Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Choosing the Right Customer Relationship Management Features

Many executives heading up a sales organization get overwhelmed when they try to choose the right customer relationship management features. The system they choose should have a significant positive impact on their sales numbers, provided they choose a system that actually drives sales.

So how do you choose the right system? Customer relationship management features are exploding in the field, as competition between providers becomes more intense. Whether you actually need all these features is a question that sometimes gets lost in the bells and whistles. Taking time to carefully evaluate the features that will drive your sales up is a critical step in choosing the right customer relationship management tool.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing which customer relationship management features will best fit your sales team:

Be wary of trying to make your system do everything. While you want your customer relationship management solution to be efficient and integrated with other areas of your business, its main purpose is to drive sales. Many organizations get their marketing department involved in choosing the appropriate features, for instance, and then struggle when their reps are expected to feed information to marketing from a sales call, rather than focusing on closing a deal.

Again, this is a double-edged sword. You need your customer relationship management  solution to accommodate and integrate the various parts of your business. What you don’t want, however, is your sales reps ceasing to be sales reps just to enter the data that other departments are after.

Choose the system your sales reps will use. This sounds simple and obvious, but many sales managers get wowed by a flashy customer relationship management tool, and later find that data entry is so cumbersome that compliance becomes an issue. If your sales reps won’t use it, it’s worthless.

Identify your top few data entry items. Whether it is three or eight, don’t have your sales reps entering more than a few items of information after a sales meeting. You should focus on having your reps enter a couple of key points related to what the customer needs, the reason for urgency and next steps. Sales reps should be able to enter data in these few fields in less than 30 seconds.

Make sure it’s mobile. Possibly the most important customer relationship management feature for field reps is a system that is supported for mobile use. Sales reps are becoming accustomed to entering data as they enter the elevator or as they walk across a parking lot, capturing the details from a meeting while they are fresh in their minds. Saving data entry for an office day takes the sales rep out of the field and allows information to be forgotten or grown stale by the time it is entered.

Front Row Solutions can work with your sales team to develop the customer relationship management features that grow sales for your business. We offer mobile app customer relationship management tools that allow your sales reps to stay in the field and focus on sales.