unless you implement it to enhance a well-defined sales process. As a Solution Architect for Zero2Ten one of my responsibilities is to lead our Learning Labs Program - so I get to meet about 10 people every week who are just beginning their Microsoft CRM journey. We provide a series of discovery sessions focused on helping attendees really understand how Microsoft Dynamics CRM works and how to customize and configure it to meet their business needs. I often ask these "newbies" what they are looking to get out of CRM and the number one answer is "To Increase our Sales". Microsoft CRM has a ton of useful functionality and it can certainly help you;
- Standardize and reinforce your sales process
- Automate tasks like prospect follow up and email notification of sales related events
- Focus your efforts in the right area by making it easy to visualize your sales pipeline and outstanding activities
- Track and measure sales and marketing effectiveness so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn't
- Provide you with more time to sell by allowing you to work where you probably already are most of the time . . . Outlook.
But unless you have a Sales Process to enhance you probably won't see the improvements you are hoping for - in fact you may find that your organization begins to do all of the same things that weren't working before just faster. To systematically improve your results you need something to measure and improve and that means a Sales Process. A Sales Process has steps (stages) and things that you do (activities) to move prospects through your pipeline, or out of it. These steps and activities create a series of levers that you can adjust to improve conversions, increase lead flow, or target higher value prospects.
So here is the plan. For the next few posts we are going to focus specifically on building, implementing and enhancing a sales process. If you are interested in following along send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure you get a notification as each article is posted. In the next post we are going to roll up our sleeves and define and document a simple sales process. After that we'll spin up a trial version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and get to work. I plan to supplement several of the posts with video content so you can see exactly what we discuss in action.
I look forward to seeing you there . . . virtually of course.