Can CRM Systems Help Sales Growth?
A quick google search will reveal all manner of companies promising that their CRM system will do wonders for your sales growth. Sounds tempting, but can it really be true? In this blog article we will help to answer the question: Can a CRM system grow your sales?
What is a CRM system?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system helps you to organise and manage your leads, prospects, customers, contacts and opportunities. Many CRM systems will also enable you to manage your all sales related activities such as email and social media follow ups, manage your tasks and can interface with other business systems to pull in information such as invoicing or customer service data.
A key aspect of CRM is the ability to manage and track sales opportunities through the sales process – from target / prospect stage right the way through to quote stage and hopefully a successful close. Pipeline reports should allow you to visualise your pipeline and the opportunities in it, where they sit in the sales process, how long they have been stuck there and therefore which of them it is that need attention.
Even from this very brief description of a CRM system it should be possible to see the benefits a CRM system could bring to a sales team and those who manage them or who have an interest in their performance.
Can a CRM system help grow your sales?
The answer is … yes it can … but also no it can’t!
Many experienced sales managers will know of the frustration of seeing an expansive CRM system that is barely used by the sales team – with individual sales executives rarely logging into the system or not keeping information up-to-date.
A CRM system must be intuitive to use. It must also look good and be of real and obvious benefit to the sales people who use it. All sales people will have their own systems of spreadsheets and contact lists and tried and tested ways of doing things, developed over many years of fighting the good fight. To get them to move away from these tried and trusted processes you must provide them with a tool that will help them do their job better, get more success and earn more money.
Then there is the question of sales process and sales activity. A CRM system is just a piece of technology. It won’t go out there and find your next customer for you. The basic sales disciplines must already be in place for a CRM system to provide you with an additional capability. You will need to have a lead generation and prospecting process already in place to find new opportunity. You will already need to have a sales process that describes the stage an opportunity is at and the next set of actions that the sales person needs to apply to it. You will need to have in place a process to accurately forecast sales each month and quarter.
Sales process and sales disciplines go hand in hand with CRM. Get your sales processes and activities right and a carefully selected CRM system will help your sales team get to the next level, making them more efficient, more professional and more effective. It will also provide management with a level of transparency into the future sales performance not previously experienced.
So that is why the answer to the question is both a ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If your sales team is already doing the right things, then a CRM system will help them improve and can help grow your sales. If the foundations are not in place, then your shiny new CRM system will sit there as a nothing more than a good idea that never took hold.
For more information on how GTXM can help you with your sales activity and processes and with CRM implementation please contact us here.