CRM Questions are answered by Richard Baldwin @ mycrmblog.com
The original question was posted here.
Can CRM Systems to Support Complex Sales
I’ve been looking around at CRM solutions aimed specifically at supporting complex high value sales processes. The usual suspects (SalesForce.com etc..) are great for tracking the accounts contacts etc. but in my opinion leave a lot to be desired in terms of being able to see the big picture for both accounts and opportunities. In a complex sale there will be multiple touch points from many people within the selling organisation to many people in the prospect organisation in several locations. There will possibly be multiple opportunities within one account. The other key issue is multiple value propositions, which apply to different contacts within the prospect account, but which have to relate back to a base proposition (if you see what I mean?) I’d also like to be able to attach individual, rather than corporate value propositions to different contacts. (what personal drivers does this person have re. our proposition) The real need I believe is to be able to extract all of this information into a visual ‘big picture’ view rather than a text report. Has anybody out there done similar? – if so can you please tell me how you achieved this and pitfalls to avoid.
CRM Answers - mycrmblog Response
All these use cases can be addressed in any number of CRM systems available in the marketplace today. I should have tattooed on my forehead, “FIRST before anything else define and document the sales process from start to finish.” I say this to about 99% of clients. Less than 50% pay attention. Test the process rigorously against best practice. I suggest hiring a 3rd party expert to put eyes on. Finally, take the refined and documented best practice and overlay it into a CRM. Software is not magic. It just does what you tell it to do. Tell it the wrong thing and you end up in nowheresville without a compass. Test every use case along the way, refine at the end of every step. I know the guys writing the checks want their “big picture” analytics. Do this last.
This question leads me to think the solution will need to be a Tier 1 or 2 CRM like salesforce, Oracle, or similar. If you want true sales analytics, you will need a proper BI tool connected to your CRM and supporting operational data. Standard CRM’s only provide transactional reporting. Sales Analytics Examples are: TLV vs. TLP, products trending by region, selling props by product by close ratio by geographic region, by profitability, etc. You get the idea.
Final thought, there is no system that will just do all of this out of box. However with the proper expertise, the correct tools, and a good client side project team, it is achievable and so much more.