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CRM isn’t new for sales organizations.  A system for managing accounts, activities and opportunities has been around for more than a decade. Companies have been investing in CRM systems for sales organizations in order to promote revenue growth, to enhance profitability, gain full business transparency and to attain a higher level of employee and customer satisfaction.

Obviously, CRM is still a journey; enterprises leverage CRM systems for different purposes and have different objectives such as to:

  1. Secure and analyze their customer data
  2. Increase sales efficiency
  3. Increase sales effectiveness
  4. Become a customer-centric enterprise – based on “Customer Engagement Excellence”

Each enterprise needs to define what they will achieve with their CRM investment, and when. Developing ones’ plan and then executing your plan will provide the roll out schedule to unveil elements of CRM based on customer need, sales readiness, and culture.

For most sales organizations, sales effectiveness is the key to staying competitive. These organizations are facing a world of dispersed sales teams managing a diverse portfolio of (commoditized or complex) products and services, trying to stay ahead of an increasing field of competition in a saturated market and doing their best to keep their top performers. Sales organizations are looking for CRM systems that support these goals – they need a CRM system to help sales professionals access the right information quickly – whether they’re at their desk or on the road, shorten sales cycles, and ultimately close more deals.

All enterprises which need to focus on sales effectiveness but use their current CRM tools for securing and analyzing their customer data and to increase their sales efficiency only, should plan their next step in their CRM journey: Their focus on sales effectiveness. This also requires an analysis if the current CRM tool would make this move possible. Next gen CRM systems, let’s call them Customer Engagement systems, will definitely make this step easier and most probably more successful.

Sales professionals who use a next gen CRM system and take sales effectiveness serious do focus on their most valuable customers and deals with proven activities and do some things different:

  1. Focus on the right customers: Knowing what you can sell to which customer and when, and also considering your company’s strategy
  2. Engage contacts in meaningful interactions: Consider your lessons learned from previous engagements and leverage information from social media or other external sources in case you engage with a contact you do not even know
  3. Focus on the right deals in your pipeline: Leverage full transparency of your pipeline and consider the lessons learned out of previous or similar deals
  4. Consider proven activities: Follow guided selling recommendations, collaborate with your colleagues and manager to get their advice, and consider all known success factors
  5. Ensure consistency: Avoid any inconsistency along the entire sales cycle, including error-prone quotes, orders and contracts – through a seamlessly integrated Customer Engagement system
  6. Avoid surprises: Leverage deep insight into your sales process and business to identify changes early – based on contextual real-time information

However, increasing your sales effectiveness with a CRM system for sales will only work if the sales professionals want to use the system. Next gen CRM systems such as SAP Cloud for Sales help enterprises to overcome this hurdle, since user experience has been a key design principle – through consumer-grade UI, out-of-the box mobile and next gen sales effectiveness capabilities.

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Enterprises which have moved from a CRM tool with basic sales capabilities to a next gen CRM system report significantly increased adoption due to:

  • Consumer-grade user experience
  • Easy to use mobile sales
  • Deep business insight
  • Sales effectiveness tools
  • Collaboration and Social capabilities

A Forrester TEI study identified an ROI of 655% for a next gen CRM system roll out, based on an analysis of four CRM rollout projects. In case you are interested in more details on how enterprises successfully made the next step towards sales effectiveness and their potential return on investment (ROI) by deploying a Customer Engagement system, check out the Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study here!

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