Business leaders find their CRM system filling with data, especially if sales reps use a voice-based CRM data entry system to report all sales meeting information. Many of these busy leaders are overwhelmed with the volume of data and wonder how to get any value from them. When based on a voice-based data gathering practice, CRM systems can be tremendously valuable tools for gathering current, accurate, and timely information. However, the problem remains for the sales leader: “What do I do with it? How can I use it? I don’t have time to read it all and try to make sense of it. What good is any more information?”
For many, the solution is neither less information nor a shift from explanation to numbers or short notes or tweets or smart phones and tablets. They need intelligent explanatory (textual) information.
What is needed is a simple analytical step. The analytical step outlined below is what sales leaders are searching for, and it makes all of the difference in the value of CRM information.
Prepare the Sales Team. First, focus yourself and your team on just three subjects: Product, Pricing, and Competition. We have found that focusing intently on these three subjects is “sufficient” to get a reliable and valid picture what is going on in the competitive sales environment. Along with other activity-oriented information they usually give, ask the sales reps to speak briefly to these three subjects in every sales call. What is said or what do you observe concerning our PRODUCTS? PRICING? COMPETITION?
Build the Sales Team and Report. Now, devote 30 minutes in your weekly sales meeting to an open discussion of the findings on these three subjects. This is a natural sharing activity that involves everyone and has the high energy of a typical brainstorming activity. (The analytics and reporting involved here can be automated with systems like SalesKinect.)
Sales reps come to the sales meeting with paragraphs from their reports over the month with noteworthy information, where there is an open discussion of them. A listing, then, is made of the 10 Top issues or observations distilled from everyone’s reports for the week (using flip chart or computer w/ projector). This is a tremendously valuable learning/training exercise for the sales reps in learning with and from you as to what to look for and how to report what they find as ways to increase their effectiveness and increase their sales.
These Top 10 items are then prepared into a short (email) report that is given to senior management (CEO, Marketing (business development), Product Development, Customer Services, Finance, etc.). Watching these lists over time is an incredibly informative view of the progressive development of the sales organization capability and performance.
Based on an efficient voice-based CRM data entry system, this analytical activity is simple to understand and natural to implement, with a few minutes eliminating the hours of worry, frustration, and distress associated with dealing with the deluge of information continuously building up in the CRM system.