Practice shows that having CRM isn’t always associated with the proper use of this tool. At the operational level, CRM is there to protect us from information overload, which results in mistakes: making a phone call after a promised date, investing time in conversations with leads that almost certainly won’t become your clients, making calls ineffectively, or lacking knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of individual traders. At the same time, at the management level, incorrectly configured CRM means getting superficial conclusions about the sales in your company, which in practice translates to the fact that the salesmen “run with empty wheelbarrows”, and are not able to work as efficiently as they could if they had a properly designed CRM.

Funnels in CRM, or do customers from all sources behave the same way?

Data and metrics in a well-configured and set up CRM help you notice – among other things – repetitive regularities. Pay attention to how you talk to someone to whom you were recommended by your friend – probably, even at the very beginning you could count on initial trust and the possibility of free conversation. Now, remember (if you already had such opportunity) how the conversation goes, when you have to initiate contact via cold mailing or cold calling – preliminary conversation and trust are something you need to convince the potential customer of.

The source of the sale opportunity is relevant – usually a recommended lead, a company that filled out the form on your website, a firm that responded positively to the campaign on LinkedIn, or someone who has already been your client should behave in different manners. Objective conclusions about the effectiveness with which you acquire customers from each of these groups are only drawn if every one of them has a dedicated funnel in CRM.

When you implement the funnel correctly, you will see particular regularities that will allow you to more effectively use the time invested in sales. For example, you will quickly notice that the average time needed to arrange a longer conversation with a company from recommendations and with a company coming from a cold mailing campaign won’t be the same. Or if the companies from the orders, that later become your clients, arrange a demo on average within 10 days of submitting the application, then the fact that the client has not arranged a demo meeting after 15 days may signal that he should no longer be your priority. That’s why you should work on at least a few sales funnels in your CRM:

  • inbound (for companies that have contacted you themselves, i.e. via a form on the website),
  • recommendations (for companies that came to you, because your client or friend recommended you),
  • outbound (for leads generated as a part of outbound campaigns), and
  • old business (for companies that have been your clients once).

Are you able to quickly check in CRM how your sales people could sell better?

Each of your traders has strengths and weaknesses, that are worth measuring and analyzing objectively. If you are not able to check within 30 seconds the effectiveness of salesman A or salesman B in scheduling potential customers for a long conversation in March, it means that you can use CRM better, which means faster and more accurately see where the effectiveness in how you gain clients requires improvement. For example, in a situation in which one of the traders arranges demo meetings more effectively than the rest of the team, it means that one of the elements is being done differently.

Do they get better leads regularly? Or maybe convince them to have a longer conversation in a different way? Or maybe they’re just talking to companies that other sellers consider to be low-value sales opportunities? In order to confirm the cause, we must properly conduct CRM, and draw conclusions from analyzing the data. That is why your CRM must enable you to quickly check conversions for individual traders in a particular month at a particular sales stage. Then the whole team will be able to effectively exchange their experiences and, on the basis of strengths, share the practices that work and bring money to your company.

Can you see in CRM why you lose potential customers?

The traders’ feelings are a valuable source of information, yet not the only one. Emotions and money are not helping objectivity, so subconsciously it may be that the opinions of “the client with whom it was so nice to talk to”, the most demanding lead, or trader who screams loudest or whose incentive system motivates to a certain set of opinions are taken into account the most; therefore, very important feelings must be combined with hard data. If you don’t have in your CRM at least a few default reasons for lost sales opportunities, you probably won’t know well enough why potential customers are running away from you. Knowledge based only on feelings is the knowledge that “we remember it the most when losing a client because of X”.

What should the default reasons for losing sales opportunities be? Some are universal for most companies, i.e. “price is too high”, “competitor has been chosen”, “no contact after Y follow-ups”, “we do not undertake to solve the customer’s problem”, “poor quality lead”. The part will be adequate only for a specific industry, e.g. “lack of [Y] functionality” or another customer objection typical for a given sector. In addition, the most unique reasons for a loss that will not match those set as default are assigned to the “other” group. Note – if over time it turns out that “other” is the most frequent reason for the loss of the client, it means that previously accepted default reasons for losing do not exhaust the actual objections of leads.

Remember that in addition to selecting the reason for the failure, your company also needs an extended note. It will be easier for you to draw conclusions if, in addition to the “too expensive” reason, the salesmen in the note, if possible, will answer the question “what price would be suitable according to the lead?”What will you learn from analyzing the causes of lost sales opportunities?

You will probably find yourself losing your potential customers before the first meeting for other reasons, and for others after you have already presented them your offer. For example, if the most frequent reason for losing potential customers after presenting the offer is “price is too high”, it’s probably worth considering how the leads are qualified during the first talk when asked about the budget, or how effectively the salesmen communicate what problems your product solves.

The data may also indicate that in the case of outbound leads in March the percentage of “poor quality lead” losses increased. For the marketing team, such information is an assessment of the leads generated by them in that period of time. If it turns out that seller A loses clients mainly through “no contact”, it is worth analyzing their way of contacting the lead.

A CRM, which allows you to effectively measure these factors will help an informed sales analysis:

  • behavior of several groups of leads in dedicated funnels,
  • differences in the effectiveness of salespeople at particular stages, in selected periods of time,
  • reasons for losing sales opportunities for individual traders in selected periods of time.

If at the moment you cannot get the above basic information from your CRM, you should configure it properly, and if it is not possible, it is time to change it. Not to ” have a good CRM”, but to increase the chances of effectively acquiring customers.