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What’s the Value of a CRM?

I’m not usually much of a blog guy, let’s get that out in the open, but at certain junctures all assignments come due. Which is why I’m going to reflect upon the value I have seen using Zoho CRM, along with some of Zoho’s complimentary business applications such as Zoho Reports. Since I’m a sales professional (full disclosure), I like to focus on value as the monetary worth of something. However for the sake of this post, I will also define value as the conceptual benefits gained.

At Cloudbakers, we are firm believers that successful CRM implementations achieve three primary objectives. In no particular order, these objectives pertain to:

  • End-users’ productivity
  • Effective sales management
  • Providing business leaders actionable insight to make key decisions

If your organization’s CRM achieves these high-level goals, then CRM is providing value to your organization. The Zoho Platform, along with Salesforce, Copper, and many others, most definitely provide organizations the ability to succeed in achieving all of theses goals if implemented strategically.

As a CRM end-user, my overall goal is to drive more sales so I can make more money for the business and, of course, myself. I can drive more sales by spending the majority of my time and energy on the later stages of my pipeline and automating as much as possible in the early stages.

Zoho helps me do this through organization, prioritization, and workflow automation. With easily customizable fields, I track only the information important to accurate forecasting and reporting. With an intuitive interface and modular setup, I can efficiently organize and prioritize my task/activities. And with accurate forecasting, I can determine where I need to be spending my time and energy.

As a Sales Manager, I want to get an understanding of where my reps need to spend their time, areas they need to improve, and whether or not they are profitable to business. Zoho excels at this by providing reporting on KPIs such as rep activity, pipeline generation/forecasting, and deal metrics. Once the structure is in place and my sales reps are efficient in using the system, these repeatable reports let me focus my time on sales strategy, employee development, and business strategy, rather than the manual production of reports that are in many cases inaccurate.

The value of a CRM system is most important to business leaders and stakeholders. After all, they’re the ones that choose to invest in the system or not. Zoho does an excellent job of empowering business leadership to work with and gain insights into their CRM information through robust and granular reporting. These insights drive the decision-making behind key business objectives.

An example of this, applicable to almost all industries, is shortening the time it takes to close a deal. Let’s say I hypothesize that my organization is losing deals because it takes too long to move them through the pipeline.

In Zoho, you have the ability to pull reports relating to all the deals won and lost over time. In this instance, pulling a report of the time spent in each stage of the sales cycle lets me compare and contrast won and lost deals, and the time each deal remained in a certain stage. The pulled report may provide the insight that the deals we lose spend 4X the amount of time in the “requested quote” stage than the the deals we win.

The takeaways from this could be a vast number of things, such as, the need to streamline the quote generation process, hire more (or new) sales reps, or repackage our offerings so they can be sold in a more repeatable fashion. Regardless, the information gathered in Zoho has given me greater and statistically significant data to make a key decision. This type of insight can be gathered from any and all information that is tracked in the CRM system.

To learn more about building an effective CRM for your team, please call (312) 971-2578.

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Originally published on August 01, 2017

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