In the interest of full disclosure I am a business software consultant, and a CRM guy. I hold Microsoft Dynamics CRM certifications, and am a certified Salesforce.com Administrator, Developer, and Service Cloud Consultant. I am now responsible for a consulting group which specializes in SaaS (Software as a Service) software implementations.
I would encourage you to consider this while reading, with my assurances that, for the purposes of this post, I am employing my perspective to educate, rather than to persuade.
1. Your Competitors are using CRM to better engage with their, and – for the time being – your customers
According to Gartner, CRM will eclipse ERP in worldwide market size by 2017 (see chart below). IDC is (unbelievably) more bullish.
CRM is no longer a buzzword, it’s a necessity to compete in a rapidly changing business climate.
serve the customer.
but must adapt to keep the business, account for rapidly diminishing market share
Salesforce.com also provides competitive analytics, and Lead & Marketing automation tools, to help identify customers who are dissatisfied with level of service they’re receiving. If your company is in the black, with moderate growth potential, and is not using CRM software, these are very likely your customers.
2.Sales People Like Salesforce.com
Also according to Gartner, and Forrester, Salesforce.com is the worldwide leader in CRM software. The only way your CRM solution will be successful is if your Sales Team actually uses it. Sales people notoriously dislike CRM, and I don’t blame them. CRM clearly benefits Management, and more often is perceived as a threat by Sales. For a Salesperson to use CRM, CRM must be of value for a Salesperson. I know, crazy.
Here are a bunch of reasons why Sales Teams like Salesforce.com:
Better visibility into customer information – Reps can see all their accounts, contacts, opportunities, tasks, and events in a single place. It means convenience, always being organized, and a 360-degree view of the customer. It means no more paper folders, Excel spreadsheets, or sticky notes—it’s all in Salesforce CRM.
Easy account planning – Reps can do their own account planning. Because reps can see their customers’ history, they can develop an account strategy and an action plan, complete with to-do tasks. Reps can also create reminders of follow-up activities on specific dates. Finally, they can see the amount of time committed to each account and the outcome of their efforts.
Better time management – Reps can better prioritize their days and manage their activities. They can see their calendars and upcoming tasks on their home pages. And by checking the Opportunities view in Salesforce CRM, they can focus on and prioritize current opportunities.
Reports – Reps can run their own reports, including the following:
– Accounts they haven’t visited in a while
– Opportunities in the pipeline, including won opportunities and lost opportunities
– Products they’ve sold
– Activities and tasks they’ve completed
Dashboards – Reps can create their own dashboards to see how they’re doing—at a glance. With dashboards, they can see the information that’s critical to them, in various graph formats. They can also designate red, yellow, and green thresholds to show progress toward their goals.
Trending analyses – Reps can see selling trends and use this information to generate more sales. With trending analysis, it’s possible to calculate the win/loss ratio on opportunities, see monthly trends with opportunities in the pipeline, see the types of activities the rep does most, and see the number of closed deals versus quota.
Opportunity forecasts – Because all opportunities are updated in Salesforce CRM, reps can see where sales are coming in, what they forecast for previous periods, and where they can sell more. They no longer have to update Excel spreadsheets and mail their forecasts to their managers. Their managers will be happy as well—they can edit the forecasts without needing additional spreadsheets.
Email templates – Reps can communicate more easily and consistently with their customers. Salesforce CRM provides standard email templates—such as Introductory Sales Call, Welcome Customer, and Thank You for Your Business—that can be easily edited and sent to multiple contacts.
Easy data updates – With the click of a button, reps can request that their contacts update their contact information. As with other email templates, it’s easy to customize this “stay-in-touch” email. When the contact responds, reps can decide whether to accept the updated information.
Easy collaboration – Reps can share information with their team members easily through Salesforce Chatter. That makes it easy to communicate about changes such as territory realignment, information needs to be passed to the next account owner, or anything else. Reps can add team members to either accounts or opportunities.
Built-in record search and create – Reps can quickly create or search for the records they need. They can also add new leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities with a single click.
Outlook integration – Being able to synchronize contacts, tasks, and calendar events between Microsoft Outlook and Salesforce CRM is a huge boon to productivity. Reps no longer have to send emails twice. Emails sent from Outlook can also be added as a record in Salesforce CRM, and Salesforce CRM can be accessed from Outlook folders.
No more micromanagement – Because managers can easily see histories, they can look in the application for pipeline information instead of constantly asking their reps. Also, accountability issues are easily resolved because reps always know what is assigned to them.
“Jon Collins is the Director of our Salesforce Practice. Jon and his team are responsible for making Apps Associates’ customers happy.
Jon started his career in consulting with Microsoft as a Dynamics CRM developer & business analyst, then moved to Infor in 2006 to build a global Salesforce consulting practice. Over the course of 10+ years Jon has served as a developer, business analyst, solution architect, technical architect and project manager for over 80 Salesforce projects.
Jon holds a degree in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music, follows Chelsea FC and listens to everything his beautiful wife Maria tells him to do.”