How to Make CRM Effective

By Brian Hirt

Jan 04, 2022

Perspective: You are a sales manager responsible for 25 of your organization’s 500 salespeople. Think about the last “all sales” email you were copied on from your marketing or sales ops department that came with a spreadsheet attached. Maybe it was a list of products with too much inventory, a list of customers that should be called about a product substitution opportunity or a bunch of contracts affected by a recent raw materials cost increase.

When thinking about that last spreadsheet, consider:

Was it relevant to all 500 people it was sent to? What did the sender expect sales reps to do once they received it? Were the instructions clear? What do you think they actually did? Do you have any way of quickly finding out? How easy is it for you to track what your team of 25 reps followed through on and can you compare their results to the wider team? How do you, or the sender for that matter, know the bottom-line impact of that spreadsheet-based campaign?

You may be scratching your head at this point. The truth is, manual sales campaigns are the status quo for most B2B companies, so you’re not alone. The spreadsheet was once a major productivity enhancement tool, but new market realities and a more complex sales environment have overwhelmed legacy tools and processes. Opportunities come and go in an instant these days. Action must be taken swiftly, but often, email blasts with vague instructions and spotty relevance are ignored. If action is taken, it’s not always clear by whom and what the ultimate outcome was.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems were supposed to solve the strategy to execution gap. They landed on the scene with the promise that sales teams would be able to gain a 360-degree view of each customer. While CRM has indeed become a valuable repository of customer data and a high-visibility reporting tool for things like sales pipelines, in most cases it hasn’t lived up to the original promise. In reality, while almost every medium-to-large B2B company has implemented some form of CRM, the majority of insights and opportunities that sales ops, marketing or product management are trying to drive are still being delivered to sellers’ inbox via spreadsheet.

But what if each strategic sales initiative could be (digitally) hand-delivered to sellers’ CRM instances in the context of each account?

While CRM is powerful technology with vast potential, it still needs to be unlocked. Collectively, we have all filled our CRM systems to the brim with data, but the missing link is intelligence: the actionable account-specific insight, surfaced automatically to sales when they need it, tethered to a digital paper trail that closes the loop from insight creation to customer outcomes.

That’s what Zilliant Campaign Manager™ was built to accomplish. By delivering targeted customer actions that guide sales reps to timely, high-impact opportunities, it boosts your CRM to its full potential, and in turn, raises the performance of your entire sales team. We often find the difference between a company’s top and bottom sales reps is preparation. Consistent quota attainers tend to follow an action plan for both their top accounts and the longer tail of customers in their patch. Campaign Manager essentially creates an action plan for every sales rep, one that even your most successful and prepared A-lister would be proud to use.

To see how this works in action, watch my in-depth session and live demo on-demand.

[WATCH] Making Customer Insights Actionable for Sales

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