09 Abr Las claves del éxito de CRM: proceso, metodología y habilidades
Las claves del éxito de CRM: proceso, metodología y habilidades
Too often, sales leaders invest in SFA/CRM technology without first defining their sales processes and methodologies or developing the skills to put them into practice. As a result, salespeople complain the technology only complicates their job. Worse yet, adoption rates are low, and the organization’s investment is at risk. The CSO Insights process-methodology-skills triangle helps sales leaders create holistic sales force productivity programs. This approach puts people, process, methodologies and skills first, and then leverages technology to make everyone more productive.
Getting From Here to There
There are many ways to get from London to the Isle of Skye. You could drive. You could take a train. Or, you could first fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow then take the train or drive. Your choices often depend on your desired travel experience, available time and budget. In addition, there is a certain amount of skill involved, such as reading a map or a timetable. The last thing you would do is simply identify your destination on the map and then “head off” in that direction. Embarking on a journey without thinking through how you are going to get there can lead to a chaotic travel experience. The same can be said for implementing CRM and SFA systems without a plan.
A Vicious Cycle
It is a familiar scenario. Sales are lagging, competition is fierce and management is demanding results. So the company invests months of effort and a significant portion of
their budget in the selection and implementation of a new CRM system, eager to see their productivity skyrocket and sales improve. Yet, nothing happens.
This failure often sparks a new round of software selection as sales leaders resolve to choose a better solution. More diligent organizations may even call in an analyst like CSO Insights to identify what went wrong. From our work with organizations that find themselves in situations like this, we can unequivocally say one thing—it’s usually not the technology’s fault. Hundreds of structured interviews, often combined with a benchmark analysis, have led us to four key reasons why CRM/SFA initiatives fail to deliver, and none of them have anything to do with the application selected.
No Defined Process: A surprising number of organizations do not take the time to define their sales processes, i.e., the specific sequence of activities followed to create business with new clients and within existing accounts. Instead, they implement the standard process steps provided by the CRM application, with maybe a bit of tailoring here and there. Of course, adopting a “canned” approach will never lead to a compelling and competitive sales process derived from the customer’s journey and aligned to the
organization’s selling scenarios, e.g., complex deals, transactional sales, new
business, renewals, etc.
No Sales Methodology: Methodology is different from sales process. Whereas process focuses on the sequence of activities, methodology explains the “what” and the “why” behind the process. For example, process might define the steps that should be followed to prepare for a sales call. Methodology adds details such as an analysis of the network of impacted stakeholders in a particular selling situation and explains why this is important.
Lack of Relevant Skills: No matter how well defined the process and methodology may be, they are worthless if the sales force does not have the skills to implement them. It is important to note that skills in this area are often related to a behavioral change that cannot be achieved through introductory training sessions alone. A solid strategy for adoption and reinforcement that includes coaching is essential. For additional details, see the CSO Insights Research Notes The Case for a Coaching Framework and Designing a Sales Coaching Framework.
Wrong Ownership: Last but not least, SFA/CRM implementations are often considered to be IT projects. In fact, no IT project should ever be considered “just an IT project” in any organization. If an IT initiative does not créate value for the business, is it worth doing? And, if the business is not involved in the project, how can IT understand and implement technology aligned to the needs of the organization?
Many sales leaders think that if they get sales operations involved in the project, that should be good enough. However, sales operations is not on the frontline of sales. Their focus is more likely to be on funnel management and reporting, not on what makes the salesperson’s life easier.
The bottom line is that whenever technology is implemented to support the business, it should be driven by a business project that defines the desired results. SFA and CRM initiatives are no exception. Technology is part of the project, but it is never THE project.
The Process-Methodology-Skills Triangle
When implementing CRM or SFA, the process-methodologyskills triangle provides an excellent framework for ensuring the necessary elements of sustainable sales performance are covered. Here is a quick review of each of the three areas of the triangle, with process as the leading element:
- Process — A defined set of activities in a certain sequence, based on the customer’s journey, that enables the sales forcé to create business with prospects and customers in an efficient and effective way.
- Methodology — Adds detail to the process, describing “what” to do and “why” to do it for each step.
- Skills — The capabilities that need to be developed in order to complete each step successfully.
The first and fundamental area to get right is process. In the remainder of this Research Note, we will look more closely at what our research tells us about the importance of creating a quality sales process.
Process Quality Impacts Quota Attainment
As our research shows, the quality of your sales process, including how well this process is implemented and adjusted regularly, has a direct impact on sales performance. Creating a quality sales process begins with analyzing how the organization’s customers approach their challenges, how they make buying decisions and how they plan to implement and use an organization’s products, services and solutions.
How well an organization executes this prerequisite and then leverages the knowledge in their sales process puts them into one of the four process maturity levels defined by CSO Insights:
- Level 1 − Random Sales Process: These companies may be perceived as being anti-process, although what they really lack is a single standard process. Essentially, salespeople do their own thing in their own way.
- Level 2 − Informal Sales Process: These companies expose their salespeople to a sales process and expect them to follow it, but they neither monitor nor measure its use.
- Level 3 − Formal Sales Process: These companies regularly enforce the use of a defined sales process. They conduct periodic reviews of the process to see how effective it is and make changes based on that analysis.
- Level 4 − Dynamic Sales Process: These companies dynamically monitor and provide continuous feedback on sales’ use of their formal sales process. They proactively modify the process when they detect key changes in market conditions, e.g., customer behaviors, new competitors, changes in governmental regulations, shifts in the economy, etc.
The data from our 2015 Sales Management Optimization Study shows the huge impact sales process maturity has on sales performance, especially on quota attainment. A random or an informal sales process lead to the same quota attainment results (47%). But there is a big difference when it comes to a formal sales process (60%) and a dynamic sales process (72%). Our research also shows that most companies have room for improvement because only a minority (46%) say their sales process is either formal or dynamic.
Before we leave the first area of the triangle, we must note that collaboration will be required to create a quality process. Sales leaders must enlist their counterparts in enablement and operations. These functions will perform the initial assessment of process maturity and develop the roadmap to achieve ever-higher levels of process excellence. Operations must also define the foundation (process and integrated methodology), while sales forcé enablement must ensure salespeople are proficient in the related skills and frontline sales managers coach their salespeople to drive adoption and reinforcement.
About CSO Insights
CSO Insights is the independent research arm within Miller Heiman GroupTM, dedicated to improving the performance and productivity of complex B2B sales. The CSO Insights team of respected analysts provides sales leaders with the research, data, expertise, and best practices required to build sustainable strategies for sales performance improvement. CSO Insights’ annual sales effectiveness studies, along with its benchmarking capabilities, are industry standards for sales leaders seeking operational and behavioral insights into how to improve their sales performance and to gain holistic assessments of their selling and sales management efficacy. Annual research studies address sales and service best practices, sales enablement and sales performance optimization.