This blog entry is part one of a four part series from Kevin Simpson entitled The Ultimate Sales Process Dissection: Divide to Multiply for Results. In today’s business world the sales process is being more and more skimmed over as more and more companies rely upon digital marketing to bring customers all the way across the finish line. However, we have identified 4 main components of the sales process where we are seeing serious companies focus serious effort into maximizing every last drop of the content and context in the customer journey. Enjoy.
If there is one thing the Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us – besides the fact that our personal data is always at risk – it is that data has become perhaps the most valuable commodity in the world.
Data beyond contact information and credit card numbers. The data farmed, harvested and sold in this scandal was 100% around how we are connected to each other and the things that interest us.
Data that followed the digital breadcrumbs we leave as we touch social media and the things that attract us to read stories and posts on the internet about our relationships.
Data – The most valuable commodity in the world – let that sink in for a second because if you do, hopefully you will ask yourself as a business leader – what is the quantity, quality and scope of the data held by my company and where it is stored?
The acronym CRM has been in our vocabulary for a few decades now. Most companies would say they have one. Some leverage it constantly, some have started and abandoned them, some use them merely as a simple customer database.
If we break down the letters of CRM and think about what they mean Customer – Relationship – Management, it is Relationship that we usually take for granted, especially in the context of why do we go to the time, trouble, and expense of starting, maintaining and then mining our CRM in the first place?
Data, that defines the Relationships we have with our customers. Forget about their phone number or birthday – data that helps us understand the relationship we have started with our customers, where that relationship sits, and where it is going.
All of this data hopefully stored in your CRM – which I submit – could be the vehicle that drives your business forward.
I actually like this metaphor of the CRM as vehicle because if we break down a car into its fundamental pieces here is what we need to actually drive it forward:
If your CRM is the body of your car, then surely the size and quality of your database can be directly related to your car’s engine. A small database size has no leverage. No horse power. We might be able to move forward, but what load can we carry and how fast can we get there.
You are the driver. How often you get behind the wheel, and the intentionality of your setting a course, all comes down to why you own the car in the first place.
But no car moves without fuel, and in the case of this vehicle, data is your fuel. How much octane your fuel contains is directly proportional to the quality and frequency of your data and how often you refill it.
More than birthdays and old quotations.
We are talking about data that defines the entire scope of your customer relationships.
Email exchanges with them, what is important to your leads, opportunities or current customers and then the how, when and why that changes.
Like with Cambridge Analytica – the data that is most valuable to you are the digital breadcrumbs that help you understand how effective your company is at understanding the R in CRM.
For those of you with remote outside sales teams this is especially critical because today’s dynamic world of sales we are touching our customers in a multitude of ways.
Text, Zoom, Phone. Email, Face to Face. Understanding how effective each team member is or can be with your customers can only really be understood through looking at how successful they were in creating and maintaining the relationships with those customers.
Winning a sale today is not enough. Understanding why we won, or lost, and where the customer needs that relationship to go is vital.
Data is the most valuable commodity in the world.
Maybe it’s time to take your CRM for a real drive and consider if it, and the fuel in it, is enough to take you into the next years of your business.