Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for any enterprise is the foundational element that creates the business channel for the products to reach customers. CRM is particularly important for enterprises that want the products/ services to become a business opportunity. A survey was conducted for CIO’s in 2017 that reported around one-third of the customer relationship management projects usually fail. The failure won’t mean a complete dropdown but some imperative features that couldn’t be implemented. The reasons for the failure can be many things – technological limitations, the resourcefulness of manpower budget, and data barriers in dealing with different touch points. The survey even went deeper to understand the work of CRM in business growth. Executives were asked if they think that the CRM system is helping their business, the failure rate was close to 90 percent.

Giving a clear view many enterprises actually miss the mark when developing a CRM for communication or build a lead foundation. Many enterprises that adopt CRM not based on the simple fact that they should improve the sales process rather add reporting, progress analytics or other business intelligence features. CRM should be a tool that can help the sales reps to convert a lead to a potential client.  Majority of sales reps and managers have openly mentioned that most of the CRM features are not helping them to convert more leads. CRM is a tool that is used by even sales reps and C-level executives, so usage of objective analysis before choosing or designing a CRM will work.

The survey was then carried to enterprises that had recently implemented CRM to reason with them about different CRM applications in different verticals.  The VP of marketing was pleased that the tool provided easy access to lead tracking. The CIO of the business was not so pleased because the data integrity issues from 20 different databases created chaos. The sales managers were still weighing in the options, whether they could say that it helped them or not. The biggest team utilizing the CRM was the sales team that completely hated the tech and over the course of time, it becomes less and less reliable.  The biggest problem for them is that the team had to enter a lot of data that was of no use in the selling process and the quality of data reduced over time.

To transform the CRM implementation it’s imperative that the enterprises change the process of approaching a CRM as a tool.

1. CRM and Revenue

Enterprises spend thousands of dollars on development and deployment of a CRM application. The sales team will be the underlying foundation that will drive the sales but they first need to buy-in that it will be successful. CRM is just not a simple technology that supports the sales process it will be the creating the process of sales. Many view CRM just as an administrative tool used for reporting but it’s a tool to support the sales through access resource support and manage the communication. Determining the metrics and information variation will help to keep the tool as a relevant option.

2. Integrate Marketing

Marketing and Sales are like two points in an enterprise that can never meet each other. Marketing blames the sales for not putting in more effort in lead conversion and the sales team says leads do not maintain the quality. If in the early stages of the lead generation and during the sales marketing cycle, both the teams should work together. Working together sales and marketing team will also lead to winning/ loss analysis. Such kind of integration will help you to gravitate different lead prospects and also maintain a healthy conversion.

3. Managers Understanding the CRM

The role of the manager is just not reporting and creating a better database of lead conversion. It’s sales management and how the sales reps are experiencing and using the CRM. Many managers think that viewing the sales data will provide an opportunity to overview the data but use the tool to create opportunities and build strategies. Managers can use the CRM to even coach the team members about using different metrics and also provide opportunities to the team. The application of CRM is endless but it first needs to explore as a business opportunity for growth. Utilizing a CRM will build a conducive relationship that helps in reducing the distance between sales and conversion. Technology is meant to improve the sales process and it creates a developmental path as new technologies keep getting introduced. Addition of AI in the Sales process has increased the number of leads and appointments for more than 50 percent, reducing cost by more than 40-60 percent and call time reduction of more than 70 percent. All the above data is being provided by the Harvard business review.

Gartner also predicted that 30 percent of B2B leads will be employing the AI for one of the primary sales processes.  The high performing sales teams are more likely to adopt modern technology than their peers.

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