2) Walk: Any decent CRM tool should have workflows

We’ve got our basic milestones in place in “crawl”.  Now we can start to put in some automation.   Got a business rule that says we’re going to call all of our existing customers at least once every 90 days?   How are you going to enforce that?   By leveraging business process workflows you can have the system automatically schedule those follow up activities for the sales team.   Want reporting?  Use the “not” side of the logic and see who didn’t make all of their assigned calls this month/quarter/year.    A new lead comes in.  Statistics show us that new leads that get called within 2 hours have a 4x higher closing rate than those that have been sitting for 24 hours.   How do we know who, how and when a salesperson is getting that lead and how fast they get that first call in on it?   CRM.

Before we go creating rules and milestones and complicating the process though, keep a few things in mind:

  1. Easy to understand.Make sure everyone is on the same page.  It should be easy to understand each step in the process.   If the team members don’t understand the difference between stage one and two, it fails this criteria and you need to work simplifying and training.
  2. There are identifiable differences between each stage.It should also be clear what moves an opportunity from one stage to the next.   Again, your better CRM tools should make this easy by allowing you to specify what data must be understood in order to move to the next stage.    For example, you should know when to upgrade a lead to an opportunity (typically we might expect to know BANT is complete).   The Sales team must know what makes the stages different and what needs to be done to get a deal to the next milestone.
  3. As an opportunity moves thru the milestones of the Sales Funnel meaningful progress is made toward a purchase decision. Yes, this oversimplification and yes many an opportunity and a client may not make a linear journey.   In fact, in today’s world where our prospects are as much as 80% of the way thru their decision process before they ever engage with a salesperson the truth is we’re in many cases playing from behind but that’s a topic for another day.   Done right, our Sales Process should be “mostly right” and give us a general picture of what’s going on in our pipeline.