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Managing the Complex Sale Better with CRM
By Enabliser Graham
Managing the sometimes long and difficult process of a complex sale requires good organisation/planning, with use of time, consistent communication and the ability to understand someone else vision, as well as the required product and selling skills this needs. There is a tool that can help manage this for you, designed to increase your win rate, and keep everyone up to date who is involved with the opportunity!
In his book “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale,” Brian J Carroll defines a ‘complex sale’ as follows:
- A sales cycle that may last between 6-36 months
- The solution will solve complex problems
- A structure is in place to manage the competitive sales process, tender documents/deadlines and transparency
- A heavy commitment of time and money by all involved to achieve the right outcome
- Decision making will take place at the highest levels of Management
The ideal ‘tool’ to manage such a process is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system as used on a daily basis by the team at Enabling. Enabling’s Management are advocates of all communications being captured and reflected in a CRM system.
A CRM system will allow all staff involved in a complex sale to track and stay on top of the sales cycle as it progresses through Suspect/Prospect/Lead/Qualification/Proposal/Shortlisted/Negotiation/Close.
With a lengthy sales cycle, if all your communications – emails, documents, conversations - are recorded against the Opportunity, you no longer have to go hunting for notes and emails, or try to remember what was said. You can also see what other team members have done, as it is all recorded in the same system, against the one Opportunity, not in different people’s heads, laptops or desks. It also provides you with Reminders and To Do lists for the team members so you all keep on top of critical deadlines. Using a structured sales process via the Workflow in CRM for the way you run it, it is easy to step people through the stages required, monitor what stage you are at, and build forecasts too. Another benefit of using a CRM system in a complex sale is being able to keep all your contact and relationship information in one place, from the highest levels of management to any other people involved in the decision.
The skilled use of a CRM system can’t guarantee you will win every sale, but if you use it, CRM increases the likelihood of a successful outcome with a tool that becomes indispensable for both the salesperson and the business. For more information on CRM Systems, click here to contact Enabling.