Integratis helps clients to select, customize and implement a CRM system to support the development of their sales teams. We also work alongside clients to help them with the more complex task of adoption and integration into day-to-day sales workflow.
CRM systems have now been with us for more than a decade but in that time very few companies have been able to turn sales people into real advocates of what CRM can do for the company. And yet it is usually the sales people whom are expected to enter data and keep the CRM system updated with new and accurate client data. It is little wonder that few sales people really champion CRM.
At Integratis we always try to view CRM from the perspective of the sales people first, management and reporting second. In other words we believe that if the sales people are getting nothing of value from the CRM system, they will put nothing of value into it! Garbage in, garbage out. If CRM is to be used as little more than a database of customer information where the sales people are the data-entry clerks, everyone suffers. The company suffers because they little or no ROI on their investment in CRM; sales managers suffer because they cannot rely on the data; and sales people suffer because they waste their time trying to do the least possible to ensure reluctant compliance rather than seeing CRM as an effective tool to help them sell more!
Selecting the right solution
The key to a successful implementation is to select a tool which is right for the job. In other words, not everyone needs a ‘Rolls Royce’ CRM system. The last thing you want is a marketing department to design the CRM system based on what information they would like to glean from the system. In our view, the CRM system should be selected on the basis of which system will best help the sales teams to be more productive. It should be about sales productivity first, sales reporting second.
We have worked with almost all of the leading CRM systems and offer support, help and advice to clients who are considering an investment in CRM. We have also designed business workflow solutions which have ultimately enabled some clients to replace their CRM systems entirely and focus on a collaborative workflow tool which provides all stakeholders with the information they need at a fraction of the cost of a full-blown CRM system.
Customization is key. Most CRM implementations that fail to provide the forecast return are those in which there was little or no customization; or where the sales people were expected to adapt their sales process to suit the CRM system, not vice versa.
We work with you to help you to customize the CRM system to support your sales process and to reinforce the key sales skills which we teach in our programs. This enables you to get more value from both the sales training and the CRM systems.
A completely generic CRM system is basically a one-size fits-all solution. CRM systems were not designed with sales people in mind. They were designed based on the capabilities of relational databases to store and share data and provide reports and management information.
CRM systems fall into two broad categories. Enterprise systems which are stored on a company’s internal IT systems and are only available to the sales people when ‘connected’ to the mothership; and ‘On-Demand’ systems which live in ‘the cloud’ and are only available when connected to the web. (Many systems offer some ‘off-line’ capability but these require varying degrees of updates and synchronization).
One of the biggest draw-backs of a stand-alone CRM system is that it cannot be fully integrated with Outlook – and the majority of salespeople run their lives on Outlook.
By linking our CRM services to our sales consulting services we are able to provide you with help and advice in the critical stages of choosing, customizing and implementing the CRM system.
Implementation and adoption
We develop highly customized implementation pans focused on helping the sales people to see the personal value to them in adopting the CRM system and making it a key part of the way they work on a daily basis. In our experience, the majority of CRM training which is offered by the CRM solution providers themselves is heavily oriented to the type of ‘feature-function’ software training which focuses on the tool itself and not on how or why the sales people should apply the tool in their daily routine.
Where possible we integrate the training completely with our skills training programs. The course materials are customized to include exercises in which the sales teams get the opportunity to apply their new training and integrate that with the use of the CRM tool. This has proven to speed-up the implementation process and to improve long-term adoption of the tool. The CRM system should be seen as an adjunct to the sales process and as an enabler for the sales people to achieve their sales objectives.
Integratis also offers specially tailored sales manager training to help sales managers to overcome their own concerns with CRM adoption and to become effective advocates of the systems and ‘leaders and coaches’ to the sales teams.
Working in partnership with our clients we make sure that the successful adoption of the CRM system is reinforced on a regular basis and consistently referred to in other training. Whether that be in new-hire training or training for strategic accounts, it is important to keep reinforcing the message.