3 mistakes companies make in implementing sales CRM

Do you have a plan to implement Sales CRM in your organization or if you are using Sales CRM already, then keen to know how to improve the ROI?

Then from our studies as well as interacting with companies who have successfully implemented the sales CRM, there are 3 common mistakes to be avoided.

Not having a sales CRM Strategy

The 1st biggest mistake is to roll out sales CRM without proper strategy.

It’s important to understand the difference between CRM technology and CRM strategy. Most tech vendors promote sales CRM technology and how the tool can increase sales and make the sales team become productive. 

But those who are in sales for long know clearly, selling is all to do with people relations. Tools at best can enable but what matters is how effectively the sales team wants to use tools and their intent behind it.

In summary, the key difference is this:

  1. CRM Technology: Acts as a central platform where primarily customer data can be organized, used, securely shared and acquired. It provides functionality for pipeline management and reporting, as well as the ability to communicate and track all touchpoints with your contacts.

  2. CRM Strategy: These are the set of processes that organizations put in place to standardize and optimize the way CRM technology is used. The strategy includes the rollout process, communication mechanism, training, coaching and developing a data-driven mindset among salespeople.

So to best utilize CRM technology, an organization needs to first start with the sales CRM strategy. The technology should help to enable the strategy, not the other way around.

You may be 2 member team of 200 member team, having a Sales CRM strategy is critical. 

Not developing a clear sales process

The 2nd mistake is not to invest time to have a well-defined sales process which is being followed by the sales team.

Sales CRM enables the Sales Process but cannot enforce the sales process. If your team is not following a sales process, spend time to first develop a process and ensure the sales team adhere to that. 

The sales process is defined depending on the complexity of the business. It can just 5 steps of 15 steps process. Defining and getting buy-in from all the team is a must. 

CRM software such as PipeDrive definitely enables sales processes much more effectively than trying to do manually. Defining the sales process and ensuring teams adhere to it requires sales training and coaching. 

Without well-defined sales process, the CRM is half dead and most likely will become just a one more tool for tracking activities then a business tool which can drive sales revenue.

Knowing internal challenges

3rd mistake is, failure to understand the internal challenges of sales CRM rollout. There will always be resistance among different stakeholders to adhere to new tools esp automation tools like sales CRM which requires certain behavior changes among the users.

Sales CRM implementation requires significant changes in the way sales teams work. Where new habits need to be formed, enforcing a top-down approach will not help. The sales CRM migration must be first accepted at the sales force level.

Sales managers to sales force will resist the change not because they don’t want to use CRM but mostly because, they lack the vision to see “how it helps him in his way of working”.

To do this developing key skills in the form of training, coaching will help the sales team to be aligned to the sales CRM initiative.  

Refer our article on 7 tips to make sales CRM implementation successful

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