Your customer relationship management solution is a powerful tool for your sales force, but these software solutions aren’t simply one-size-fits-all for the sales department. The right one greatly increases the productivity through sales automation and has other features that let your sales staff focus on the human side of selling. However, you need to follow a few best practices for technology sourcing before you implement CRM sales automation software.
1. Understanding Your Sales Workflow
What does your current sales workflow look like? You want to reach out to your sales department to understand how they typically go through the sales process, what areas are the most inefficient, and what sales staff’s major pain points are. Go over potential CRM requirements with the sales department to determine which features will work best for your current sales workflow.
2. Identifying Sales Automation Areas
What areas are most inefficient in your existing sales workflow, and how can you use sales automation to improve efficiency and productivity? You want to use CRM features that support your existing workflow without completely replacing it. Instead, look at it as a way of optimizing what you have in place, and what works best for your sales pipeline. In some cases, this is automating information gathering, call time collection, tracking follow ups and scheduling, sending out automated emails, and handling the more monotonous sales areas.
3. Gain Buy-in
A CRM solution is no good if your sales staff wants nothing to do with it. Work closely with the end users who are going to be the ones using the software for a large part of their job duties. While you also need executive buy-in for a software purchase decision, you don’t want to go back to the CRM selection drawing board a few months later because the sales department couldn’t use the automation features available. Send out surveys, solicit direct feedback and engage with sales teams to identify the features most important to the end users. If possible, involve the sales department in the demo portion of CRM selection and let them field test some solutions.
4. Understanding the Risks With a CRM Automation Solution
Even if you have perfect CRM solution on paper, it may not perform exactly as you expected when its put into action. When you’re looking for automation options in a CRM, the real-world conditions your sales department deals with may not play nice with the feature set available. While you hope for the best, you also want to plan for the worse, which means understanding the risks associated with a failed CRM deployment. Judge the associated costs, both direct and indirect, as well as what would be necessary for implementing another CRM choice should this situation occur.
Bonus Tip: Use an IT Sourcing Management Platform
If you are shopping for a CRM Sales Automation Software, considering using an IT sourcing management platform, such as SelectHub, to make sure your CRM selection meets your needs.
The platform makes it easy to compare features, set up demos, and ultimately source the right CRM solution for your company. The amount of CRM solutions on the market is fairly overwhelming, so making it easy to select and communicate with vendors cuts down a lot of time associated with the process.
Want to learn more about choosing the right CRM solution for your company? Take a look at this CRM Software Selection Quick Start Guide to begin your vendor selection journey on the right foot.