Overcome these 3 common digital selling challenges
- Posted on March 30, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Even before the pandemic, the B2B buying journey was evolving. For example, fewer B2B purchasing decisions are being made by one individual, which means sellers have had to learn to engage with buying groups comprised of a wide variety of roles, teams, and locations. And not only are buying behaviors changing, but the make-up of buyers themselves is changing, too; Millennials now make up the single biggest B2B buyer group, and they expect B2C-like experiences that are relevant, consistent, and always-on.
Organizations that invest in helping their employees adapt to digital selling and the technology platforms that enable it, have a lot to gain. Recent Accenture research found that companies moving one maturity level higher in their sales operations were 7.6% more efficient and 2.3 percentage points more profitable than those who didn’t. So, what is preventing organizations from harnessing sales operations technologies to their fullest? Here is a look at a few of the most common challenges organizations face when they decide to implement customer relationship management (CRM).
3 most common pitfalls when implementing CRM to improve selling
Pitfall #1. Failure to look at the big picture.
When deploying a CRM implementation, Sales leadership and supporting IT teams should consider how other departments and their business applications ecosystem might be affected. But oftentimes this doesn’t happen; internal departmental silos, disconnected processes and/or IT project prioritizations reduce transparency and collaboration. Its impact will touch various teams across sales, marketing, and customer service (among others).
In fact, a new CRM will not just affect how employees work and collaborate, but ultimately extend to the customer experience as well. For example, it can affect the timeliness of sales responsiveness to customer inquiries, how smooth it is for sellers to action marketing leads with relevant follow up, and how customer service agents handle customer conversations.
Pitfall #2. Unclear goals and over-scoping.
While some organizations fail to look past a narrow view of CRM capabilities and impact, many others struggle because the initial scope for their CRM implementation is too broad. Especially in the onset of implementing a new CRM for sellers, this over-reach can become burdensome and slow down – or completely halt – the progress of the implementation.
To ensure success and accelerate effective deployment and adoption by sellers (and other employees), organizations should consider how to uncover a broad set of needs (see pitfall #1), assess and prioritize those, and then narrow down focus. Consider beginning with a minimum viable product (MVP) which addresses the most critical needs. That can then be optimized - or iterated upon – so your Sales organization is better positioned to start leveraging CRM while leaving room to customize and grow.
Pitfall #3. Inspection instead of action.
We’ve found that CRM systems are too often used for examination rather than creating improvement in the sales process. As a hub for “all things sales” it can be used to collect contact information, track deals and contribute to sales forecasting that feeds into other reports. While these fundamentals are important, exclusively focusing on CRM for this purpose results in wasted opportunity to grow business.
An intelligent CRM can empower sellers to prioritize opportunities based on those with the greatest propensity to buy, help them get access to new buyers, and improve collaboration between marketing and sales. Fusing sales insights with customer insights can help sellers by reducing manual work and accelerate decision making that ultimately helps and wins over the customer. Customers enjoy more relevant, timely selling experiences (the kind that lead to repeat purchases and referrals for future business), and employees feel empowered to focus on engaging with customers in a more meaningful and productive way.
Take steps now to accelerate digital selling
Your customers have new demands, and your sellers need the insights and tools to predict and effectively respond to them. At Avanade, we work with clients to harness analytics and AI, and deliver more valuable insights across business applications. We’ve helped organizations such as Metrohm, Independence Health Group, Nippon Gases and Zurich elevate their digital selling experiences to increase revenue and profitability, increase customer loyalty, and create a more fulfilling employee experience. That’s one reason why we’ve been recognized by independent research firms such as Forrester, Everest Group and IDC for leadership and technology expertise in CRM and business applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365.