CRM systems have become integral tools for businesses everywhere to manage and enhance their customer interactions. This has led some businesses to believe that CRM will improve sales by itself. However, implementing a CRM system without a well-defined sales process is like building a house without a solid foundation.
By aligning your sales process with your CRM system, you can streamline your efforts, enhance customer engagement, and increase revenue growth.
During her presentation “Before CRM: Mapping Your Sales Process” at Zoholics 2023, Megan Britt, Zoho’s Sales Engineer, shed light on the transformative impact of a well-defined sales process on CRM implementation. Let’s dive in and explore the insights she shared.
Keep reading to unlock CRM success!🔻
A sales process is a sequence of progressive stages that a salesperson employs to move a prospective buyer from the stage of awareness to a closing.
Essentially, it’s a journey that a potential customer takes from the moment they realize they need a product to when they buy the product.
It’s a journey for the prospect and a road map for the salesperson.
CRM has specific language for the various terms/modules necessary for your sales process. Since you aim to implement CRM you need to understand these terms/modules.
A lead is a potential buyer i.e., someone with some real or assumed interest in your product or service. Lead is usually an individual your sales will engage with if the interest is confirmed. A lot of leads will not convert into real business. This will be defined through qualification and nurturing of your leads. Leads usually contain raw information, often just contact details, but no real intent to buy what you have to offer is captured.
A contact is someone with a definite interest in your business, a qualified lead (person). They’re actively involved with the sales process. For someone to become a contact they must have passed your qualification criteria and shown some intent signals.
The company information of the contact or a lead becomes an account. Thus an account refers to the organizations that multiple contacts work for.
A lead is converted to a deal (prospect or opportunity). It is important to nurture a lead and take them through the steps of your sales process. By taking your lead through your sales process they become more qualified to become a client AKA Deal.
TIP: You don’t have to use all the modules/ terms. E.g., many don’t use Accounts, especially if you’re a B2C company; some don’t use Deals, especially if there’s no sales cycle and the sale happens instantly.
The generate stage involves generating potential business. Potential business can be inbound (people come to you because they love your business or have been referred to you) or outbound (through marketing and sales effort).
At this stage you will leverage the Lead Module of your Zoho CRM.
To translate this stage into CRM configuration you need to:
Sidenote: It is important to input marketing leads into CRM. These leads should be inputted along with definite attributes especially with marketing sources that brought the leads. Doing this would help the salesperson communicate effectively with the lead.
Not all the leads are equal. There are good leads, bad leads and wrong leads. Hence, it is important to qualify your leads. Failure to qualify leads would result in chasing the wind.
Your process for qualifying leads is up to your company. The CRM setup is dependent on your process for qualifying leads. Once you’ve qualified your lead, your salesperson can begin the sales process with only qualified leads. Doing this ensures a real quality sales process.
For example, in this stage you can do the following:
Once you’ve determined that a lead qualifies to be sold to. It’s time to convert that LEAD into a DEAL and move to the Deal module. While moving from the Lead module to the Deal module, Zoho will create an Account if needed and will upgrade your Lead to Contact. An Account refers to the company the lead works for and Contact refers to the real deal (a prospect with definite interest who qualifies)
To make the most out of the Zoho CRM’s Deal Module and to successfully transform your Lead into a Deal, you need to determine:
It’s important that you determine the above and answer relevant questions before clicking the CRM Settings icon. Then it’s easy to understand whether you’re good with the default simple traditional deal management cycle that Zoho CRM offers or you need to customize these to fit your product/ service/ sales lifecycle.
If you’re looking to streamline your business processes and embark on a successful journey, consider seeking the assistance of an expert to help you set up everything in a CRM. We understand that this can be a complex task, which is why we offer a free consultation to provide you with the necessary guidance.