June 22, 2021
Efficiency. Clarity. Structure.
These three words epitomize the value of a Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to a sales organization. Some would even say a sales CRM is the backbone of a structure designed to optimize performance. Everything hinges on a good backbone, from the skeleton to the muscles and the nervous system. Without a solid backbone, none of the other systems will function properly.
The backbone is so critical that world-class athletes who suffer back injuries rarely make it back to playing competitively at any level without a miraculous surgery and recovery. One of the reasons Tiger Woods’ epic comeback to win the Masters in 2019 was so captivating to watch, even for the non-golf fan, is because the odds were stacked against him. No one comes back from five back surgeries to win a major championship – it just doesn’t happen.
As they begin to build their sales team, many companies focus primarily on finding high-performing, experienced sales reps who can figure out how to sell their product. However, without a good sales CRM, among other tools, even the best sales professionals will struggle to succeed amid a poor sales structure. It’s like the New York Jets drafting Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft; a great player being thrown into a terrible system with a losing mentality and two rookie coaches with a combined record of 33 wins and 63 losses.
Darnold was a solid quarterback at the University of Southern California, completing 65% of his passes with 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in just two seasons. In three seasons with the Jets, Darnold completed 60% of his passes and only threw 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. Was he a different quarterback in the pros than he was in college? No, in fact many NFL analysts (several of whom are former NFL quarterbacks), including Dan Orlovsky, said that Sam Darnold was a better quarterback than Joe Burrow (Heisman Trophy winner and #1 draft pick in 2020), and that he believes Darnold will excel in Carolina Panthers organization because, according to Orlovsky, “this will be the first time Sam Darnold has excellent coaching based on development and a supporting cast of talent.” In Lehman’s terms, Sam Darnold, a great quarterback, will finally be in a solid system with structure.
The same thing happened with Ryan Tannehill, who struggled mightily with the focus-less Miami Dolphins. Then Tannehill signed with the Tennessee Titans, and he promptly took them to the AFC Championship game. The difference? Great coaching and a great organization.
The lesson: great players thrive in great systems.
Read that again.
Great talent thrives within the context of a great system.
This is true of winning sports teams. It’s true of winning sales organizations. And the sales CRM is the backbone of a winning organization, creating efficiency within a sales process, clarity in expectations and communication, and structure to shorten the sales cycle and scale the business.
The biggest timewaster for sales professionals is updating data and keeping track of leads and opportunities. Using spreadsheets, holding onto business cards, or remembering everything in one’s head makes it impossible to move with speed. If the goal is for sales professionals to work fast and shorten the sales cycle, properly setting up the CRM is the best way to make that happen.
Critical automations and workflows will keep data clean and limit the number of touches required to update data and accelerate the sales process. Take the time to learn about and set up workflows and automations within the CRM and integrations with other third-party applications.
A solid sales CRM allows sales professionals to communicate effectively both internally as well as externally throughout the system. Email templates, sequences and dialers make connecting and communicating with prospects a breeze while allowing leadership to oversee and coach on the many touchpoints that occur during the sales process. This brings clarity in terms of the expectations of a sales professional and the communication required to move fast.
When a CRM is set-up correctly, it creates a structure to ensure a sales professional has all the necessary tools to walk a customer through the sales process and close deals fast. It also makes the process something that can be replicated with multiple sales professionals of varying skills and ability levels, which allows an organization to scale its sales efforts to generate more revenue.
Don’t rely on a superstar sales professional to take the organization to the next level. Instead, start with the sales CRM and build a simple, effective, and repeatable system for every sales professional on the team.
Trey Griggs is a sales executive that, during his nine years in the transportation industry, has gained experience in several sectors within technology, including load boards, rate analytics, TMS systems, visibility solutions, digital freight-matching platforms, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Trey enjoys coaching teams to be great, as well as speaking on sales & marketing strategies, leadership & organizational structure, and technology. When he’s not building world-class organizations, you can find Trey spending time with his family, traveling, renovating his home, playing golf, working out, reading & playing music.
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