If you’re a sales manager who isn’t using a CRM solution to manage sales meetings yet, you’re not getting the full value of your organization’s CRM investment.
In this blog, we’ll explore why and how to use CRM for sales meetings and the plan you can follow for more efficient meetings. For an in-depth explanation of the cadence used in each meeting type, watch the free webinar below.
A Tale of Two Sales Managers
Let’s set the stage with a real-world example of two anonymous sales managers:
- Sales Manager A managed a big, established business that set year over year business goals. He viewed Dynamics 365 as a user-only tool, not a useful management tool. His thought process on CRM was, “I don’t trust this tool, but I understand employees need to use it to get their jobs done.”
- Sales Manager B managed a newer company with up and coming potential and used CRM as a strategic tool to forecast key data points. Every piece of data had to be validated through CRM. She thought of CRM as a management tool first and a user tool second.
When a pre-COVID downturn occurred, Sales Manager A had to make drastic changes and tried to pivot, but ultimately, his division was cut back significantly.
Sales Manager B experienced the same economic downturn, but since she used CRM to forecast and strategically plan for the future, her team survived with hardly any personnel cuts.
As a leader in your organization, you need to lead from the top down. You can’t implement a CRM solution for your sales team and omit yourself from using it. Learn how to plan and prepare for your organization’s future, using CRM to lead the way.
Why CRM is Essential for Sales Meetings
Do you hear these sentiments or statements often from your team about customer relationship management software?
- “CRM slows me down.”
- “CRM is like ‘Big Brother.'”
- “CRM is too hard to use.”
- “Something in CRM isn’t working.”
- “I’m the top sales rep, why should I have to use CRM?”
To be fair, there is a learning curve with CRM, as with most new tools. If you want to streamline and improve your sales process, you need to build a team of successful sales reps whose actions are replicable through a CRM system.
A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. – Salesforce
An engaged digital leader who uses CRM effectively to empower their sales team never has to say:
- “Give me an update on that opportunity.”
- “Send me a copy of that quote.”
- “Has it been submitted for approval?”
- “Who else is involved with that client?”
- “What is your plan for this week?”
- “What did you get done last week?”
- “What are you doing that is different from others?”
Let’s get into why you should be using CRM in your sales meetings.
The 4 Whys Behind CRM for Sales Meetings
If you understand the “why” behind using CRM for sales meetings, you’ll have an easier time convincing others to adopt it. Not everyone will be immediately on board, but you, as the sales leader, must be bought in before engaging your team with new technology.
The short answer for why you should use a CRM? Revenue.
The purpose of a CRM for sales managers is to figure out how to generate more revenue, more efficiently, to provide a better experience for the customer, so they keep coming back.
Here are four reasons why CRM for sales meetings is helpful:
1. Visibility. Your raw sales experience can improve your sales team’s performance, but you don’t always have the time to coach them. Plus, you can’t coach what you don’t see. CRM is the eyes and ears of every sales manager.
2. Planning and strategy. Don’t wait for the final score before you start coaching your sales team. CRM helps you proactively train sales reps to support their today’s pitches, not tomorrow’s.
3. Leadership. CRM is a leadership tool for sales managers and C-suite executives. Enable upper-level management to engage with CRM and make better-informed leadership decisions.
4. Collaboration. Managers can easily use CRM to share best practices with their team, and CRM also empowers coworkers to collaborate. Consider building a corporate knowledge base to share expertise across your organization.
Now that you know why you should use CRM for sales meetings, learn how to take them to the next level by adding a little LUCK.
Are Your Sales Meetings Powered by LUCK?
CRM is not about technology, but empowering your people to move the business forward. CRM enables you to create a meeting structure where you can…
- Listen to your team, and your team can listen to each other.
- Understand the challenges and opportunities shared by your team.
- Connect the data collected from your team and CRM to start changing behaviors and improving internal processes and strategies.
- Know the results and continue collaborating as a team to develop new methods that improve performance.
Listen, Understand, Connect, and Know is what you do – Good LUCK is why you do. Powered by LUCK means having a foundation of your why and doing the right things as a result.
To learn more about LUCK, grab a copy of The LUCK Principle™ on Amazon!
Establishing a Consistent Sales Meeting Cadence
Think about your sales meeting cadence. Do you even have a meeting cadence? Are sales meetings organized and useful? Or irregular and reactive?
If your sales leader does not own the CRM project, and IT is the owner, you are bound to fail. Generally, IT is the support system, but your IT team doesn’t exist to solve problems and steer projects. CRM is a sales solution, not an IT solution.
Use this outline to help you adapt your current sales meeting cadence to be more efficient:
- Annual Meetings (8 hours): Define metrics, set goals, develop the annual plan.
- Quarterly Meetings (3 meetings lasting 4 hours each – 12 hours total per year): Review metrics, define new goals, adjust the annual plan.
- Weekly Meetings (50 meetings lasting 1 hour each – 50 hours): Team accountability, review primary metrics, front window and rear-view.
- 1:1 Manager Accountability (? hours): Set and review individual plans, ride along, coach.
Teams often skip annual and quarterly meetings because they don’t feel like they have time. But a regular cadence of yearly and quarterly meetings means you’ll have much more valuable weekly meetings – which, on an annual basis, consume much more time.
Every meeting will have inputs from the executive level, and the most common meeting outputs may include:
- Commitments to clients
- Executive reports
- CRM Updates
- Change requests
Again, sales managers need to own the outputs of these meetings and harness the power of CRM (and LUCK) to make sure action items are assigned and completed.
Contact C5 Insight to Improve Your Sales Meetings with CRM
Free your team by using CRM to answer tedious questions, coach your sales team, and refine your sales process. Every professional athlete needs a coach, or two, to improve their skills and train them to be better.
Are you looking for a CRM consultant to coach you and your team, providing the necessary support to get the most out of your CRM investment?
Contact our team at C5 Insight by calling 704-895-2500 or email me, Geoff Ables, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.