A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a place for businesses to collect data that can help increase productivity, internal communication, and training support within your sales team. It can also help to create a bridge of information for marketing to use for optimizing campaigns. But, your CRM can reach beyond these two teams, providing valuable information for many other departments at your company that can help your executive team make decisions.
- Accurate Forecasting: Consistent use of your CRM by the sales team and proper reporting can create a detailed, trustworthy view into potential revenue for the company. This can be important for anyone on an executive team with P&L responsibilities or who may need to make budgeting decisions.
CRM Tool Used: A dashboard that covers the full pipeline (or multiple pipelines) and includes accurate close dates and amounts.
- Capacity Planning: If your CRM and sales pipeline is set up with trustworthy probabilities and classifications, you can report on the amount and type of work you may need to prepare to service in the next month, quarter, or year. This can help teams make staffing and team decisions.
CRM Tool Used: A report of your pipelines that is broken down by a custom field. This may vary based on what you sell but some examples include classification, market, service, or product. Accurate data in your CRM can help you estimate workload and plan for resource needs.
- Limited Risk from Turnover: Although the executive team might not be digging into a salesperson’s notes when they leave, the ability to hire and get a new salesperson up to speed thanks to a CRM is a huge win. With detailed notes, a new rep can easily step in – keeping a sale in motion and helping your bottom line while limiting risk to the decisions you’ve made from forecasting and capacity planning.
CRM Tool Used: Sales managers can pull a list of open deals and leads for the new rep to start getting up to speed.
- Investor Reports: By consolidating many of the reports listed above, companies can feel confident in the ease and accuracy of reporting when needing to provide key details to investors. This is also true if your company is considering a merger or pitching an acquisition.
CRM Tool Used: A dashboard that covers the full (or multiple) pipeline(s) with sales data can show the current value and potential value (in the next 1-2 years) to your investors or potential buyers. CEOs and/or Founders can quickly and cleanly provide valuation data using this tool.
- Training & Coaching: With proper dashboard set-up, organization leaders can quickly look at performance across sales teams to understand opportunities for coaching and productivity increases in each line of business. This helps leadership prioritize focus for additional training initiatives and offers their sales managers an effective tool for coaching their team.
CRM Tool Used: Tasks, emails, call logging from individual contributors and dashboards, and productivity reports from a management level.
How to best use your existing CRM
- Appoint an owner – Accountability is important for tools & processes. While it’s every user’s responsibility to be diligent about entering data accurately and timely, your team should have a CRM admin or owner to increase accountability. This can increase usage, enhance data integrity, and even enable learning/training of new features.
- Conduct a technology audit – Once you have a system owner, your business will also have an expert on your tool and data. This individual would be a great person to help your team do a technology audit to explore features being used (or not) or gaps in data integrity. To get started, here’s a tech audit worksheet.
- Listen to your team – We often find that teams underutilize CRMs, and in turn are dealing with inaccurate data sources, have gaps in training, functionality, or process alignment. Send a survey or conduct user interviews to better understand your team’s pain points and guide priorities for continuous improvement.