CRM projects done right mean business process changes

By David Taber, CIO |  IT Management, CRM

From there, look at every record type and status value for these sales objects. You need qualification and entry/exit conditions that make two things clear-one, that all leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities would in fact fit into the scheme, and two, that at least 80% of leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities would fit into exactly one record type or status value at any one point in time.

Commentary: Email-to-CRM Contact Connection Easier Said Than Done

Finally, for the status fields (leads, contacts and accounts) and the stage field (opportunities), make sure, again, that there is clear definition of what the status value means, as well as a set of unambiguous entry/exit criteria.

Channel conflict There are several key questions you must answer here.

  • Do outside sales reps view the ecommerce system and the inside reps as diverting their commission dollars?
  • Do your reps view distributors and resellers as competition?
  • Are customer renewals handled by an organization that doesn't report into sales?
  • Does marketing treat your channel partners as an extension of the sales force?

Moving CRM Projects From Mere Magic to Machinery

Classic B2B sales and marketing came to full flower long before the advent of CRM. This lead to huge, sometimes miraculous, wins accompanied by big cost structures and unreliable sales forecasts. Even today, sales and marketing budgets are the single largest cost area of many firms.

The goal of CRM projects is to lower the cost and improve the reliability of the revenue engine so it's always firing on all cylinders. Achieving that means moving beyond not-very-systematic thinking and adding models, metrics and machinery across the sales and marketing team. Like your car's engine, the revenue engine needs to be carefully and coherently tuned in order to deliver its maximum output.

David Taber is the author of the new Prentice Hall book, " Salesforce.com Secrets of Success" and is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a certified Salesforce.com consultancy focused on business process improvement through use of CRM systems. SalesLogistix clients are in North America, Europe, Israel and India. Taber has more than 25 years of experience in high tech, including 10 years at the VP level or above.

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