Well, isn’t that the point after all? Don’t we want to install and implement systems to give us an advantage in the marketplace over our competition? But at the same time, if everyone is implementing CRM systems, how can that give our company a competitive advantage? The reason there is still the potential to use a CRM to competitive advantage is that few companies using a CRM are using them for a significant percentage of their full capability. Here are some recent client situations:
- Clients that use their CRM for little more than centralized phone books
- Clients that make decisions based on reports that are fundamentally incorrect or not understood by their audience. Likewise, I am convinced that a significant percentage of the Business Intelligence (“BI”) product niche is used by people who have no idea what they are doing or what they are looking at. This includes companies on the Fortune 500 list.
- Clients not capturing meaningful deal information to determine outcomes
- Clients that don’t farm their CRM for repeat business
Using a CRM for competitive advantage requires a focus in four areas: Measurement, followup/nurturing, integration and efficiency
- Measurement – If you want competitive advantage start with lead to opportunity to final disposition measurement. This is to answer the questions: What lead source yields the most profitable or strategically important customers? Which salespeople are most effective in closing leads, have the best time to resolution and have the most efficient communication? What is the cost of customer acquisition for each converted lead? This aspect requires strictly enforced compliance because if a percentage of the team isn’t collecting data then the use of the data is going to be suspect. How can you measure lead profitability if some sales people aren’t reporting the data accurately?
- Followup/Nurturing – Does your CRM give your sales team the tools for efficient prospect followups and nurturing? This could be email and text message templates bu
- Integration – Is your CRM integrated into other systems to provide efficient service delivery and efficiencies in your back end processes?
- Efficiency – Effective use of a CRM required that the system be easy to use or compliance will be lacking. This means that superfluous fields are eliminated, process flows are streamline and that management reporting and tools are clear and effective. Sales productivity has been shown time and time again to be vital to competitive advantage because the cost of sales in so many environments is so high. Sales managers without being comfortable in using analytic tools will always be at a disadvantage to those who are.
Contact us for a free consultation on how your company can achieve competitive advantage through its CRM deployment and use..