Part 2: Making CRM Work


This is the second part of Making CRM Work. Catch up on Part 1: Making CRM Work

Following on from our CRM Pulse Study, we recently conducted a Sales Leaders breakfast in conjunction with CGU. We attracted a great mix of sales leaders across a wide range of B2B industries to discuss how to actually make CRM work.

Five key issues were uncovered that are having a negative impact on the ability for companies to achieve their CRM objectives:

  1. Lack of consistency and quality of input

  2. Competency and willingness of middle management

  3. Sales person perception and buy-in (WIIFM?)

  4. Ways of working (is data input an admin task or a part of effective sales planning?)

  5. Internal communication and reporting

The table groups developed some practical ideas and concepts that you may find useful if you are looking to improve how your business uses CRM.

Here are the ideas for the last three issues:

3. Sales person perception and buy-in (WIIFM?)

  • Set clear expectation on the use of the CRM, then hold people to account

  • Where possible align CRM usage to KPI's

  • Use the CRM for coaching

  • Use the data to demonstrate where the opportunities have come from

  • Celebrate wins and promote the value the CRM delivered in the process

  • Use automation to make their lives easier and free up time to spend with customers

  • Use the CRM to debrief wins and losses

  • Demonstrate time saving with reporting (data must be timely and accurate)

  • Be clear about the quality and quantity of data entry required (less is more?)

  • Ensure they understand the 'why' of CRM and focus on how it can assist them to improve their performance

  • Demonstrate that a next action for all accounts and opportunities will improve their efficiency and make their lives easier

4. Ways of working (is data input an admin task or part of effective sales planning?)

  • Modify the ways of working to support the effective use of CRM
    o Map the end-to-end process and highlight the inputs and outputs of the CRM

  • Set clear expectations of the type of information to be entered

  • Ensure time is allocated for immediate input post customer contact (rather than leaving it to the end of the day or week)

  • Focus on the next steps for each account and opportunity to ensure there is a plan in place and the CRM is delivering value back to the sales person

  • Support the team by coaching to the ways of working, always use the CRM to demonstrate how it adds value

  • Always defer to the CRM when discussing accounts or opportunities (this will drive sales people behaviour), hold firm and don't compromise

5. Internal communication and reporting

  • Configure reporting to be simple (one page) with the ability to drill down

  • Configure simple dash boards to provide a view of the current reality

  • Focus on the exceptions

  • Don't use sources outside of CRM for reporting

  • Ensure senior managers do not ask the team for reports, they should source what they need directly from the CRM

  • Use the data, analyse the data, plan based on the data

  • Set up 'Chatter' groups on relevant market and competitor topics to drive collaboration

  • When collaborating on opportunities or accounts, use the CRM as the single source of truth

  • Share data and trends with other departments to assist with their planning

If you would like to have a chat about your CRM or you're planning to implement one soon, drop me a line at

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