Joining a new company is always exciting: new people, new opportunities, and new systems to learn. I have the opportunity to learn Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a new CRM software that we sell, and because of my entrepreneurial background, to see it through two lenses: one of a user trying to learn a new system and one as a salesperson utilizing a new tool to sell more efficiently.
The first trick is to understand the company’s process in the perspective of CRM: to understand how they define a lead, what constitutes an opportunity, what comprises (by definition) the existing accounts and contacts in CRM. Then, the relationship between what I am trying to do (sell to new customers) and how to use the system to make me efficient (CRM’s defined company processes and related entities) is clear.
The second trick is to understand that CRM is easily configurable. I realized that when our company does quotes and proposals that this was not “standard” CRM but “configured” CRM. Internally, we speak about collectively doing proposals and having a single “version of the truth” so that anyone, not just me, can assist a client with a revision or question. When discussing CRM to a prospect, one might find that they may want to have something else “configured” in CRM that is more relevant to what the prospect does in their business. So this helps me sell and use CRM more effectively.
The third trick is easy: start working through the different parts of CRM that you don’t use on a daily basis. One such part is the Service tab; this module is a potential automation tool for certain prospects.
The fourth trick is to understand how CRM and marketing work so well together. It may seem obvious but, in the modern sales world, search engine optimization (SEO) and social lead generation have surpassed traditional lead generation methods. So we, the sales team, are more dependent than ever on marketing for leads; we need to assist the marketing group in content, events, and linkages – those social and SEO things critical to marketing (and if so critical to marketing, then critical to the company).
To track our (joint) sales and marketing efforts and outcomes, it is important to work correctly in CRM to identify how and when leads were generated and to whom they were distributed so that better‐targeted campaigns can be launched and monitored.
The fifth trick is to utilize the Activities, Tasks, and Notes section within CRM, which contains vital information to assist sales consultants with time management. Keeping these up‐to‐date will help you to focus on sales‐generating tasks, which should lead to larger commission checks.
So CRM is not tricky at all: just focus on how you want to use it, realize that others need the same technology, and then the magic happens.
ALEX BROKKEN | Sr. Business Development Executive
Alex graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration and History from COE College in Cedar Rapids, IA. He has over 17 years of IT consulting experience in the hardware, software, and professional service arenas, both in the private and public sectors. Having owned a small business for over 10 years, he brings a unique insight into the problems of a SMB. For enjoyment, he coaches both the house and travel soccer teams. Other activities such as golf, fishing, biking, and hunting are done on a regular basis.