If you do a Google search of the term “Sales System”, more than 2.2 billion results come up. That is to say, there are a lot of sales processes and systems out there. As a company, we have gone through the training with the Sandler sales system, the largest training program in the world (and, as it turns out, the #2 result out of the billions in that same search). It has allowed our team to define its methods of prospecting, meeting with, and cohesively finding a solution to the problems of our client base. However, we noticed that the out-of-the-box CRM solutions from Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.com didn’t align precisely with the process we learned through Sandler.
As a result, we customized our own in-house CRM system in order to align with the process we learned, allowing our sales and customer service staff to gain the maximum functionality out of the large software and training investment we made.
By adapting our CRM to the Sandler method, we are able to:
- See where our clients sat in the stages of the sales process
- Gain a more accurate view of our sales pipelines, allowing for more effective forecasting
- Ensure adoption of both the CRM and the proven sales system. Their integration mutually reinforces adoption.
What about your sales process and CRM integration?
You have already made sizeable investments in both sales training and CRM. Wouldn’t it make sense to align these assets?
What are your options?
Two main options exist: the template or “skin” option, and customization.
There are third-party providers of “skins” that lay on top of your CRM. This may be an excellent short-term solution, but because the details of your sales process are unique to your particular situation, you may find that the skins themselves are not flexible enough to fit your requirements as your use of CRM and sales process become more sophisticated. Be careful to ensure that the template is configurable to best replicate your process in the near-term. Don’t force a fit if it’s not there.
Another option is enlisting a software consulting firm customize your system to fit your needs. You’ll be able to build the exact alignment between systems to suit your requirements. But be sure that the consulting company has been through the sales training that you are implementing. Many companies can customize the software, but if they are not living and breathing the same sales process you use, they are less likely to understand the specifics of precisely what your organization needs.