10 Best Practices to Improve your Process Prior to Getting a CRM Software

10 Best Practices to Improve your Process Prior to Getting a CRM Software

Making the switch from traditional sales management or a traditional sales methodology can be tricky; many may believe that a CRM software  solution will be the answer to their problems. As a Salesforce implementation expert I can tell you, that is wrong. Software cannot fix a broken process, it´s important to understand where our process can improve prior to getting software which is just a tool to make the process go smoothly.  It´s important to be clear that throwing software on top of broken processes will only amplify the problem and add very little value.  What is the best way to decide when to throw a software solution in the mix and how to prepare the company for it?

Here is a list of 10 best practices to understand your process better and identify broken processes prior to adding a full-fledged CRM solution.

1.-     First make sure that you map out your sales process, not just outline it as you can see in our next traditional sales overview slide.  In order to understand your process you must create a full map to understand all the departments and people that your customer comes in contact with.

In this traditional sales overview we did not identify everyone involved in the sales process.  We need to know and understand how we can make the process swift and agile.  Who is involved in prospecting, first point of contact for leads, who qualifies leads, who do we assign leads to and how, what different channels we have to capture new leads and customers.



Here is another way of looking in to the same process:



As you can see from this outline, a customer can come in to contact with your brand in several different ways.  To train all staff properly you have to understand that CRM is not a tool solely for sales and marketing as there are several departments that come in contact with our customer and should have access to that customers history.

2.-     Now that you have mapped out your sales process we need to identify the systems that we currently have in place, for example how do we generate proposals or quotes? What system do we use for invoicing?  How do we track customer service?  By doing so you will be able to map out where in your process the information is getting lost or what client history you will have added to your CRM system.

3.-     Post sales follow up, who contacts the client to understand our service?  You need to sit down and identify your post sales client follow up and understand how often we make  contact  with our clients after a sale is completed, what  parameters are used to rate our service, sales and delivery process.

4.-     Map out your service failure protocol, what happens when you have a customer that is not satisfied with your product or service? Who should be contacted and how quickly should you involve a head of department when this happens?

5.-     Now that we understand the process and technology that we use in our sales process, we need to understand our team, who are early adopters? Who is technology savvy? Who can we rely on as leaders of the organization?

 6.-      After undertaking the first few tasks we are ready to dig deep into our training process, this is important to identify holes in training as we now know who comes in contact with our customers.  You should map out the material used, training hours and have a clear map of what continuous training program you implement to inform accounting of new products or sales of the new invoice process etc.

7.-    Now that you have all this information, you need to identify a way of having all this readily available and updated regularly, I suggest to use a form of collaboration methodology or software with periodic reviews of your entire process to make sure that this is always up to date and that the information is easily available to anyone that needs it.

8.-     You cannot improve a process unless you can measure the results. You need to establish your KPI´s, what are we measuring and more important how this helps us improve.  That is the key of any set of KP´s, How do we improve from this measurement and what strategies we are implementing after getting this information.

9.-     Prior to the next step make sure that you establish the answer to a few key items:

  •     Who will be leading the project?
  •     What is the time-frame that you would like to see a fully functional system;
  •      You must also establish all the requirements of integration with current software;
  •     Who will have access to the tool?
  •     Keep a continuous CRM software training;
  •       Establish how you will motivate your team to use this new CRM system; and
  •      Schedule quarterly/monthly trainings until your team is fully onboard.

10.-      Now that you’re ready to choose your CRM solution, to identify what solution best suits you make sure that you review the following aspects:

  •     Do you want a cloud solution or local?
  •     Should it be mobile?
  •      Is it customizable?
  •     Does the system connect to our current systems?
  •     Can it adapt to your products and current sales process?
  •       Data storage and back-up
  •      Is this system going to be relevant over time with updates, new modules etc.?


Improving your sales process should not be based on software but rather in understanding your entire sales workflow and client interaction.  Once you have that down packed you will be able to establish processes that will easily adapt to CRM software, this is only a tool to help you be more efficient but it will not resolve broken processes.