This is a guest post from Russ Hill, Founder of Ultimate Lead Systems.
CRM programs come with big promise. The value proposition reminds me of the film the “Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy sets out with her allies to meet “the Great and Powerful” Wizard, who will surely deliver fulfillment of their greatest wishes. They approach the Wizard with fear and trepidation. When they finally see him behind the curtain, they discover their wizard furiously spinning wheels and pulling switches to bring the Great and Powerful wizard image to life. It is a good metaphor for what companies encounter when implementing CRM and sales lead management programs. Like the Wizard, the promise is great, but have no illusions. Understanding what is required behind the curtain is critical to CRM success.
Ultimate Lead has been providing tailored sales lead management and CRM programs to our clients for a couple decades now. Here are some of the administrative chores requiring attention in order for programs to become “Great and Powerful.”
CRM Behind the Curtain
- User hierarchy and viewing privileges – Keeping your user file and viewing privileges up-to-date is paramount for user satisfaction. Reps must be able to access accounts and leads assigned to them along with dashboards and reports relevant to their activity only. Managers need to view things more globally, but still just the data appropriate to their areas of responsibility. It must be accurate with every login. Throw in regular personnel changes and this can keep an administrator on their toes. If a user experiences anything but perfect presentation, confidence and use can plummet.
- Territory assignments – This dovetails into User management. There are roughly 44,000 primary zip codes in the U.S. (and over 800,000 postal codes in Canada!). These areas-of-responsibility must be assigned to sales reps or distributors and are typically organized by a sales region. Like User changes, managing territory assignments can be a full-time job especially when multiple sales channels are involved. (We have a client with 3,000 users. Managing user privileges, market segments and territory changes is a full-time administrator’s position.)
- Market Segments & Products – Perhaps your company sells products to different markets via different channels (Reps vs. Distributors). Your Admin must make sure that your products are properly grouped by the correct channel right along with respective territories and viewing privileges. This is required so that the sales leads end up in the right hands.
These are just three of the administrative areas that must be properly maintained to keep your CRM and sales lead management programs running smoothly. “Behind the Curtain” administrative functions also include: Email campaign management, Lead Processing, Fulfillment, Lead Qualification/Scoring, importing data from a variety of sources, integration with third-party programs and APIs. And let’s not forget training and field support. These functions alone require multiple skill sets and professional attention.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road?
CRM and Sales Lead Management success requires more than software. Effective administration is at the top of the list and the demands are high. Be sure to have a look behind the curtain when considering a CRM program. If you already have a program, you may want to take a fresh look behind the curtain and re-examine your administrative needs and opportunities. Do you have a great and powerful “Wizard” to manage your CRM or sales lead management programs? If not, consider having a look at Ultimate Lead to get the flying monkeys off your back…and give us a call.