Guest Blog Post By Colin Longren, VP Global Sales at The Millau Group Global
Salesforce (like other CRMs) can be compared to an all-inclusive gym membership with a pool, gigantic weight room, smoothie bar, and tanning beds…when really all you need is a treadmill! All those gym “features” and amenities are a nice to have, but not a need to have. Salesforce features and ‘add-ons’ can be the same way, depending on your situation. Because of this, working with a firm who asks the right questions worth its weight in gold; resulting in a lean CRM, not just a glorified phone book.
The strategy is…”Ready, aim, fire”…not “ready, fire, aim.”
I’ve been involved in multiple CRM purchases through various companies. Some better than others, but 6 months after launch, I wasn’t impressed with the function of either. The organization was looking for a gym with a treadmill, dumbbells, and a rowing machine, and got a stair stepper, kettlebells, and medicine balls instead. The results? A major revamp 8 months after launch because the sales team wasn’t using it and management wasn’t getting the tools they needed (both are dependent on each other).
As the leader of a sales training organization (The Millau Group Global), I know how important it is to get the “ready, aim…” accurate before pulling the trigger. I’m not necessarily talking about making a decision to buy, but more to the project plan and what needs to be done to make a successful adoption of a Salesforce platform. At Millau, we teach sales organizations how to identify where they’re positioned on each sale and how to move it forward. This is a vital foundation that can be implemented into Salesforce. As a Salesforce user myself, I have become very critical of the early conversations and stress that more come out sooner than later.
CRM shoppers seem to look at the CRM features and think to themselves “yes! I do really need that awesomely animated report!” When in reality, they do very little or no coaching to make someone successful based on the data. This is ASSUMING the data is accurately entered in the first place! A semi-accurate activity report is not going to change the nonexistent level of coaching.
However, as I stated, working with the right CRM firm (like Everpeak) will help avoid unnecessary resources or distractions. A firm with Salesforce expertise is going to ask the “difficult to answer questions” before “wowing” you with the next best feature. You should welcome these conversations for the same reason I saw past implementations delivery unsatisfactory results.
Here at topics of conversation you should expect to be having:
- If you state you need Salesforce to produce a certain report, expect the response of “how do you feel about your team’s ability to input the data?” The purpose of the question is to uncover “what’s a day in the life look like today?” You may also realize you’re looking for a report just for the sake of reporting…not to produce measurable change.
- Before getting into all the “features” of a salesperson’s data entry fields, be prepared to talk about what data each salesperson needs to document in order to move a sale from start to finish. There are SO MANY field options for a Salesforce Opportunity. If you put in too many, users become overwhelmed. Start with the basics, you can always add later once the routine is adopted.
- Your goal is to increase sales efficiency, not be distracted by technology. Leverage resources around you to help everyone involved understand the “WIIFM: What’s In It For Me” to utilize the CRM and contribute to making it a success.
Remember, “Ready, Aim” is what makes a “fired” shot successful.
The Millau Group (TMG) is a global consulting organization whose charter is to provide their customers with the skills and tools to immediately and measurably improve their sales results.
Those skills are two-fold:
First, TMG teaches salespeople the skill to review any sales opportunity and what to do next to move it forward.
Second, TMG teaches people how to ask for what they want…and get it!