What should a CRM do?
CRM is a fairly widely used acronym. Classically defined as “Customer Relationship Management”, it’s been known in the past by a whole slew of acronyms including SFA (Sales Force Automation), PRM (Prospect Relationship Management) and CRM is such a loaded acronym; in fact, there’s a whole article on TechRepublic devoted to explaining the other related acronyms. Written in 2001, it’s pretty much still valid today.
In a sales environment, the companies — and more importantly, the people — being tracked aren’t customers yet … and you’re not managing them. They are pre-customer in terms of status, and at best, you’re influencing their buying behavior, research process and decisions.
"The traditional sales process is broken. Instead of "always be closing," the next generation of sales leads will "always be helping." -Brian Halligan, CEO & Co-Founder of HubSpot
Gone are the days when sales people manage the buyer. Picture the old IBM sales person as a Bus Driver. They drive the process choosing where to stop, who to let on or off, all while driving a cumbersome and rather clunky bus down a well worn road.
Today, the modern sales person has to be more like a mountain biker. They need to be nimble and adapt to their ever changing environment in real-time. They blaze new trails on a daily basis by reading and reacting to the changing terrain, weather conditions and. They use technology to help them along the journey and fuel their progress - accelerate their goal attainment. Protein supplements fuel the rider. GPS and altimeter gadgets track their route, provide critical feedback on speed and elevation changes. Weather alerts notify riders ahead of time about changing weather which allow them to make good decisions about getting off the mountain or finding shelter.
Today’s sales person needs technology to accelerate their goal attainment — to realize their full potential. But they need tech that works the way they do — not tech that changes their fundamental activity and processes and process cumbersome and unpopular! (the biker's gadgets and tools) like the mountain biker. They need modern technology to be nimble and accelerate moving prospects down the sales pipeline process in order to be successful. This will help them stop wasting time because they’ll know who to work with - those that want to be helped!
What are these modern-day technology tools and gadgets?
Ideally, a CRM for 2015 would incorporate:
- All data in one place
- SW has to work the way a salesperson works
- Easy to get to
- Easy to update
- Proactive with suggestions
- Highly visual
- Integrated with social media
- Mobile app
So what’s available now? Is there anything like this available today?
Yes. HubSpot just announced their NEW CRM today at the INBOUND Keynote. Our team has been fortunate to be able to use HubSpot CRM in beta for nearly two months, and I can share with you it’s FANTASTIC. Why? Seven reasons:
- HubSpot CRM stores data all in one place - HubSpot - so marketing and sales are connected from the very start. No more synching data over from a marketing database — all true data is there to start with! From the second a contact converts on the website (or phone, or email) the record is available to sales. No more missed opportunities or missed key details.
- The software is familiar and designed with the user in mind. It’s intuitive. It works the way you’d expect it to work. There’s no big learning curve. HS CRM connects to email tools you’re using today like Gmail, Outlook and Apple Mail, so there’s no need to change your proven workflows and processes. Or you can send a note or make a call right from a contact record.
- HubSpot is known for being easy to access and learn, and the CRM is no different. I found myself using CRM pretty efficiently in about ten minutes.
- Updating records in HubSpot CRM takes seconds — no need to visit multiple screens and hunt for contacts and companies. HS CRM actually proactively notifies the salesperson of important actions and recent events, making the update process painless and efficient.
- The newly announced SIDEKICK companion app acts as a personal sales assistant to suggest WHO sales should get in touch with — based on actual interest, user behavior (e.g. revisit to the blog or pricing page).
- Visual: HS CRM is attractive and easy on the eyes. The (Facebook-inspiored) visual timeline of each prospect gives a quick snapshot of history, interest and repeat buying interest activity … CRM organizes every email, call, note and even website visits in one easy to read, one-glance screen.
- HS CRM enables social selling, no doubt about it. Other CRMs have picked up the Social Selling chant, but for the most part they’ve bolted on social tools to a system and interface built in 1999. HS is fresh and social from the found up.
- All my sales contacts are available and updated in real-time in the free HubSpot mobile app. (I’m expecting to see a SALES section as of Tuesday night… hope hope!)
In the words of Brian Halligan ... HubSpot's CRM and Sidekick are perfect for companies that want to transform how they attract, engage, and delight prospects, customers and leads and want sales technology that matches today's buying process. Say hello to HubSpot CRM and to a new way to accelerate your sales process!