And in fact, the hunt alone can hurt your pipeline.
Ok. Here we are. Headed for Q4 planning, small to mid-sized business owner / VP of Sales.
Let me guess what’s on the agenda for next year…
I love it. So, after all the momentum, team-building events, and hoopla of the Q4 planning sesh, we start making plans to achieve the growth goal in the new year. First on the list of items to be achieved?
CRM! CRM! CRM!
Why CRM? Well, conventional wisdom would tell you that you’re going to be prospecting if you want to grow, and, if you’re going to be prospecting, you definitely need a place to house and track those prospects. Therefore, CRM it is. Let’s spend a few weeks gathering options, a month evaluating and demoing, cruise into Thanksgiving, and make a decision by end of year. Boom. Done.
Say hello to your beautiful CRM (coming spring break of next year). Still pumped?
Probably not, but if you say so, you might hear the ol’ “If we don’t do it this way, it’ll be like building a house with a cracked foundation”.
Here’s where that analogy falls flat: not having the perfect CRM is nowhere near as critical as it’s made out to be. Sorry, but a cracked foundation isn’t going to be fixed with a slightly faster CSV download and upload.
Look. I’m not saying to go crazy with no CRM. I’m not saying salespeople should be calling each other’s prospects, or worse, calling current customers. All bad.
The Truth About the Perfect CRM
What I am saying is that selecting a CRM can push prospecting (and other important practices) to the back burner. Why? Because selecting a CRM doesn’t suck and prospecting does. So, it’s easy to want to prioritize vetting and buying a CRM, and it’s even easier to understand why teams take so long to do this.
In my experience, more successful, fast-growing sales teams start with an ok, salesperson-friendly CRM, while simultaneously vetting potential CRMs to fit their broader needs.
The reality is that CRMs can always be fixed / updated best case by a transfer of information, and worst case by a consultant who charges $100+ / hour. Either way, its fixable.
Lack of lead generation is un-fixable. If your pipeline is empty, no consultant or automated solution can go back in time and fill it up.
Our brief search lead us to ProsperWorks.
ProsperWorks could not be easier to use, and our salespeople actually don’t hate it–which, for a CRM, is the ultimate compliment. In fact, ProsperWorks has worked so well, we stopped our search for other CRM’s.
Go find a decent CRM and buy it TODAY. Next week, do some training. Know that sales people won’t be perfect. Monitor and correct on what you can–then, get back to prospecting and lead generation. Or, outsource it to someone who will handle it for you.