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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Build a Bulletproof Case for CRM

Posted by Armanino Dynamics Team

Bulletproof Case for CRM - eGuide Over the past few years, I’ve met countless sales executives that are being held to higher and higher revenue goals, while remaining tied to antiquated systems and processes. They understand the impact a new CRM solution could have on their sales teams, but aren’t sure how to justify such a significant investment to their leadership.

If you’ve found yourself in this same boat, here are some steps you can take to create a bulletproof case around investing in a new CRM solution.

First, today’s CRM systems deliver more than just sales automation. Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for example, provide full Sales, Service and Marketing capabilities. So, before talking with your leadership team, start by outlining the value a new system could have across these departments.

Customer Service – as consumers’ expectations of customer service continue to increase, the tools needed to support a great customer experience are crucial. The latest CRM solutions can eliminate separate customer service applications, automate common workflows and provide one tool for case management. And, a single CRM solution can increase both customer and employee satisfaction. Reps that are able to quickly access a customer’s history feel empowered and are able to resolve issues faster, thus pleasing the customer.

Marketing – let’s face it, your marketing team is probably still heavily dependent on spreadsheets. But they don’t have to be. As a sales leader, a great way to get additional support for a CRM investment is to showcase how the solution improve provide sales and marketing alignment. With one integrated system, your marketing team can gain better visibility into lead generation and partner with sales on follow-up activities.

Sales – it’s all about that forecast. Fortunately, the latest CRM solutions have advanced reporting and analytics capabilities so you can accurately forecast deals and have constant line of sight into at-risk opportunities. If you’re interested in advanced forecasting capabilities, Armanino has a Forecast Management solution that integrates with most CRM systems which gives sales leaders the ability to view forecasts by customer, product, opportunity, territory and direct vs channel.

Once you’re able to make the case for CRM and demonstrate the impact that a CRM system can have across business areas, it’s imperative that you identify costs and estimated ROI. Fortunately, you don’t need to go this alone. I’d recommend you work with your IT team but you can also work with a CRM implementation expert to further build out your business case.

When working with IT, ask for a list of the applications your company currently uses. From there, identify the:

  1. Cost of maintenance
  2. Cost of upgrades
  3. Cost of any secondary applications required
  4. The time it takes to re-enter customer information across applications

After you’ve considered the value to the business beyond sales, along with the potential costs, the final key to building a bullet-proof case for a new CRM investment is to compile a list of user training and adoption tactics. Begin thinking through how you’ll motivate your team and other departments to use the new technology. I.E., will incentives be needed and how can you involve leadership? Consider what types of trainings have worked well in the past – virtual or in-person – and if all users should be on-boarded at once.

This is where an experienced CRM implementation team can really help. CRM consultants can provide best practice examples around user training and adoption that you can then include in your business case. This is a fundamental part of showing your executive team that you’ve not only thought about the impact a CRM system could have across the organization, but that you’ve identified proven tactics to make the investment successful.

The question for you, like most sales executives, is not whether or not you need a new CRM system. The question is: how can you effectively sell your management team on a technology investment, especially if it’s not in the budget for 2016? I have found that sales leaders that have used the above methods are able to justify this important investment and are soon reaping the rewards from a modern CRM solution.

Want additional tips on how to sell your executive team on CRM?

Bulletproof Case for CRM - eGuideDownload our free eGuide:

Beyond Sales – The Business Impact of CRM & How to Justify an Investment for 2016. 

In this guide, we cover strategies that sales leaders can use to justify a CRM investment to management.

You’ll also find:

  • Key CRM resources
  • Industry stats to build your case for CRM, and
  • Tips for calculating your ROI




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