I’ve worked with many companies over the years and have often had to implement a sales CRM (aka sales software) system, simply because what was in place was just not working.
Not working in terms of simplicity, ease of use, speed of response time, ability to analyse and manage the pipeline. In fact, it was quite an eye-opener for me to see companies allowing their sales execs to manage and maintain all of THEIR (I mean the company’s) precious customer information on their personal laptop or in hard-copy format which meant that no-one else at the company had access to years of meaningful lead, prospect and customer history.
More often than not, when those sales execs left for greener pastures, so too did the precious details of many customer relationships. Their replacements had to start from scratch. Which would be rather annoying from a customer point of view don’t you think?
These days, it’s seriously a no-brainer that you need a CRM system. I’m a huge fan of Maximizer CRM – especially the new hosted version with the quote module now built in. It’s just over R600 ex VAT per user per month and worth every cent. You’ll easily see an ROI from increased productivity and visibility into where you’re going wrong in your sales process.
Having said that, I’m still happy to advise customers with zero, zero, zero budget to at the very least investigate some freebie CRM systems that are out there. Anything is better than nothing. The catch of course is that
a) the info you can get out is a tad limited and
b) most are pretty expensive in dollar terms if you want to upgrade to the paid option and
c) you’re literally back to square one if you want to move on again.
Talking about moving on … if you’re In the job market then please, if you consider yourself a professional, then only join a company that already has a great sales system in place. Ask the questions at the interview. Go into detail. It will make a huge difference to your earning potential. If there’s a mention of spreadsheets, paper-based systems or something that still uses on Windows 97, then run for the hills.
With the pace of business these days, you’re seriously shooting yourself in the foot if you are still going ‘old school’ with lists and scraps of paper and/or the company is only keeping track of sales in an accounting system. The days of thinking that a CRM system is there to police you are long gone. A well-configured, slick, streamlined CRM system is an excellent sales tool.
Quality sales tools are as important to a salesperson as razor-sharp scalpels are to surgeons. Sales tech is no longer optional. It’s essential.
Choose wisely. But choose must you. As Yoda would say.