From the Summit: At SalesSherpaGPS.com, a Tip of the Spear Venture, we’re proud of our B2B Sales Acceleration Technology (especially our CRM!) As our Sales Sherpas like to remind our clients, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one piece of our Technology offering. But just how important is a CRM on the B2B Sales Acceleration process, and is there direct Return on Investment (ROI) proof? So in this post, we’ll explore the relationship of CRM and ROI, along with providing 5 Tips from our Sales Sherpas for success… Enjoy!
Does Your CRM Provide B2B Sales Acceleration ROI?
Flashback with me to the mid-2000’s, pre-economy crash! The new technology entrant to the business world was Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. These Software as a Service (SaaS), or software in the cloud providers disrupted the software out of a box category (Seems odd, but the internet back then was just too slow to download software effectively/efficiently!) Leading the charge in the CRM arena was Salesforce.com, the pioneer in the sales automation space. Ironically, while the primary target market was sales, the tool was primarily used by other organizational departments (Marketing, Operations, etc.)
In 2005 CSO Insights published a study about the actual impact a CRM system had revenue generation. Their findings? Organizations that utilized a CRM software system for B2B Sales Acceleration achieved 17% more revenue.
That’s the impact a CRM had on B2B Sales Acceleration… 17%!
The reason the percentage and ROI wasn’t higher? The design of CRM’s. You see, a CRM for B2B Sales Acceleration is setout to establish a way to organize the sales process. CRM’s were not designed for B2B Sales Acceleration in and of themselves!
B2B Sales Acceleration
B2B Sales Acceleration is defined by us at SalesSherpaGPS.com as a means to increase the speed of the sales process. We’ll explore B2B Sales Acceleration by analogy of climbing Mt. Everest (as our Sales Sherpas like to do!):
- Base Camp – The organizational starting point of our climb up to Sales Summit. Base Camp in B2B Sales Acceleration is characterized by a staging area for sales preparation (Do we have the right equipment? Strategic Sale Plans, Marketing Plans, Advertising Plans, etc.)
- Acclimatization Climbs (Camps 1-3) – The testing points along the way up towards Sales Summit (each camp at successfully achieved higher points up the slope).
- Summit Bid – The attempt to reach the top, or Sales Goal attainment!
As you can see, and our Sales Sherpas can attest to, the climb towards Sales Summit can be long/arduous. Each of the three (3) different points provide their fair share of tests/time to the sales process. With specific application of B2B Sales Acceleration, the climb can be accomplished in less time. Less time paired with the same Sales Summit or Goal (or above/beyond forecast!)
5 Tips for B2B Sales Acceleration via CRM
So what’s the Sales Leader to do to ensure that implementation/adoption of a CRM leads to B2B Sales Acceleration? What follows are 5 tips for achieving Sales Acceleration gathered from the 100s of hours our Sales Sherpas have spent working with client organizations:
Tip #5 – Leverage Sales Automation Technology
I mentioned in the opening that the B2B Sales Acceleration CRM was just one part of our Sales Sherpa Technology offering at SalesSherpaGPS.com. Coupled with the CRM is a Predictive Dialer for outbound sales efforts. The Predictive Dialer could also be called a Power Dialer, as the efficiencies the inside sales team achieves amount to 4-8 times productivity levels versus those that simply “smile and dial” for outbound sales success attempts. The other piece of our Sales Sherpa Technology offering is our B2B database building capabilities (these leverage artificial intelligence to hone in on clients specific target markets).
Tip #4 – Gather Sales Intelligence
If you have a list of prospective clients you wish to target, you are climbing at a slightly higher elevation (or are ahead of the game!) We typically see a Chief Marketing Officer and Marketing Department’s efforts provide a list that only has 10% of the prospective clients approached for B2B Sales Acceleration, leaving a whopping 90% prospect client list available for approach. Furthermore, 100% of prospective target market clients should be sourced/referenced with social media intelligence. Gary Vaynerchuk of “Crush It!” fame recommends getting to know those you are approaching via their social media channels first (Like those Instagrams, share those Tweets, pin those Facebook posts that resonate, etc.), and our Sales Sherpas tend to agree with GV.
Tip #3 – “Technology + People = Success” Formula
As Lead Sherpa (Chief Revenue Officer – CRO) on the B2B Sales Acceleration climb with client organizations (Yes, I lace ‘em up and climb with them still!), I often see a CRO or Chief Sales Officer (CSO) that is in “love” with their technology. They also are in the “like” stage when it comes to their people (As in, not in “love”). Our Sales Sherpas recommend that success comes as a result of getting the best out of your technology and your people.
Tip #2 – Execution
Our Sales Sherpas see a lot of Sales Strategic Plans (In our “Summit Bid” package, we provide a Sales Strategic Plan building session so as to align Sales/Marketing/Advertising). However, what we also see is a lot of disjointed Sales Strategic Plans inasmuch they never get fully executed. Partial execution of Sales Strategic Plans, half-baked efforts, etc. rarely provide for B2B Sales Acceleration when it comes to leveraging CRMs and ensuing ROI!
Tip #1 – Accountability
Finally, the number one Sales Sherpa lesson that we see time and time again when it comes to B2B Sales Acceleration is a lack of Sales Leader Accountability. With no one to hold feet to the fire (and it gets cold up on Sales Summit!), there rarely are ROI results from CRM utilization. I’ve seen Sales Leaders that will do everything they can to avoid having to conduct a sales coaching conversation with their sales team and/or sales representatives. Why? That’s a post for next time 😉
In this post we’ve explored the topic of B2B Sales Acceleration via CRM and provided 5 tips. The organizational climb towards Sales Summit can be a long/difficult one to accomplish (Especially with out of sight-line goals!) However, through consistent utilization of a CRM (and greater than 50% adoption therein) the climb becomes more manageable and ROI successful.
SEO B2B Sales Acceleration, CRM, Sales Sherpa, ROI, Sales Strategic Plans
PS – If you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll probably also enjoy the following B2B Sales Acceleration posts:
- B2B Sales Acceleration Through Talent Retention – 5 Tips!
- What Does Your Sales Brand Say About You? 3 Tips!
- Sales Acceleration Challenge: 1 Down… 11 To Go – 3 Tips!
- The Art of Building a BOLD Sales Strategy!
- Attracting the Best Sales Superstars to Join You – 4 Tips to Achieve Sales Acceleration!
PPSS – If you/your organization are exploring ways in which you can accelerate your B2B Sales initiative, we’ve prepared a 1-Minute Demo for you to watch… Check it out!