Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend the MDM Sales GPS conference last month came away with some surprising insights – and I don’t just mean the fact that it actually snows occasionally in Las Vegas.
The conference focus was on transforming traditional sales models for the 21st Century to add value and allow distributors to remain competitive against Amazon and other major digital players.
Three of the more notable takeaways from the conference for me were:
CRM alone is not the answer.
There is an old adage that says you can assemble the best tools in the world, but that doesn’t mean you have built a house.
What that means for distributors is that you can have the best CRM system in the world, but by itself that won’t deliver increased sales and revenue. To achieve that, you need a great CRM system as a foundation, but you also need the right salespeople, effective, targeted messaging, reliable product support, and a sales team that boasts the right people in the right roles. Along with all that, you also need to understand your customer – who they are and what they want and a CRM solution that can track that information. Then it’s up to you and your team to use the information wisely.
Sales and marketing must collaborate.
There is often tension between the sales and marketing departments. Marketing’s approach typically is to raise the company’s public profile, create a presence and an image. But the salespeople often want to see direct bottom-line impact. And they want targeted and promising leads.
What both need is a shift in strategy. To benefit everybody, the two departments should work together. And marketing should be seeking input from the sales department to create campaigns that produce measurable results – and drive sales.
Put the right salespeople in the right roles.
Assembling a highly successful sales team isn’t a matter of luck. It starts with thorough profiling both of your customers and the roles you want sales reps to fill. It’s important to know what level of expertise your customers need and expect from a sales rep. Many companies make the mistake of assuming inside sales staff are just order-takers. But if used and trained wisely, they can help with routine matters and with keeping customers happy, which frees outside sales to focus on more lucrative customer cultivation.
In all, the conference provided an opportunity to step back and examine sales practices we all live with and work with daily, and to think about how we can create more effective and profitable sales models.
About the Author
Robert Ruppert is a Sales Manager for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for ENAVATE. Robert brings a blend of technical and managerial expertise to his role. Robert has more than 20 years’ experience in software and service sales in CRM, SaaS Offerings, Enterprise Content Management, Security, Business Analytics and ERP solutions, as well as in a variety of Fortune 500 industries.