I have been in B2B selling technology solutions for about 20 years, starting at Dell in the 90s to various software companies, large and small. Why am I taking up valuable blog space telling you this? Because in every case, whether big or just starting out, every successful company selling a product or service to consumers or companies had both a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) and a defined sales process. A CRM system helps companies automate and manage communication to their clients and prospects, as well as glean data about their customers in order to serve them better. Taking prospects through a well-defined sales process increases sales and efficiency, so let’s take a look at it.
When I came to selling Digital Marketing and CRM technology to insurance agencies, I was shocked to find sales professionals working without any technology nor sales process playbooks of any kind.
It was never more clear than recently when I visited with an agency in the Greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area. This agency even specializes in commercial insurance; the owner commented that their people “weren’t ready for CRM.” I almost fell out of my chair. These days, that would be like saying your staff prefers making sales calls on a telegraph machine instead of an office or cell phone. It does not make sense to forego the vast improvement in efficiency, money, lead prioritization, and follow-up and nurturing automation that technology can provide. Agencies not using this type of technology are missing out on the many benefits of a well-oiled sales process designed to drive revenue, and are just leaving money on the table
According to David Brock of Partners in Excellence,
“The sales process is the cornerstone to driving the highest levels of sales performance. There’s so much data supporting this, one would think discussing sales process should be a non issue—-every organization should continually be strengthening their process, sales people should be executing them with precision. Yet, this is far from the truth.”
Mr. Brock goes on to point out four major outcomes that your sales process needs to accomplish. So ask yourself if your sales process achieves these four goals:
- Does it improve win rates?
- Does it shorten the sales cycle?
- Does it maximize deal profitability?
- Does it align with your customer’s buying process?
I will discuss these goals further in my next blog. According to CSO Insights, a formalized sales process leads to a 65% increase in individual reps hitting their targets and an 88% increase in companies hitting their targets. That seems like reason enough to look into it.