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How a CRM Can Stunt Your Growth

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Author photo: Jen Theuriet

Jen Theuriet

As you sweep up the last bits of confetti from the celebration of last quarter’s growth, don’t ignore the clutter piling up on the desks of your top sales executives. Everyone wants hockey-stick growth—but not everyone can handle the build-up of work that results from it.

Ignoring the volume of leads coming in because of your recent success won’t make the problem go away. Pretending you’re too busy to listen to the Sales Director’s complaints that their reps are spending too much time on repetitive data entry tasks won’t solve the issue.

You need a CRM that will be the perfect guest and the life of the party as you go through these growing pains. So what does this guest look like?

Let’s take a look:

Attention to detail is key.

Is the monitor of your top sales rep littered with Post-it notes? Are you worried that one door slam could cause them to go flying? Don’t leave the customer service of your clients up to fate.

Your CRM should keep track of what your next step is with every customer. Let’s say you sent a proposal out to a client on Friday and want to make sure to follow up with them next week. Don’t rely on Siri or a messy spreadsheet to get the job done.

Just create a task to follow up with that lead in your CRM with the date and time you’d like to complete that step.

What if you have plans to be out of the office next week and need to have a coworker follow up for you? Here’s something Siri can’t do: assign it to another member of the sales team.

Every interaction your sales team has with a customer should include a next step—how was their trip to Mexico, did they receive the proposal, will they be attending the conference next month? As your company grows, there’s no way to expect your sales team to remember all these details.

Don’t lose that personal touch. If the next person your client needs to hear from is engineering to move the sale forward, make sure they get an engineer on the phone. Streamline communication between departments and deepen your client connections.

The right CRM will provide a place to make sales notes for each step along the way.

Why does this work? A tried-and-true method to improve efficiency both at work and at home is to clean up your workspace. Removing the clutter allows your mind to focus on the task at hand. Automating your client tasks also prevents tasks from falling through the cracks—and improves communication within a team.

Support those who support you.

An ideal party guest always is gracious. They make sure to greet the host or hostess when they arrive (maybe even brings a gift), checks in with them throughout the event, would never leave without saying goodbye and then follows up after the fact to share some memories made.

So how does this translate to your CRM at your skyrocketing company?

Think of your management team as the overwhelmed party host. Running in a million directions, making sure everyone is having fun, and trying to make it all look effortless.

Checking in with them at the beginning of the party would be similar to running a Pipeline Summary Report for a sales manager on a CRM. This tool (or gift) gives a broad overview of where the business is at in this moment.

Are there enough clients in the negotiation stage in order to meet your sales quotas at month end? If not, the right CRM will allow you to drill down into the reports to figure out why. This “why” is the key to what your sales team needs to improve on.

Back to the party for a minute. Imagine standing on a balcony looking out over the epic gala below. You can see your guests getting down on the dance floor, indulging at the dessert table—but wait, there’s a huge line at the bar. What’s going on?

If you were down there mingling amongst your guests, you wouldn’t have the perspective of what’s working and what isn’t.

When you have more business coming in than you know what to do with, it’s unrealistic to think that your sales managers can keep a bird's eye view of their business with their weekly check-ins. The right CRM will give them real-time visibility on performance right away.

Just like standing on that balcony.

With a Pipeline Report, you even have the ability to drill down to look at that deal you had your eye on last quarter. What stage is it at in the sales process? Have you won the business or is it stuck in the negotiation stages?

Why does this work? Management has to have the tools they need at their fingertips to make quick changes in a rapid growth environment. Make sure you provide them with the reports and analytics to get the job done.

Shout out to those low-maintenance friends.

Nobody likes a high-maintenance party guest. They drain you of time and energy with all of their special requests and drama.

The same goes for your CRM. You need a management system that makes things easy during the chaos of exponential growth—a system that automates repetitive and manual tasks.

“Like a plague of locusts, they give us no rest. They gobble our irreplaceable asset: our time. The faster we swat them away, the faster they arrive. Our modern locust plague is email.” - from the Freakonomics Blog (interesting analogy of email, no?)

Is it possible to spend less time on email? The answer is yes—if you find the right CRM.

Odds are there’s a standard email (personalized of course) that is sent to each customer at some point during your sales process. Make it an email template within your CRM and free up hours for your sales team and strengthen your sales process. Now that’s a game-changer.

Copper’s email templates have the ability to incorporate merge fields and send bulk emails.

When your company is leveled up into extreme growth, you need to nail down your sales process. With that in place, you can reinforce this structure by automating steps within your CRM.

Just think of how much more time your sales team can spend closing deals when they aren’t worried about setting reminders to call that lead they met at the trade show last week.

Why does this work? If used properly, automation can be a powerful tool to maximize your growth spurt. It’ll increase productivity by automating repetitive and manual tasks and strengthen your sales process with consistency. It’s vital to find a CRM that hits these markers and make sure it’s high on your invite list.

Stop experiencing technical difficulties.

Have you ever planned an event but struggled to get an accurate headcount because you used a new invitation service? Your guests are used to Evite... but the invite design on this new service just fit the party theme better. Nobody has the time or patience to figure it out and your party is destined to flop.

Don’t let frustration with technology slow your growth—the right CRM can make the party run smoothly. It should:

Why does this work? Time is a finite resource. You didn’t hire your sales team for their admin skills, so son’t overburden them with administrative work. During your growth spurt, the number of leads will grow. Fast. You need a system that's easy to adopt—and that will grow with you.

Be open to change.

Even the most detailed event planner knows that a party never goes to plan. The best case scenario is to arrive prepared and hope your guests will go with the flow.

When you’re growing your business, you need to embrace change. Your CRM needs to follow suit.

A small change in one aspect of your business will be felt throughout the company. The domino effect defined by Merriam-Webster is a cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events.

Here are some common areas of change during growth periods:

  • New pipelines are regularly being created.
    • You should be able to add this seamlessly into your CRM
  • A new Sales Director comes on board and changes your sales strategy.
    • Can your process and tech stack adapt?
  • Marketing gets additional funding.
    • Can you add more custom data collection points into every lead's profile?

Why does this work? Like the easygoing party guest, your CRM needs to be able to adjust to changes on the fly. There’s no telling what tomorrow will bring as you grow your company. Don’t let a static system hold you back.

It’s time to narrow down that guest list.

Think back to a party when you kept looking for an excuse to leave. What made you want to walk out that door ASAP?

Don’t let your company and employees fall subject to the same thoughts of escape.

Celebrate your hard-earned growth and implement the right CRM to make sure you can keep the party going. It’s vital that your system has attention to detail, support for management, automation, ease of use, and adaptability.

See how LumApps drove and supported extreme growth—in all the right ways.

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