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Is There Sales Excellence Without CRM?

I read a great article by Craig Klein, CEO of SalesNexus.com which really emphasized what we, in the CRM world, live, breath and preach.  That CRM is a great enabler of "Sales Excellence".  But, companies should not stop there.  CRM is for "Customer Support Excellence" and "Marketing Excellence" as well as all other customer-focused functions. 

Yes, it is true that you can live without CRM if you are willing to accept that your sales team will not be quite as productive as they could be, will spend more time on updating, preparing and submitting those dreaded sales pipelines and forecasts every month, and not close quite as many orders as they might if using CRM.  Yes, they might have to work harder to achieve the same success as those using CRM.  But does it matter?  We all know that CRM is a large commitment (financially and in internal resources) if it is to benefit your business and its customers.  But, as more and more companies (including your competitors) use the power of CRM, those that don't, will truly be at a disadvantage.   Is there a significant ROI that can be achieved?  This is the "million dollar" question.

These questions can all be answered by understanding your business processes, your company's challenges and what your short term and long term business objectives are.  Choosing the right person within your organization that understands your customers, is business saavy, and can work with all of your departments that interact with your customers and prospects, is the first step to determining what CRM can do for you.  If you don't have the resources to commit to this, take a look at hiring a contract person or consultant with these same traits.

One last comment on "Sales Excellence".  Part of "Sales Excellence" is people.  Your sales team can strengthen their relationships by quickly responding, supporting and having face time with their customers.  This AND the ability to handle as many leads and opportunities as possible, without letting any balls drop, will differentiate those between mediocrity and excellence.   The best way to achieve this is through CRM.

Read Craig's Article