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  • Gaurang Bhatt

Implementing Customer's buying process in CRM

A commercial organization engages in providing one of the following,

  • Product

  • Service

  • Both

Of course, there are various facets to it whereas, service is commoditized or product as a solution. Essentially, it is one of the three.

If the organization is using CRM tool, it has incorporated in it the entire range of deliverables. CRM is set up to enhance measuring and monitoring the sales cycle with respect to each of this.

Salesperson still faces a major challenge in terms of customer buying process. Each organization (Customer) has their own process of buying. For an SMB customers, a small team (one or two) will green flag the buy while a mid to large business will involve multiple personnel and division to vet the purchase.

Let us take an example of an Air-conditioner dealer,

An SMB needs 5 air-conditioner units. Customer will compare brand and its reputation, power consumption economy, warranty options and, rates. Based on the urgency, the customer will close the purchase in a week to a fortnight. Even their post sales warranty will mostly include break-fix service or quarterly service.

A medium or large business requirement will be much more complicated. Which depends on, total area, stand-alone or centralized, total tonnage, installing and commissioning, post-sales periodic maintenance plus primary parameters like the brand, economy and, cost.

As you can imagine, during SMB transactions, maximum 2-3 persons are involved and sales are closed. Your existing CRM can manage, monitor and report with ease.

While during large deals, current CRM process steps may not be sufficient. In this process, multiple people from customer's organization like purchase, finance, accounts division, it also involves third-party like an architect, interior designer, air ducting contractors etc. Is your CRM is capable of handling and quantify the process with its stages in this cross dependent process?

Of course, any CRM worth its salt will have the capability to handle the process. Question is, what processes you should consider while setting up CRM?

If you select comparatively simple process of SMB selling, you will get all the information of opportunity, followup, quote, and sales win/lose. For small or box deals, you will get all the verifiable reports and predictions based on average time of sales and deal size. However, with the same process, you may not have quantifiable predictions, as a lot of customer buying process is beyond your efforts.

Okay, So I can select the process for large deals and apply to SMB opportunities. It is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The salesperson will get confused and frustrated filing extra, non-required information.

In an ideal CRM implementation and functioning, the salesperson is allowed to create intermediary stage(s) with approximate timeline and deadline so it can be quantified, measured and monitored with major sales cycle components.

If sales-person is prudent enough to attach discussion, designs and, the contract at each stage of the sales cycle, It makes life easier for post-sales and warranty support for the organization.

This approach to CRM delivery is helpful to the supplier of Technology infrastructure, Software projects, Builders etc.

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