Putting the M in CRM

Putting the M in CRM

A CRM should provide sales managers with oceans of information. In theory, it’s a tool that puts your sales reps’ interactions, pertinent research about sales, and unique details on customers all at your fingertips and can boost your sales reps’ success.

Now, after already looking at both the Customer and Relationship sides of the equation, today we’re talking about the “M” in CRM—and that means we’re focusing on YOU. How does a CRM help you do your job better as a sales manager?

The Misconception

The easy answer is that CRMs make managing everything better by streamlining reporting and analysis. But let’s dig a little deeper as to how that works. Because a lot of managers end up going in with that assumption and coming out with Big Brother-style tactics that the CRM isn’t intended for.

A lot of managers might read “managing” more like “backseat driving.” Maybe they see the information their reps are reporting and decide they have a better method to get higher sales. They micromanage before they take in the bigger picture.

This hamstrings their team by funneling the manager’s time into micro-decisions and forcing the sales reps to tailor their process to the sudden (and sometimes intrusive) oversight. 

The Reality

The fact is that the Management side of a CRM is designed to empower you to make better decisions—not dictate tactics or responsibilities on your sales reps. Sales reps spend an awful lot of time updating their CRM database for your reports (between 1-1.5 hours per day on average). That might feel like an hour of tying their own rope if they know you’re going to use that information to loom over their shoulder with every sale.

Sales reps using Telenotes only spend an average of 47 seconds after every sales call updating their CRM.

Your job is to take in the information your sales reps report in the CRM and use it to guide the big decisions. Use the CRM to empower your decisions—and make decisions that empower your sales reps.

“$1,000,000 job won!

“A rep recorded a [Telenote call note] that if any distributor could help manage the project flow electronically they would have a better shot at getting this particular $1M+ job. His manager saw the note and told the rep he could do that and showed him how… and we got the job.”

-S. Ritchey Plumbers Supply

The Solution

Your CRM is here to manage customer relationships. That applies to the relationships your sales reps build with their customers and to your relationship with your sales reps. The right CRM keeps you in the loop without keeping your hand on a leash.

Think of it like an oil rig that keeps digging up useful insights and information you can use (when you use the CRM correctly). You can turn data into dollars with the right approach. Be sure to look for details your sales reps might have missed or that are part of a bigger picture. This might include:

  • Mentions of competitors
  • The context behind a failed sale (or a string of them)
  • Customer sentiments about you vs. your competitors
  • What “not interested” really means

This wealth of information can help you grow your strategy while anticipating hurdles inside and outside of your organization.

Letting Your CRM Be a CRM

When you make it easy for your sales reps to build deep relationships with their customers, you increase your chances of a sale. 

When you make it easy for your sales reps to report into your CRM, you increase the information you have access to. 

When you have the right information at your fingertips, you increase your tools and strategies as a manager.
CRMs are a tool designed to help you make the best use of the information your team is already encountering each and every day. With the right one, combined with the right approach, you can empower your sales team to keep you up-to-date on the big picture while also keeping them focused on individual sales. If you want to see how a CRM combined with live virtual assistants streamlines your process, be sure to schedule a Telenotes demo today.