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Six Signs Your CRM Is Lame

According to our research, over 96% of B2B companies are using CRM systems of some form or fashion, purchased or homegrown. And, at least 60% of sales operations teams are reporting that “CRM management” is among their top three responsibilities.

That said, there’s a big difference between implementing a technology and actually getting a lot of value out of it.

Case in point, I successfully assembled my Total Gym. Implementation? Check! The dress shirts hanging from it months later? Well, those are pretty solid clues as to how much value I’m getting out of that particular technology investment.

But with something like a CRM system, it’s a little more difficult to determine whether or not you’re really getting everything you could. There are a lot of moving parts and as a result, no single measure can really do it justice.

So, how do you know if your approach to CRM is lacking? Here are six signs…six “dress shirts” if you will…

  1. Do your salespeople have to be reminded to use the system? Or, do they actually want to use the system because it helps them achieve their goals?
  2. What’s the primary direction of the information flow? Is it essentially a system for taking information in, or delivering sales intelligence out?
  3. Who are the users that scream when it goes down? Managers who rely on it for reporting? Or salespeople who rely on it to make their quota?
  4. Why did you implement the system in the first place? To enable greater efficiency and effectiveness? Or because everyone else was doing it?
  5. Is it backward- or forward-looking? Does it just report on historical deal activity, or does it recommend the next actions a sales rep should take?
  6. What questions does it answer? Can it identify the best prospects? Can it alert reps to potential defections? Can it identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities?

I don’t have to tell you how to score your answers—you’ll know if they’re lame.

The main thing is to recognize what’s possible. A CRM system can either be nothing more than a glorified Rolodex, or it can be a fount of sales intelligence. It can be a basic road map, or a full-blow GPS for profitable growth.

The choice is yours…and you already have the building blocks!

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