So you want to grow your business.
You need the right people, the right training, and the right tools. Operating more efficiently than your competition is a process that depends on all three.
You cannot make a fire without the right tools. Similarly, the right tools won’t do too much for you if you don’t know how to use them.
The key is finding both: skilled people and the right technology, with an emphasis on the former.
SAAS products like Salesforce are great tools for customer relationship management, but using them meaningfully requires employees that understand the company’s entire sales process.
CRM software can’t fix bad salespeople.
Look for employees with a certain level of order and efficiency in their daily lives already. They will take naturally to software tools that increase productivity. The right people will use CRM software the way it’s intended to be used: to improve customer relationships.
Here are three tips to successful implementation of CRM software:
1. Implement a sales process map.
You want to make sure both your marketing and sales departments have a solid understanding of the big picture.
Implement internal agreements between marketing and sales for lead nurturing and hand off between departments. Orient both departments around the same SMART goals.
Remember that processes are only half the battle; relationships are constantly changing.
You need good people to implement and iterate effectively. Make sure your employees understand basic principles: where leads come from and the necessary steps to close a deal.
2. Focus on lead generation first, not sales
Once you are overwhelmed with leads, then think about bringing on salespeople.
Notice that all sales start with a focused marketing campaign designed to generate leads. Lead automation software like Hubspot can integrate with customer relationship management software like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics to bridge the gap between lead generation and the rest of the sales process.
Ask yourself whether you’re implementing CRM software because you don’t trust your sales people and aren’t sure what they’re doing, or because your salespeople are overwhelmed with leads. Start with lead generation, and the sales will follow.
3. Focus on hiring the best people.
Do you have the right team in place? Are you creating processes for your salespeople or in spite of your salespeople?
Good processes will help but they’ll be a whole lot more effective with the right people. Good people will become exceptional with a good process to guide them, especially when you incorporate organizational tools that boost efficiency.
The best way to find good people is to start with the low-hanging fruit.
Focus your HR department on your own personnel. Approach the best people you already have. Ask them if they know anyone else who would be a good fit. Chances are they will. If so, bring them in. Someone with a ringing endorsement from your best employees is highly likely to do well. They’re also likely to fit in with the company culture.
If it works out well, do it again!
Growing your business is a challenging and rewarding process.