WED FEB 05 2020

CRM Adoption and Sales Process Maturity: The Real Deal

by Amit Pande

It’s hard to improve process maturity when your CRM is holding you back. According to research from CSO Insights, the more mature your sales processes, the more success you’ll have as a company. In fact, companies with formalized, well-developed sales processes hit their sales quotas almost 20% more often than companies with scrappier sales process strategies. Clearly, sales-process maturity matters. Most companies falsely equate high CRM adoption with having a mature sales process. This is easy to understand why, as data from CSO Insights also shows that deal outcomes improve by 6.4% once CRM adoption rates hit 75%. But here’s the rub: CSO Insights also found that barely two-thirds of companies ever hit that 75% threshold. (Also, 75% isn’t a high number — it means that even at companies with "mature" sales processes, one in four sales executives still aren’t using CRM!) So if you’re thinking all you have to do is get sales reps to use your CRM, and you’ll be on your way to a mature sales process, you’re wrong. The truth is that a high CRM adoption rate is a result rather than a cause of maturity. If you’ve got a well-organized sales process, you’ll achieve better revenue results. Then, once you’re running a disciplined, well-organized team, you’ll have more luck convincing executives to use your CRM platform. In fact, focusing your attention on CRM adoption in lieu of fixing your sales process could actually be holding your team back. Instead, As CSO Insights points out, sales coaching, new-hire onboarding, and customer engagement are all key areas that sales teams must master to build a mature sales process. At best, high CRM adoption rates show how well your team is already working. At worst, they are an impediment to effective selling. Many CRM systems are filled with blind spots due to bloated and siloed data sets, outdated information, and human error. Legacy CRM systems are not designed to optimize revenue teams for any of these things. You need a smarter approach. At Aviso, we call that approach #noCRM AI Guidance. It uses AI and machine-learning to remove pain points and let sales focus on closing deals through: AI Guided Sales Coaching. Arm your managers with insights from similar past deals and ongoing activities at current deals. Build more effective coaching strategies with AI insights. Help reps spot risks or better deals early enough in a sales cycle to take corrective actions. AI Guided Sales Onboarding. Teach new sales reps the behaviors and playbooks of the best sales executives. Sales Enablement teams can accelerate a new hire’s understanding of key deals, engage with GTM team members in dedicated deal rooms, and get nudged to execute key actions in the company’s sales process. AI Guided Customer Engagement. The biggest challenges for sellers are knowing who to talk to at an account, how to generate value during every interaction, and how to handle objections. A #NoCRM approach gives your sales reps instant access to relevant relationship intelligence. This makes it easier to guide potential buyers through the sales funnel. Sales process maturity doesn’t start with CRM. It starts with putting real systems and solutions in place for the challenges your team faces to ensure that your team is empowered to operate at their full potential. With a #NoCRM strategy, sales teams can also access forecasts for future deals, track progress towards revenue goals, and break down the data silos that hold them back. The bottom line? Unfortunately, CRM adoption isn’t the solution to fixing your sales process. It’s part of the problem. Moving towards sales-process maturity means having the courage to recognize that fact. It means breaking up with outmoded CRM technology and exploring AI-enabled solutions. Your revenue team will work smarter, close deals faster, and take your company to new heights.