Culture is the King

April 7, 2006

A CRM solution is more than a new software package. It also encompasses a mindset, a way of doing business and a way of interacting with others in the firm. The success of a CRM implementation rests on the shoulders of a workforce that is willing to share information about clients and contacts. However, this "collaborative" mentality flies in the face of the culture within some professional services firms. For better or worse, many professional services practitioners are skeptical of sharing contact information for fear of losing opportunities to generate work that they can produce themselves. However, if a CRM implementation is introduced to the workforce as an opportunity to create new opportunities for all, success rates will improve significantly.

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Multiply the power of Sales

April 7, 2006

"Why does the customer want to buy? What are they trying to accomplish?" Find out "Why," "Why now," and "What's it worth." In other words, no compelling reason to buy then no demo.

How do you make the quickest difference? Focus the bulk of your energy on revenue generation. In other words, sales! And don't do it the same old way either.

Here are five ways for sales force to bring in more business in short order. There are no magic bullets. Use one or use them all. Each technique will have its own effect, and each will multiply the power of the others.

1. Sell return on investment, and sell it to the CFO.

Sales people are complaining that while the pipeline may be full, the deals are taking too long to close. Perhaps that's why the pipe is so full. What are the reasons for this? Companies have money, and in many cases they have needs. But many people are so scared THEIR customers aren't going to buy THEIR wares, they are loath to spend any money themselves. The result? They are only willing to spend money when they absolutely see near-term financial payback, and the CFO is killing many deals.

The solution? Sell the return on investment. Sell the payback. And sell it to the CFO. Arm your salespeople with two things: A series of case studies that document the returns from using your product, and a well-defined ROI process worksheet. Work with the CFO to build the ROI case so that he or she owns it. This is the only way they come to believe it. Make it their idea and instead of killing your deal, they will help you close it.

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