realized or not, the primary reason for choosing CRM is to automate a sales methodology in your organization. It may be a defined sales methodology such as Miller-Heiman or Beyond Selling Value. However, many times the sales methodology is a “home grown” method; one that seems to work just fine for the particular organization utilizing it. In fact, a typical review of the sales process of choice amounts to an interrogation of the top 2 or 3 sales people in the organization to figure out exactly how they are having success. How do they cold call? How do they structure their initial meeting? Are their presentations different in any way than the rest of the team? What specific approach do they take when closing a deal?
Should an organization base their sales methodology on the successes of a small subset of sales reps? Can what they do be duplicated by a new sales person? I am a firm believer that selling is an art form – especially when it comes to selling value and relationship selling. Some people have that certain “je ne sais quoi” – and so far we are not allowed to clone them. Until then, standardizing on a sales methodology is the best we can do. Utilizing Sage SalesLogix and opportunity sales processes you can automate many of the tasks and steps necessary to provide focus to your sales team’s efforts.
But there is more to the sale, especially a value sale, than closing the opportunity. There is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into building the relationship with the individuals at a company. Effective activity management builds those relationships and opens doors to closing opportunities. If you are familiar with Miller-Heiman, you may think of Gold Sheets, Blue Sheets and Green Sheets. No matter what the process you adopt, standardize and measure for success. If you do not measure, success will still lie solely with those precious few that close the majority of your deals.
In the next month or so, watch for exciting things coming from Sage and Miller-Heiman integration. If this is a success, other sales methodologies are sure to follow.