CRM projects done right mean business process changes

By David Taber, CIO |  IT Management, CRM

  • Lead generation and lead cultivation
  • Lead cultivation and inside sales
  • Inside sales and the field
  • Channel managers and sales partners

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Make sure each SLA includes explicit quality criteria, deadlines and rejection rules. Here's a good example: "If Sales does not explicitly act on a new Opportunity within four business days, the Opportunity is reassigned." In addition, develop a waterfall model that indicates each major phases of lead and deal maturation, with approximate times and conversion ratios for each major step.

Incentives Make sure the answers to the following questions are not "Well, it depends&"

  • Are marketing bonuses based on a balance of brand, reputation and loyalty as well as pipeline creation?
  • Are sales compensation plans pushing people in coherent directions across all parts of the sales organization?
  • Are quotas and compensation plans excessively individualized in different parts of the sales team?
  • In commission plans, does $1 really equal $1? Do direct reps get commission on channel sales in their territory?

Metrics Metrics for key success factors should be clearly identified and enforced. You don't want metrics that are almost incidental-for example, "the sales rep will make at least 10 cold calls per week."

In addition, metrics should evaluating things that an individual can actually control. One classic mis-metric is to hold outbound marketing responsible for revenue. (Instead, measure "number of sales-accepted leads" or "overall pipeline volume.") Another is to hold the sales rep responsible for customer satisfaction when he has nothing to do with product quality or service responsiveness. (Instead, measure "customer complaints about sales" or "number of misconfigured orders.")

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Finally, ask if metrics are enforced by business rules with deadlines or approval cycles. For example, are qualified leads that have gone stale supposed to be returned to marketing? Are deals that haven't moved in 60 days eligible to be closed or pulled back from the channel partner?

Terminology Start with a clear description, or even an indoctrination document, for what sales objects such as Lead, Contact, Account and Opportunity mean to the marketing and sales process. Get people to stop saying "We convert leads into opportunities"-and take double points off your score if you can't explain the misconception baked into those words.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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