Author Archives: Brian Gardner

What Are Your Company’s Top Obstacles to CRM Success?

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On this blog, we’ve covered 10 of the most common reasons that CRM fails – or isn’t as successful as it could be. Those include a murky management vision, not getting your top guns involved, trying to do too much too soon rather than easing into the new system, and not understanding the Total Cost of Ownership, including training requirements, from the start. (Read more about common reasons CRM fails.)

But every company has its own Achilles heel.

With CRM, Start with the End in Mind

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As discussed on this blog, it’s important to start slow and grow (see #5 in this blog post), and ease your company and team into CRM. That means picking just a few priorities at most to focus on at each phase of your implementation. When you feel like your team has embraced the functionality in Phase 1, move to the next phase and so on.

How Do You Define a True Sales Opportunity?

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Many companies struggle to identify what an “opportunity” truly is. An opportunity is a qualified lead. It’s not rumor of potential business. It has real potential to move to the quote stage. (Learn what a qualified lead is in this blog post.)

Don’t Let Your Leads Fall Into a Black Hole

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Where do you get your leads from, and how do you know they are qualified?

Leads are the start of the sales cycle. They are part of what I call the front end of the sales process (along with opportunities). A lead is a broadly defined term that includes potential customers that may have shown interest in your products and services. Key word here is interest. At this stage, the lead is not yet qualified. You may refer to them as prospects.

The Big Opportunity You May Be Missing to Grow Sales

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In most industrial companies, the service group is an island. The team is in the shop or out in the field. And the interaction the service team has with the sales team is minimal.

But that’s a big missed opportunity.

Why CRM is a Revenue Generator – Not a Cost

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Many industrial distributors, reps and manufacturers tend to view any kind of technology investment as a cost. Part of that stems from the need to budget the investment, which is typically done under the eye of the CFO.

The Role of Your Sales Top Guns in CRM Implementations

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In the past few blog posts on SalesProcess360, we’ve addressed the sometimes difficult transition companies have to make when they decide to move forward on a CRM project.

In this post, we talk about the importance of getting what I call your “top guns” involved in CRM implementations.

Why CRM Initiatives Fall Short (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of a two-part series of blogs on the most c­ommon reasons that CRM does not deliver the ROI industrial distributors and manufacturers expect. Read Part 1 here.

Why CRM Initiatives Fall Short (Part 1)

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This is Part 1 of a two-part series of blogs on the most common reasons CRM does not deliver the ROI industrial distributors, reps and manufacturers are looking for.

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a system for sharing and leveraging your team’s data and knowledge. It’s about process, and technology helps to automate that. But as is frequently reported, many companies find they don’t get what they want out of a CRM system. I’ve seen this in my one-to-one work with industrial distributors, reps and manufacturers, and I have heard this from many of the professionals I’ve spoken with at industry events.

The No. 1 Reason CRM Frequently Fails: Culture

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It probably comes as no surprise that one of the top reasons that CRM sometimes does not gain traction for industrial distributors, reps and manufacturers is culture.

SalesProcess360 Videos featuring Brian Gardner

Get insights based on decades of experience in industrial markets, including why you should think beyond outside sales, how to take a proactive approach to sales opportunities and how to let sales process drive your CRM wish list.