Choosing a CRM is a major decision that will impact every aspect of both your sales performance and customer management.
The right CRM allows your team to perform more efficiently and more effectively.
By contrast, choose the wrong CRM and not only will you sink a lot of investment into an inappropriate tool, you may also make it harder for your team to do their jobs.
KBB organisations must be especially careful in their choice of CRM. Very few systems were designed with KBB in mind.
This means that in most cases, you will need to consider not only the CRM itself, but also which integrations and customisations are necessary, or even possible, to make it work the way you envision.
If you’re considering a CRM purchase, here’s what you need to know to choose right for your KBB business.
Common Mistakes When Choosing A KBB CRM
Before we dive into how to choose your CRM, let’s talk about how NOT to.
Here are the 5 most common mistakes organisations make when it comes to choosing a CRM.
1. Choosing What’s Popular
The most popular software is not necessarily the best tool for your company.
Large CRM vendors, like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, invest enormous amounts of money in convincing people to buy their platforms. Their marketing is outstanding and speaks to why they are among the most popular CRMs.
However, neither tool was built with complex KBB sales in mind, and both can end up causing you problems in the long term.
2. Choosing What’s Cheapest
Many CRMs provide attractive initial pricing that makes them appear to compare favourably with other CRMs. But when you start adding the plug-ins and customisation you need, the price can escalate rapidly.
Worse still, an inexpensive CRM may not be able to give you the tools and flexibility your team needs to perform their best, and may, therefore, be a poor economic choice.
3. Choosing To Ignore How You Sell
In the world of complex KBB sales, how you sell is often the differentiating factor in whether you win the business.
When choosing your CRM, how you sell should also be at the centre of which CRM you choose.
4. Choosing Based On Features Alone
Most CRMs share similar features in a “checkbox comparison.”
The features themselves are not what make the tool effective.
It’s how they’re organised, how easy they are to use, how intuitive the interface is, how they connect, and how much customisation you’ll need to have done to get them to work the way you need them to.
It’s also about smooth implementation, executive alignment, and the customer service from the vendor you choose.
5. Choosing The Status Quo
Loss aversion bias is real, and fear of making the wrong choice can often stifle us into indecision and inaction.
However, sticking with outdated legacy systems, or an isolated multitude of spreadsheets and sticky notes, simply isn’t sustainable for your long term success.
Choosing the right CRM ensures taking the plunge is well worth the initial fear.
Choosing The Right KBB CRM
There are more systems and tools in the market now than ever before; choosing the right one has never been more important.
We’ve covered the common mistakes, now here’s how to ensure that the heart of your sales technology, your CRM, is the right one for your KBB business.
1. Rethink The Purpose Of CRM
This is still the thinking behind the majority of the CRMs on the market now:
- Build a database
- Stack standard tools on top
- Add dropdown boxes to say where each opportunity is in the pipeline
- Tack on plug-ins
- Add limited customisations
But what if your CRM could be so much more than that?
What if it could enable you to sell more effectively by driving the right behaviours, by providing people with everything they need, exactly when they need it and by making it easy to optimise?
How do you think about the purpose of a CRM?
Are you still thinking of it as a database to be managed, or have you begun to realise that it can be so much more?
That it can serve as the backbone of a truly effective strategic approach to sales and customer success?
2. Understand How You Sell
If you’re operating in a KBB environment, your needs will be very different from those operating in a software environment. But even within the realm of complex KBB sales, there is a lot of variation in how you sell.
In fact, in the KBB world, how you sell is often your biggest differentiating factor for whether you win the business.
Before you decide which CRM will be best for you, take the time to understand how your customers buy, and how you need to sell in order to meet their needs profitably. Out of this understanding, you can grow an effective strategy.
3. Make Strategy Execution Easy
Your CRM should be so much more than a database. Your sales process representation needs so much more than a dropdown.
The right KBB CRM will make it easy for you to execute on your strategy.
It will include process tools that enable you to put best practice workflows and guidance directly into the hands of the people executing on them.
The right CRM will include checklists and other tools that make it easy to see how and when the strategy is being executed on, and when corrections are called for.
4. Drive Successful Behaviours
Your KBB CRM should help you drive successful behaviours on your sales and service teams.
Demand effective tools, checklists, and scorecards that guide each individual through a dynamic process and ensure that they don’t skip critical steps.
Expect your CRM to allow you to embed on-demand content to reinforce new behaviours. And ensure that it provides tools that help your managers see where each person, team, store or region most needs guidance and how to help them perform better on a daily basis.
5. Enable Optimisation
Most CRMs are difficult to update and customise. These “out of the box” solutions are neither dynamic or flexible to your unique operations.
A small change in your process can take weeks or months to program into the CRM; if it can be programmed in at all!
Most also fail to capture the kind of information that enables your leadership to see where changes can be made to improve.
The right process tools and checklists can help you collect the data and delivery insights necessary to truly see what can be improved. Then, the right CRM will make it easy and intuitive to make changes without lengthy and expensive IT projects.
6. Base The Decision On Your KBB Environment
Very often, sales teams start with a popular or well-known CRM package that they know won’t serve all their needs, and plan to add plug-ins and customisations to close the gap.
Unfortunately, this approach very often leads to disconnected systems and even more chaos.
Because most CRMs aren’t built for the complex KBB sale, it can be tough to find one that already includes everything you need straight out of the gate. But that doesn’t mean such a CRM doesn’t exist.
Look for one that was built from the ground up to serve the needs specifically of complex KBB sales, and that includes everything from process tools and checklists, to automation and integrations.
7. Consider CRM Implementation
Implementation of any new technology can be headache-inducing. A CRM is a major component of your organisation’s technology landscape, and changing to a new one can feel like a major undertaking.
Choose a CRM partner with a proven track record who can help make the transition painless and fast.
8. Elect A Favourable Pricing Structure
Cost is a major factor.
Look for a pricing plan that caters for organisational variations provides an ability to facilitate full access to salespeople, their managers, and others who need all of the functionality.
9. Look For Ongoing Support
Many CRM sales teams act as though their job is done once the sale is sealed.
This can leave you adrift in a sea of complexity, without adequate guidance and assistance in getting the software to work the way it was promised.
Look for a CRM team that will provide you with support at every level of your organisation, aligning with your executive team as well as your users and technical team to ensure that the software performs exactly the way you need it to.
10. Select A Partner
Your CRM team should be ready and willing to partner with you, to help you set up your software the way you want it and to connect the dots from strategy to process, training to technology.
Choosing a CRM for KBB doesn’t have to be a high-risk, high-cost endeavour.
Take the time up front to consider your needs and follow the steps in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a CRM that helps your teams achieve everything they can achieve.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
July 8th, 2021-