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Is your CRM project a failure? 90% executives say their CRM failed too

Is your CRM project a failure? 90% executives say their CRM failed too

To succeed with your CRM project, focus on the personal success of each sales rep.

I recently came across a 2017 CIO magazine article in which posited that over a third of customer relationship management (CRM) projects fail. Even more interesting is that 2018 Harvard Business Review article indicated that when executives were asked whether their CRM system is helping their business grow, the failure rate was stated to be closer to 90%.

This may seem like a shocking statistic. While I think 90% is more of an expectation gap assessment versus absolute project failure, it is consistent with our experience over the last five years working with hundreds of small-to-medium businesses (SMB) who, if asked what their level of satisfaction is with their existing CRM project, would reply with a resounding ‘meh’.

So, what’s going wrong and why?

The very first ever CRM was automated contact tracking (ACT), released in 1987 and is still in use to this day. ACT was essentially a digital Rolodex focused on customer contact information. It promised to manage the customer lifecycle, improve collaboration, create more effective pipeline management, increase business revenue and grow your company.

Way back in the days of VGA monitors and 3.5-inch disks, we forever defined the CRM value proposition according to its set of product features. Unlike accounting systems, which must comply with rigid industry standards, CRM systems are more like a Lego box of seemingly endless options that allow the user to define custom workflows, data structures and reporting.

The strength of CRM is also its core weakness: With more flexibility comes more opportunity to put time, money and effort into the wrong outcome.

When reviewing the success criteria for a CRM project, high on the list of priorities are improved data entry, 360-degree customer reporting and sales lifecycle management. Ask what the objective of the CRM project is, and the answer you will typically hear is that it’s all about centralising customer data, streamlining sales process and increasing productivity.

On the other hand, ask the CEO what the expected outcome of the project is, and business growth is likely to be the resounding response. In fact, it is often the business case on which the CRM project is approved in the first place

In my experience, those projects that focus on requirements rather than outcomes always fail to achieve the expected outcome, hence the executives claiming a 90% failure rate.

 

Difference between outcome and requirements

Requirements gathering

When focusing on requirements, solutions are built around information, reporting and processes. Of course, the project needs to deliver a solution to meet the requirements of the business. However, the issue that arises is that when requirements are the objective, we run the risk of failing to achieve our expected outcomes.

Typically, we ask what data needs to be recorded, how we progress a sale and what is included in the forecast. Recalcitrant sales reps will do the bare minimum to meet their reporting obligations and leave it at that.

This is so common that there is a Salesforce meme relating to this very issue: ‘If it’s not in Salesforce, then it doesn’t exist.’ This focus on inspiring discipline is based on the assumption that the act of using the CRM is in itself the primary method to success.

In actual fact, all this does is inspire teams to do the bare minimum to meet their reporting obligations. If this strategy is allegedly so successful, then why is there the massive expectation gap experienced by many executives?

Outcomes gathering

If we change the focus to defining expected outcomes, we need to start by framing the project in terms of what we want to achieve and then work backwards through the levels of business to ensure that each gathered outcome is aligned.

Starting with the CEO, their expectation is to grow the business. So, we need to engage with the sales team and determine what their contribution to sales growth is. While this may seem obvious, you would be amazed by how many CRM projects never discuss increasing sales other than during the initial product demonstration.

Next, it’s essential to triage requirements in terms of ‘how does this lead to increased sales?’ This approach provides us with a useful method to keep project resources focused on achieving our desired outcome. If the requirements are not aligned, then we park it in the post-go-live backlog to be addressed at a later stage.

By making the project about the personal success of the sales team, we align all aspects of the project to increasing sales rather than just meeting unrelated requirements.

Conclusion

Given that this seems like such a small change in approach, why are we not doing this already?

Many companies are; however when we are in the middle of growing a SMB, we risk becoming very task-focused instead of looking at the broader strategy for our business. The focus on getting things done infects the entire business as we hustle to make it through each day.

Taking a step back and asking yourself, ‘What did I expect the outcome to be for this CRM project?’ will transform how you see your priorities list. Expressing your expectations to the team will then transform everyone’s priorities.

Hopefully, we’ve provided you with some valuable takeaways from this post. Please follow or subscribe to receive more Klugo Briefing Posts in future for even more insights to help you achieve the sales growth you’re working towards.

 

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in operational excellence today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your growth strategies.

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable.

What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

Most CRM projects start with the company’s needs rather than building out the systems from the Sales Reps perspective first. This can prevent CRM success.

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Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Speed and accuracy are the hallmarks of establishing a trusted relationship. When there is trust and clarity, customers tend to buy…and more often.

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Improve your customer relationship management and get a deep understanding of their accounting trends, business quirks and behavioural themes.

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

For most businesses, generating high-quality quotes can be a logistical nightmare. The vortex begins with make-to-order products. These products are complex with multiple variables from impact price, production schedules and materials.

When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable. With so much on the line, why do companies choose to rely on excel? When using excel to price a job, complex formulas and lookups can work, however, their efficiency is limited. As the company grows and the product range expands, quoting on mass and with multiple representatives increases the certainty of errors, bottlenecks and failure. Unfortunately, many businesses find that only one team member knows the build of the excel spreadsheet. Moreover, using Excel requires a series of imports to update material codes and costs, enforcing a process that encourages disparate systems. These variables lead to a complex sales quoting process and are prone to error, resulting in costly mistakes and reduced gross margin. So how do we unravel what can feel like an unfaltering Rubik’s cube? The solution, CPQ.

What is CPQ?

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is a sales enablement software that allows companies to generate quotes and orders accurately and with increased velocity. The Product Catalogue allows you to set and control prices amongst thousands of products. Users can easily navigate the variations. Allowing upselling, bundling, price adaptation to economic factors, competitor pricing, demographics and customer preferences simple. The software is designed to produce error-free pricing, with pre-programmed rules ensuring that customisations, quantities, and discounts are always considered. Workflow is optimised as the software assists with core business operations, working in tandem with the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platforms, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) drawings and other software. CPQ is the powerhouse engine that fuels operational excellence.

How does CPQ enable your business to sell more

The capability and features of CPQ software create complete visibility and integration of multiple data sets. Manufacturing and distribution companies can take their quoting process to the next level using the following features provided by CPQ:
  1. Product catalogue: allows users to easily search for products, prices, quantities, customisation and discounts. Users can then configure products and services into bundles, inputting constraints and customer preferences whilst informing users on the availability of stock, production schedules and compatibility issues.
  2. Pricing configuration and rules: pre-programmed rules and hierarchies allow for pre-determined prices and discounts. Reps can assess market ups and customer demographics such as location, availability and product configuration.
  3. Customer Accounts: review all open contracts, purchase history, and service agreements.
  4. Guided Sales Prompts: using intelligent data, CPQ can provide sales representatives with tips, recommendations to assist with configuration, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
  5. Self-service CPQ: customers can log in to a portal to build their quote and receive an automatic proposal, coupled with credit approvals. Payment can be taken after the customer has received the quote removing the need for manual intervention.
  6. Automated Proposals: once the quoting is finalised, the quote is generated and automatically emailed directly to the customer.
  7. E-sign off: e-signature signoff can simplify both approvals internally and with the customer. Streamlining communication between departments and simplifying the sales process across all stakeholders.
  8. Attachments: contracts, agreements, PDF’s, and videos are all stored in one location, making information sharing and access simplified.
  9. Renewal Management: one hub for managing contract renewals, subscriptions and ensuring payments are taken on time.
  10. Detailed Analytics: the data generated from the activities above, along with CRM and ERP, are analysed, providing your team with comprehensive analytics to improve pricing and assess future demand.
  11. Other features: include cloud-based hosting, price sheets, excel integration, mobile functionality, and security access levels.
The benefits of all these features combined create faster and more accurate quoting. Allowing your business to win more deals and make fewer mistakes resulting in increased revenue and improved gross margin.  

When to consider if CPQ is right for your business

To scale and build a company that is operational excellent requires the right tools to support your team. We recommend speaking with your sales team to uncover if they are facing hurdles by using manual or outdated systems. Ask yourself, do your team report issues with delivering accurate and timely quotes. For example, is your customer experience at risk due to incorrect Available to Promise Dates (APD), timing consuming processes and superior sales methods deployed by competitors? Has your company experienced quoting and ordering mistakes in the past? If the answer is yes, it’s time to investigate how CPQ could revolutionise your proposal generation process and team efficacy. For any rapidly growing make to order manufacturing business, integrated inventory, production scheduling, demand planning and CPQ is mission-critical to maintaining growth and profitability. The team at Klugo are experts in the deployment of CPQ. If you’re interested in opportunities to standardise pricing, improve team efficiency and in turn create a flow of value to the customer, schedule a call with Klugo today.  

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in operational excellence today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your growth strategies.

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What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

Businesses accelerate their operating potential with the support of a good CRM. Unfortunately, CRM project failure is a reality many businesses face.

Despite the significant resource and financial investment, the biggest boulder to success can be the team’s engagement and adoption of the software.

Unfortunately many CRM projects fail due to sales team adoption of process and CRM.

Why?

Commonly, sales teams are filled with strong, dominant personality types who have the misconception that as long as they are selling, then nothing else matters

Their primary goal, achieving sales targets.

Like any project, it is doomed to fail if there is no alignment between goals and the standardisation of processes.

Inarguably, CRM implementation requires the support of the sales team. In this article, we explore the three critical patterns which guarantee CRM implementation success.

 

1. Start the conversation with your Sales Methodology

How you start your CRM journey with the sales team is everything. Early adoption starts with inclusion at the beginning of the process. This means starting the dialogue with CRM selection and involving the sales team in the conversation.

To make the conversation not only productive but conducive to user adoption, start with mapping out and evaluating the sales methodology.

A sales methodology is the tools, processes and people involved to drive revenue and business growth.

Creating workshops to map out the sales methodology builds confidence that the CRM will be a system aligned to existing processes.

List out all tech stacks used across sales and marketing, and identify how the tools interact across your sales engagement workflow. During this process, different levels of staff from sales managers to sales reps will provide an opportunity to voice their inputs.

Their input is important!

Inputs from sales rep will include how data is entered, how the current process is viewed and will reveal inconsistencies across data entry and management of sales performance. Sales managers focus on pipeline visualisation, reporting for performance metrics while sales reps want to focus on activity, opportunities and prospect profiles, this can create friction from both points of view that are not aligned.

Working through the sales methodology is an opportunity to evaluate current processes and to optimise workflow.

This mapping and evaluation process also involves aligning the new CRM to match your sales methodology. A good CRM implementation will create alignment of sales methodology, sales representative activity, and sales forecasting.

 

2. Attitude is everything, creating a positive CRM context

Many CRM projects start with sales forecasting and become overall focused on improving reporting. While this can form part of the project objective, it is the corporate objective. In reality, most sales reps see forecasting as a chore that takes them away from the act of selling.

Instead, focus the conversation on the CRM benefits and make it clear how these benefits improve and support day-to-day performance.

Walk your team through the benefits with a sales rep centric lens in mind:

  1. Shortened sales cycles. A completed sales cycle equals a faster commission payment. Intelligent data unified between sales and marketing means clear visibility of the customer’s preferences. Sales teams are equipped with social media information on prospects and the customers past transactional behaviour providing greater insights to inform sales tactics and deliver customer value.
  2. Improved visibility across the pipeline. Clear visibility of the prospect’s engagement across the opportunity qualification is invaluable in saving a sales reps time. Salespeople are chasing the close. Knowing where to focus their attention, which tactics to use to enhance relationships with prospects saves not only time but motivation. The sales team can work faster to achieve their set targets and performance due to the clear visibility of their pipeline.
  3. Reduced administration. It’s common for salespeople to avoid CRM administration as it’s often viewed as less time spent engaging the prospect. Reducing manual dependencies such as lead follow-ups, field updating and logging data is a big sell to your reps. Not to mention streamlined and automated reporting increases valuable time spent communicating with the prospect.

 

3. Invest in training

The importance of training can not be understated for effective CRM adoption.

While two half-day training sessions are common for CRM deployment, businesses sell their CRM short by not adequately supporting their sales team with a strategic and structured training program.

As a result, frequent errors, frustrations and lack of adoption are key signs that training hasn’t supplemented requirements and there is disillusionment amongst users.

Time spent scoping workflows and creating a positive context for the CRM will have been wasted if users do not feel supported by the new processes.

 

The solution?

Commitment to ongoing and targeted training and system optimisation, which creates a positive re-enforcement of outcomes. Essentially training is ongoing when optimisation is adopted as a business process improvement initiative. Constantly improving use and configuration will improve user adoption.

Similarly, end-user training needs to focus on the business processes and not functionality alone. Often when the sales managers become responsible for CRM training the experience is top-down and one dimensional, it is best if a power user is tasked with ongoing training.

Using the experience of an expert deployment partner will ensure these principles are consistently applied from the beginning of your CRM project.

The experts of Klugo know how to navigate the common complexities of teams and how to maximise your operating potential. Schedule a call with Klugo to set your CRM project up for success.

 

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in operational excellence today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your growth strategies.

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable.

What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

Most CRM projects start with the company’s needs rather than building out the systems from the Sales Reps perspective first. This can prevent CRM success.

3 must-dos to save your CRM from failure

Streamlining communications, breaking down departmental silos, harnessing automation to improve the sales process can be a tricky process to achieve.

Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Speed and accuracy are the hallmarks of establishing a trusted relationship. When there is trust and clarity, customers tend to buy…and more often.

Do you know the financial health of your customers? Three CRM indicators to watch.

Improve your customer relationship management and get a deep understanding of their accounting trends, business quirks and behavioural themes.

3 must-dos to save your CRM from failure

3 must-dos to save your CRM from failure

Executing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy is a complex process.

It’s important to understand that.

Streamlining communications, breaking down departmental silos, harnessing automation to improve the sales process. It’s a dream when the system comes alive but it can be a tricky process to achieve.

Sadly, many businesses embark on the journey without fully considering some key principles which can prevent a CRM failure.

There are three common reasons that frequently come up. So, what are they?
 

1. Objectives are not clearly defined to get team buy-in

Your CRM vision needs to be clear, concise and recitable within 30 seconds. This is the future of your business, you need to know the outcome you want to achieve before you can set the direction.

At the outset of deciding to implement a CRM, your business should have identified obstacles it needs to overcome.

These business objectives are the key to defining the vision for your CRM.

Common objectives often include a desire to increase leads, improve sales close rates, increase the average package price and improve the accuracy of sales forecasts.

Once implemented, your CRM will be the epicentre of activity. It will shape team activity, influence decisions based on customer data and be the key source of all customer communications.

Allowing your team to participate in the vision and objectives fosters collaboration from the outset, increasing employee engagement and user adoption.

Low employee adoption and the absence of vital process knowledge in the CRM build is one of the biggest reasons for CRM failure.

You MUST have staff buy-in for your vision and objectives. They need to know how they can help bring the vision into reality and ultimately how it will make their lives easier.

For example:

Businesses that use a CRM can boost sales up to 30%. Studies have also shown revenue boosts at the individual sales employee level and company level, seeing a boost of up to 41% per sales rep.

BusinessInsider

From a sales perspective, statistics such as the above can be a powerful tool in motivating sales teams to buy into the objectives of the wider business.

Give your team the overall vision to identify how they can play into it. Otherwise, you’re pushing a system that they will see as more of a hindrance than a help.

2. The sales methodology is not agreed upon before configuration has started

A subset of your objectives is your department goals, of which lies the critical beast of defining your sales process and methodology.

This is a multistage process that will rely on shared team knowledge.

Your sales team will need to investigate and define the ‘who’, ‘why’, and ‘how’, of everything they do. They need to communicate a deep understanding of their ideal customer and their motivations for proceeding with a sale.

These questions will help define the pathway and stages to deliver a lead into a sale.

Your sales process is the blueprint from first customer interaction to an onboarded client. All sales processes are unique to the individual business, but all use sales methodologies that are commonly practised across different industries.

It’s important to formalise the system of principles that guide how a sales team should act within and between sales stages. At its core, sales methodology is designed to empower sales representatives by equipping them with proven approaches to overcome objections.

This methodology will then feed into the CRM configuration.

To define the sales stages, businesses need to identify what is the pathway to progress a lead into a sale and then assign a percentage of chance to win from that sales stage.

In the table below, we explore an example of the sales stages and the percentage of chance to win in each stage. This can be a useful tool to copy into your own sales process.

Sales Stage Percentage to win
Initial Meeting 10%
Requirements Gathering 20%
Technical Assessment 30%
Product Demonstration 50%
Proposal Negotiation 60%
Verbal Win 80%
Customer Win 100%

For an example of how this then translates into a CRM sales configuration; at the initial meeting the BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline) qualification sales methodology is used to determine how a lead is qualified before it progresses to the next sales stage.

  • Budget: What are the customers pricing expectations and do they have a budget?
  • Authority: Are there multiple stakeholders in the decision-making process and who will make the final decision to proceed with the purchase?
  • Need: What challenges or compelling events are driving their enquiry?
  • Time: What is their buying timeframe and is the timeline realistic?

Since we have defined the methodology of this stage (initial meeting) in this example, we can begin working on the CRM strategy that will surround this process. We know precisely what information is required and what information needs to be gathered at the initial meeting for it to be considered successful.

A good CRM will ensure your team follows the methodology and support their activities with prompts and reminders to improve their selling practices.

But, the most important thing is to have that process solidified before any configuration has started.

 

3. Staff do not use the CRM in a rigorous way

Training materials and coaching sessions are the foundation to ensuring an effective and consistent application of your processes. The set methodology should be well documented with key concepts broken into digestible segments of information and formulated into a user guide.

Learning to adopt new processes does not occur overnight. It requires regular coaching sessions with user guides and routinely explaining the metrics which supports CRM adoption.

Creating a culture of regular feedback enables employees to use the CRM to its fullest potential.

Review how your employees have used the CRM system and think about rewarding those who use it well. The reward system is a great way to get everyone moving in the same direction

Efficy

Once your team has moved past training, embed CRM compliance into your weekly sales meeting. During meetings, all reports and key performance indicators should be presented from the live CRM.

This allows teams to highlight issues with data and drill the methodology by referencing the stages and highlighting where users have made mistakes.

Don’t allow the skill gap within your team to increase. Identifying non-compliance informs which team members need 1:1 skill development. Persistent coaching not only prevents non-compliance but creates accountability.

When team members are informed of how sales performance is measured they are more likely to be on board with the process in order to avoid scrutiny.

Likewise, measuring the rate and number of deals moving from closed-to-won allows you to make judgements about the effectiveness of the methodology.

Discipline of sales methodology and accuracy of retained information are the basis of a successful CRM.

 

Enable your team to do incredible things

Enabling your team with the right tools increases process efficiency and the accuracy of data. With disciplined practices, your CRM should be resulting in reduced sales cycles, high conversion rates and will lead to larger deal sizes.

Netsuite makes it easy to track closure metrics and gauge the effectiveness of your sales method in a single, streamlined system.

Chat to the Klugo team for evaluation assistance and a tailored solution to optimise your business.

 

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in operational excellence today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your growth strategies.

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable.

What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

Most CRM projects start with the company’s needs rather than building out the systems from the Sales Reps perspective first. This can prevent CRM success.

3 must-dos to save your CRM from failure

Streamlining communications, breaking down departmental silos, harnessing automation to improve the sales process can be a tricky process to achieve.

Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Speed and accuracy are the hallmarks of establishing a trusted relationship. When there is trust and clarity, customers tend to buy…and more often.

Do you know the financial health of your customers? Three CRM indicators to watch.

Improve your customer relationship management and get a deep understanding of their accounting trends, business quirks and behavioural themes.

Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Early bird gets the worm…well, not always. But it certainly helps.

In the world of quoting, it’s more likely that the early, accurate and precise bird gets the worm.

There are a lot of components and conflicts that need to be considered when presenting a quote. Firstly, it must be accurate. You don’t want to be stung down the line because you miscalculated a portion of the quote.

Ugh, that one hurts.

Secondly, you want to ensure that every quote can be handled as independently as possible of your engineers. Including them in the process erodes profits and diverts their attention away from other value tasks within your business.

It’s also not a scalable option.

 

Accuracy. Accuracy. Accuracy… and Speed.

Speed and accuracy are the hallmarks of establishing a trusted relationship. When there is trust and clarity, customers tend to buy…and more often.

Quoting is a very error-prone process and often results in underquoting work. And it’s generally not noticed until production has started, making it harder to raise a variation with the customer.

Empowering your sales team to provide accurate quotes is crucial. But leaving quoting solely in the sales department has traditionally presented issues, as sales teams require training to properly configure a quote that is based on technical accuracy.

You want the sales team focused on negotiating and executing scheduling, not technical fact-checking.

For a quote to be accurate, the materials need to be clearly defined, options listed with price impact and estimated delivery time provided. This requires company visibility and Enterprise Resource Planning to properly predict profits from sales as well as intertwine the entire process.

 

Creating a good Configure Price Quote solution

Providing your sales team with the right tools to be fast and accurate will shorten the sales cycle, increase conversion rates, improve forecasting and lead to larger deal sizes.

A good Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution requires little sales training. By design, it is deeply integrated into your Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), supply chain management and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

By using a dynamic rules-based engine that allows sales reps to select models and define options, you can reduce training for new sales representatives. As well as avoid extra training when new products become available.

Real-world example

A product that our team at Klugo regularly configures for our clients is Verenia. It is a specialised Manufacturing & Wholesale Distribution tool used for highly complex, configurable and discrete products.

Our client was a medical equipment manufacturer that wanted to streamline the quoting process. They wanted an omnichannel approach that supported sales teams, external dealers, resellers and eCommerce channels.

They were able to integrate their NetSuite ERP and CRM into a process that seamlessly integrated with customers via a B2B portal, offered 3D CAD visualisations with their eCommerce channel and fully trained and onboarded sales staff with error detection software.

Quotes are being issued faster, products displayed in more clarity, and communication streamlined between stakeholders.

This completely changed the game for them. They were faster, more accurate and were able to visualise how ‘sexy’ their product was without the buyer seeing it.

 

Integrate the quoting process

If there’s one thing I can reiterate for those birds who want to capture the worm.

A good Configure Price Quote solution requires little sales training, is deeply integrated into the Enterprise Resources Planning, Supply Chain Management and Manufacturing Execution Systems.

It is crucial for the business that wants to scale.

Designing a system that enables this process is critical. But ultimately, it allows your business to win more work.

 

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in operational excellence today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your growth strategies.

Simplify complex quotes and win more deals

When it comes to remaining competitive, your quoting and ordering methodology must be accurate, delivered quickly, retain quality, and be profitable.

What’s in it for them, the best way to get sales reps to use a CRM

Most CRM projects start with the company’s needs rather than building out the systems from the Sales Reps perspective first. This can prevent CRM success.

3 must-dos to save your CRM from failure

Streamlining communications, breaking down departmental silos, harnessing automation to improve the sales process can be a tricky process to achieve.

Win more deals by quoting faster and with increased accuracy

Speed and accuracy are the hallmarks of establishing a trusted relationship. When there is trust and clarity, customers tend to buy…and more often.

Do you know the financial health of your customers? Three CRM indicators to watch.

Improve your customer relationship management and get a deep understanding of their accounting trends, business quirks and behavioural themes.

Do you know the financial health of your customers? Three CRM indicators to watch.

Do you know the financial health of your customers? Three CRM indicators to watch.

“Oh, that financial problem with that customer just seemed to happen overnight”
Naaahhhh.

That’s generally not a true statement. There are small indicators along the way that demonstrate the financial health of a business. Like all relationships, problems don’t appear at the drop of hat.

So, how can you better understand the financial health of a customer?

The answer? Understand your relationship better.

Put simply, you’ve got to improve your customer relationship management. You need to have a deep understanding of their accounting trends, business quirks and behavioural themes so that you can identify when issues arise and plan accordingly

 

So what are some signs a customer is in financial distress?

This ain’t no crystal ballin’. These are some simple methods you can apply to your customers’ situations to get a better feel for their situation. The Klugo team advise these methods to anyone involved in enterprise resource planning (ERP).

 

1. Average days overdue

It’s a simple one, but often overlooked with a more analytical eye. Look at trends over time.

  • How many days do they take to pay an invoice?
  • How many invoices are in dispute?
  • Are they providing reasons for late payments?

When averaged, if these are starting to increase over time, you can assume that they are having cash-flow issues.

The quicker the spike with a debtor, the sooner you may have a problem. It’s a simple formula to understand their financial position.

 

2. Complain, complain, complain

There’s nothing more enjoyable than taking a customer complaint… yeah, nah!

This is a sneaky tactic by customers, because you may assume the problem lies with your business. But this is a common tactic businesses use when they are financially distressed.

Why? Because it can be a simple way to extend payment by purposely ‘kicking up a stink’ about invoices or other small issues.

Again this is a matter of looking at trends over time. If there is a spike, it’s important to start asking questions to your customer.

 

3. Days sales outstanding (DSO), an important metric

Whilst this is similar to a late payment, it’s important to understand how this metric is calculated and its significance. In its simplest form, it is the average amount of days it takes to receive payment.

Cash flow is king and vital for running a business. It’s necessary for a business to collect payment as quickly as possible. Why? Because money spent waiting for payment is quite literally dead money.

Listen to the numbers. A high DSO generally means that a company is relying on a credit structure to run a business. This is risky, so it’s important to understand what is a reasonable DSO for your business and try to hold your customers accountable to meet this KPI.

 

Hindsight, it’s a wonderful thing. But often too late

When we look back on how we lost a customer, there are often the signs above which make us say:

“Ok, that makes sense”.

But that realisation is not helpful. As the cost of saving a customer is often far less expensive than acquiring another.

Predicting behaviour is crucial. This comes down to customer relationship management that is intrinsically intertwined with your financial structure. This is why Klugo have chosen NetSuite CRM as its preferred partner. The system makes customer KPI management simple.

It allows for customers to collect insights that mean predicting behaviour is more native and simple than hindsight analysis.

So, how do we intervene with a troublesome debtor/customer?

There are some simple steps you can take to save losing a customer. The goal of this step is to increase the lifetime value of a customer. Think about how you can improve their situation so that you can keep a long-term relationship.

Buy-back stock – Sometimes stock just isn’t moving for customers. If you have the capacity and the ability to move it elsewhere, offering to buy back stock can be an effective way to move resources between your customers whilst keeping everyone happy.

Account holds – This is a tricky one, but if you enter an agreement right from the start where a customer knows that supply will be held if payment is not received within a specific term, they will place more emphasis on their own resource planning.

Upfront payment – This is a neat little process to ensure quick payment (and achieves low DSO) that benefits both customers and your business. Better deals for customers who pay upfront can be a nice deal sweetener on both ends.

 

CRM, get integrated

Implementing a CRM that is fully integrated with your financials allows you to monitor both the sales and financial health of your customers. You know precisely when KPI’s are overdue or exceeded.

A good customer relationship knowledge through a good NetSuite CRM removes the pressure away from diagnosing an issue post mortem and allows you to predict issues before they arise.

Speak to Klugo today to find out more about getting strategic with your CRM.

 

About Klugo

NetSuite + NextService

Klugo’s vision is to unlock the full operating potential of our customers to maximise the value of their business. We do this by helping our customers achieve operating excellence using NetSuite + NextService, the world-leading cloud ERP and FSM business platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

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