Simply put, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a business productivity platform where everything crucial to developing, improving, and retaining your customer relationships is stored.* That is why Microsoft offers tailored solutions for sales, marketing, and customer service.
While the technology is great, it does not guarantee success. Having a solid team of contributors, and streamlined internal business processes are important to complement and support the technology, enabling it to perform as expected. People – Process – Technology. It sounds trite, but it bears repeating, because of its wisdom and worth.
Let’s focus on sales, because that it how the vast majority of CRM systems are used.
Having the right team members goes a long way toward reaching your potential and meeting or beating your sales objectives. According to Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business (BenBella Books, Inc., 2007), key players should have GWC. That means they Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do it. Solving your sales challenges will be easier when you have GWC players on your commercial team!
Sales process is often confused with sales strategy or sales methodology. Sales strategy is a thoughtful plan about which accounts to target and prioritize. Sales methodology is your approach to selling, such as consultative selling, solution selling or the challenger sale (as documented in the book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of CEB). Sales strategies and methodologies – along with excellent sales training – are important, but they are not the same as a sales process.
“In simple terms, a sales process is a systematic approach involving a series of steps that enables a sales force to close more deals …” according to the National Association of Sales Professionals.** A sales process provides the structure that guides a team of diverse sales people to accomplish similar steps and record consistent data, so that results are more predictable. It does not take away their ability to express their individuality. What it does provide is structure, so that key requirements are met in a systematic manner and in an order that advances the sale with increasing confidence.
Before launching into a new or upgraded CRM to support sales, it is important to thoughtfully consider your sales process. Perhaps your process needs an upgrade as well! Once the sales process is optimized, then committing that to a sales automation tool, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 makes a ton of sense. Unfortunately, too often businesses simply digitize a broken process, which consumes resources and ultimately doesn’t advance the business or relationships with customers.
While focusing on your customers and implementing robust technology are two keys to your success, optimizing your internal processes and ensuring the right members are on the team are equally as important. People – Process – Technology. Trite, but true!
TopLine Results is pleased to offer support for outlining and optimizing sales processes for you and your customers. For more information, visit our website, www.toplineresults.com/tools/process-consulting/.
Melanie R. Varin is Chief Operating Officer and consultant for TopLine Results Corporation. Melanie specializes in business process consulting for organizations across many industries. With more than 30 years of business expertise, Melanie focuses on providing clients with winning strategies for improving their sales, marketing and overall business processes from assessment to implementation.
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