Are you on tenterhooks every month, comparing the order intake with the target to be met? Wouldn’t it be great if you could control and predict your way to achieving those sales targets?
When talking with sales managers and commercial directors, we at Webs often identify a major overlap between their primary reasons to transfer to HubSpot CRM and the obstacles they face.
Let’s set out the collective roadblocks and frustrations.
The most common struggles of sales managers and sales leaders
- “We generally meet our targets but revenue doesn’t necessarily come from the places we expected.”
- “Sales trajectories are becoming more complicated and drawn-out, with more and more influencers client-side.”
- “It’s getting harder to fill our sales pipeline but the targets keep going up.”
- “I’m uncomfortable managing my team remotely in this period. It’s hard enough to check that my sales team is following the agreed process.”
- “How can I get my team to embrace a digital sales culture?”
- “How can we build enough trust with potential customers to close deals more easily?”
“We generally meet our targets but revenue doesn’t necessarily come from the places we expected.”
This is an argument we hear from commercial executives fairly regularly. These are not necessarily organisations that still work with Excel; in fact, they tend to operate with (outdated) CRMs.
Why is that?
- Sellers see no value in keeping the CRM up to date
79% of the insights that your sales people acquire regarding sales opportunities never find their way into your CRM or spreadsheets. Does your current system genuinely help your sales team sell more? Or do they see recording data as another control mechanism imposed by management? This explains why you don’t foresee your revenue coming from unexpected quarters.
- The CRM system is too confusing or out of alignment with sales practice
30-60% of CRM software implementations fail, resulting in only a small number of employees being willing to use the software and keep it up to date.
- Sales people feel that recording data takes too much time
Updating information in the CRM is seen as a hassle, of no benefit to the primary task of selling. Administration therefore always comes second place, or maybe even last. As a result, many sales managers spend time in sales meetings having to chase people to update the CRM – yet they still don’t have accurate data to review.
Which success factors play a role in improving this at your organisation?
- When choosing CRM software, be guided by your employees who talk to customers, not IT or management Prioritise your sales team’s interests when choosing a CRM package. Many CRM packages are (sadly) still constructed around the decision maker’s approach of ‘what’s in it for me’, prioritising reports and management information over the interests of the people who actually have to close the deals. Management information begins with the data that your employees make available.
HubSpot is based on a completely different philosophy. The platform is developed from the point of view of sales people, although the interests of “sales leaders” are incorporated too.
- Choose CRM software that automates tasks so you always get current/accurate data and forecasts to view
HubSpot may not eliminate all administrative tasks but it does remove duplication of effort from the sales process, supplements customer data and also automates the recording of certain data in the CRM, such as the status of deals, and sends reminders to sales people about outstanding tasks.
- Choose CRM software that helps sales people close deals more quickly
CRM software used to record your customers’ data will not necessarily help your sales people sell more effectively, quickly or easily.
So when reviewing the software’s functionality, look out for tools that help the sales team approach and reach prospects at scale. But also make it easier to plan more meetings, by implementing better timing within the sales process.
- Train your people how to use the CRM
Your sales people will only truly get on-board when they realise how CRM software will help them. Adoption is the primary concern, if you’re to get your insights. Effective training will eliminate the initial apprehension, show them they can work with it and convince them they want to work with it.
An important factor in the growth of HubSpot in recent years has definitely been the HubSpot Academy, which has made an enormous contribution: training tools in the cloud that not only support your people’s adoption of the software but also help them sharpen their sales skills – all at their own pace. What could be better than your sales team being able to increase their knowledge of more efficient sales independently?
- Plan your approach to your CRM implementation
- Clearly define the objectives and success factors for your implementation
- Create a project plan and get buy-in from management
- Ensure buy-in to the strategy among employees
- Set standards for how data should be entered into the CRM
- Roll out the CRM in phases, ensuring a smooth transition from the present system to the new one
Read more about the second struggle “Sales trajectories are becoming more complicated and drawn-out, with more and more influencers client-side” in the next blog post.