Fixing CRM (Pt. 2): A Simple Process.

Last Updated Mar 18, 2008 9:37 AM EDT

SImplicity is the key to sales productivityCRM is worse than useless if your sales process is so complicated that nobody follows it. So the next step to fixing CRM is to have a sales process that makes sense and is extremely simple.

As suggested by the poll in my recent post "Is Sales Process Worth It?" most companies either don't have a sale process or have one that most people ignore. In fact, one of the reasons that companies install CRM is to create a sales process. However, because CRM was conceived as a management tool, not a sales tool, the overwhelming tendency is to use it to micro-manage in far more detail than could possibly be useful -- at least to the sales team.

For a sales process to be useful, it must be simple enough so that anybody on the sales team can immediately understand what's going on in a customer account. It should be therefore be about as short as your typical elevator pitch. In fact, if you can't encapsulate your sales process in 60 seconds, it's way too complicated. The sales process needs to be generic and match the buying stages of the typical customer. There are five. I gave them in my recent post "The Customer-Focused Sales Process."

Your sales process shouldn't need a CRM system to track it. The process should work "on paper" or even just in your own memory. Simple. Simple. Simple. Once you've got that simple process committed to memory, you're ready to apply some technology -- to helping you sell.

Tomorrow's post will be the real eye-opener in this series of four posts, which are a reaction to the post "Why Sales Reps Hate CRM" where I promised to explain how to fix CRM and make it into something useful.

Tomorrow's post will amaze you. And it will make you want to shoot your CRM vendor and your sales manager for being so incredibly stupid and missing such an obvious point about sales technology.