A Guide to Mapping Your Sales Process in CRM
The whole point of implementing CRM software is to enhance your sales process. However, no CRM platform can inherently support your exact operations. Leading vendors like Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Salesforce include a wide range of tools designed to optimize sales practices and maximize the value of data, but there’s no way they can know the intricacies of your business out of the box.
That’s why it’s imperative for midmarket companies to map out their entire sales processes in the CRM. Mapping sales processes ensures your software aligns with your goals and activities. When your CRM is set up to support your particular operations, you can enjoy widespread user adoption, a streamlined sales cycle and generous ROI. But mapping out the sales process is not a flippant project. Below, we explain how to undergo this activity effectively to make your CRM implementation a success.
Thoroughly Document Processes
Mapping sales processes in your CRM isn’t just useful for your implementation. It gives you the chance to identify flaws in your existing practices, or to define your practices if they haven’t been established. You should carefully consider everything your sales team needs to navigate from the first contact to a closed deal. What information have you been recording in spreadsheets and applications? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? What are special programs or discounts you have in place for your customers? Once you understand what your sales department is currently doing, figure out where improvements can be made, so you can map refined, strategy-driven processes into your software.
By thoroughly documenting your processes, you set the direction for your CRM project. You gain a clear understanding of the workflows and objectives your software must support to make the implementation successful. This will help you select the best platform and execute any necessary customizations. With CRM, your improved processes will be automated and measured to deliver greater efficiency and boost sales.
Avoid Unnecessary Metrics
Modern CRM solutions can provide insight into just about anything. For example, Salesforce Einstein utilizes AI to predict if a deal is likely to close and improve forecasting accuracy. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM also includes AI technology to deliver insights into sales, marketing and customer service performance. However, there is such thing as too much data. Unnecessary customizations and reports could overwhelm sales reps, deterring them from using the system.
As you map sales processes, consider which data is critical for driving sales and customer relationships. Don’t set up dashboards that tell users what they already know. Don’t track details and metrics that nobody will pay attention to. Focus on information that has a purpose in your sales pipeline activities.
Plan for Change Management
One of the benefits of mapping your sales processes into your CRM solution is simplifying user adoption. Requiring your sales team to utilize a new software platform is a big enough change; if you also completely up-end processes, your department will surely abandon the system. Process mapping helps you maintain familiar practices and implement improvements to smooth over the transition.
However, strong communication and a change management plan still need to be at work to bring your sales reps on board. Make sure end users understand the reasons behind the CRM project and have the opportunity to voice concerns. Additionally, ask them to provide data use cases and describe current challenges. This will help you ensure that processes are in accordance with user preferences, thereby encouraging adoption and contributing value to your enterprise.
Look Outside of Sales
Though the sales team will be the primary users of the solution, there are other key players that should be considered when you map processes. After all, CRM is a customer relationship management application. Your sales activities should center around your customer demands to help you gain a competitive advantage. How can you make the buying process easier? Which services and products are most valuable to them? Can you differentiate your business by providing same-day fulfillment or instant ordering? Think about these variables to create a customer-centric sales strategy.
You’ll also need to consider other front and back-office roles. CRM solutions often include marketing and customer service features. How will these departments interact with your new platform? The CRM implementation could serve as a valuable opportunity to bring your front-office roles into closer alignment. Plus, engineers and production teams will benefit from access to sales forecasts and historical records for accurate demand planning. Consider integrating CRM with ERP or other back-office systems to promote greater visibility.
Every company’s sales process is different, so you can’t expect any CRM solution to support your exact operations out of the box. Carefully mapping your sales process in your new software is essential to ensuring your solution will be fully utilized and deliver the most value to your business.
Datix has specialized in CRM solutions and services for over 20 years. A certified partner of both Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Salesforce, we understand how to align software to manufacturing and distribution requirements. We also integrate CRM with Epicor ERP using our landmark Unity integration solution. Unity is the only pre-built, fully managed integration application available to allow businesses of all sizes to form a connected enterprise.
To learn more about CRM implementations, integrations and customizations, contact an expert at Datix today!