I’m old enough to remember when Tom Siebel (an employee of a previous employer of mine) decided that the spreadsheet he had created to help manage sales teams could become an application. I was even offered a job, early days, with stock.
I couldn’t see how CRM would work; surely salespeople would never update the application. So I was half right, CRMs did take off, but salespeople to this day find excuses not to update the CRM.
There are a number of behaviours that make an “A-Player” salesperson today and one of those is working with and not against the CRM.
Here at DLA Ignite dlaignite.com we use Nimble as it’s, what I would call a “Social CRM” as it fits with your social activity. What do I mean?
Nimble has a Chrome plugin, called Nimble Prospector, that allows you to pull in data from other systems. How do I mean? In the past you had to type a new contact in, Nimble will just suck that data in from the people’s social profiles. I tend to use LinkedIn to do this. Highlight the name of the person on LinkedIn and Nimble will go out and find the rest of the information, email, telephone number, saving you so much time.
I connect my social profiles to Nimble also and I’m able to track activity in Twitter. I’m also able to dive into Twitter through Nimble and take certain actions like RTing, following people, and more. This enables you to increase your ability to interact with prospects and customers across your territory.
I have downloaded my LinkedIn contacts and pulled them into Nimble. This is all GDPR and CPAA compliant, it’s how you use that data is where you can become unstuck.
What I really like is the visual way you can see the forecast. In the past CRMs I’ve used were purely “transactional systems”. Want to get data out, that would be another “tool”. I use the word tool, as that was what the supplier would call it. Tool is also a term meaning you need a techie to use it! So there used to be an overnight batch run that would take data out of the CRM and you could run reports off it. Only for the salesperson to update the CRM in the morning and for the data to be out-of-date .
With Nimble, all of the forecasting in an easy to see diagrammatic format is there to see. The sales stages in that forecast visualisation are up to you. I run two forecasts, one for the Associates and one for our partners / resellers. As they have two different sales cycles.
This is for all for detailed forecast planning. There are, widgets that can be tailored so you have high level aggregated data when you log in.
But a CRM by itself won’t give you the deal visibility or accuracy you want. At my previous company my VP had a objective from his boss of a 98% accurate forecast. Which, when you think most sales forecasts are plus / minus 100% accurate or is that inaccurate.
We used social in conjunction with the CRM to give us that additional accuracy. Here at DLA Ignite we use Slack. Put simply, we create conversations / channels on deals and work these alongside the CRM entries. Social allows for real time activity and allows us to collaborate through our global network of Associates and Partners / Resellers.
There are functions I don’t use, which includes creating email lists from your contacts.
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