CRM can help consultancies and professional services firms work much smarter when it comes to new business. It’s all very well having a flair for business development – many sales people do and that’s why they are in the job – but their good work needs to be underpinned by technology and processes. Without it, it’s difficult to get that management insight, spot and track opportunities and help your biz dev team become more effective. CRM can help by:
- Smart marketing: it’s not about sales and marketing acting in silos – and it’s vital that marketing engages in sales led behavior. Using CRM, they can set lead generation targets and define what a marketing qualified lead looks like – for example, they might want to target CFOs within manufacturing companies. A sales director can set pipeline targets and ask marketing to source opportunities of a certain value – this can help to define the marketing strategy. And it’s about ensuring that the right messaging, campaigns and tools are provided at the right stage to move prospects along the sales cycle. CRM can facilitate all of this.
- Giving a boost to your sales team: CRM can help improve the productivity of sales teams and empower them to make them more effective. For example, it can help them to prioritize their workload. CRM uses dashboards and color coding to create daily to do lists. It also uses scoring to let team members know which are the hottest leads and might be worth going after first. It can also flag neglected opportunities. Such functionality can really help sales people stay on top of their workload and manage it more efficiently.
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses: directors can look at the performance of sales people – their activity levels, reports, deal planning and conversion rates – and understand what is or isn’t working. From this insight they can determine who might need more training, who might need help managing their workload or who might be able to share their best practice with other team members. Locking best practice into the sales process can really help lift the sales team’s game overall.
- Maximizing resources and time: CRM makes sales teams much more efficient – for example, it can help group meetings together from a geographical perspective – if George is going to meet a prospect in Birmingham, are there other prospects in the region who would be worth meeting up with to? CRM can make that happen.
It can be tooth and nail in the consultancy and professional services industry. Competition for new clients is intense. And in the current climate, it’s probably true to say that it will get more so. So whatever you can do to sharpen your business development processes and help you get an edge is definitely worth doing. And CRM is definitely worth doing.
To read more about how CRM can help your consultancy or professional services firm with its business development, please read our white paper How CRM Can Make Your Consultancy “New-Biz Smart”