Selecting the right CRM system for your organisation provides some unique challenges. Lumenia’s world class Enterprise System Selection Methodology can help you rise to these challenges in the most effective way.

Functional Scope

The footprint of CRM functionality has extended in recent years as the leading vendors have extended their offerings through development and acquisition. Selecting the system that best covers your specific requirements can be confusing. CRM can cover such areas as those listed below – which ones are important for you?

  • Contact Management

  • Customer Communication Management

  • Opportunity Management and Lead Nurturing

  • Quotation Processes

  • Marketing Campaign Management

  • Social Analytics and Social Sentiment Management

  • Enterprise Social Networking

Extending CRM

xRM or extended CRM has become a buzzword in recent years. This can mean both extending the use of the relationship management processes to parties other than customers – for example suppliers, employees, contractors, etc. It can also mean literally extending your CRM by building custom processes through workflow and configuration capability. Different CRM solutions may have greater extensibility platforms. Is extensibility important for you?  

Scale and Deployment

The CRM market is still quite fragmented with the four largest vendors (Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft) accounting for  42% of the global market in 2015. Understanding whether one of the market leaders or one of the many smaller or niche offerings provides the best fit for your organisation can be a challenge. Similarly, whether a SaaS, on premise or hosted solution makes the most sense can be a complex decision.

CRM Stakeholders

Unlike many enterprise software investments, CRM is often purchased outside of the IT or Finance function. Quite often it is purchased from within the sales or marketing function in the business. This can pose a number of unique challenges for an organisation.

  • When embarking on a strategic CRM investment an organisation may already have one or more CRM point solutions in place – purchased for individual sales or marketing functions – should these be replaced?

  • Sales or Marketing functions may not have experience of purchasing large enterprise systems and so may hit many of the pitfalls that IT or Finance may have experience of avoiding.

  • Sales or Marketing may not consider interoperability or economies of scale in relation to the existing IT estate in the organisation. In other words functionality and cost may be the only considerations factored into the selection decision.

We apply our tried and tested CRM evaluation and optimisation methodology to solution sourcing selection.  We can help you effectively address the challenges described above and avoid the pitfalls of undirected system selection. We have built up a body of experience of working on CRM projects and can help bring this experience to help you through the process.

Deliverables
  • A structured selection process, with well-defined stages, decision points and a detailed project plan.

  • A document containing quantified business benefits that should result from the implementation of CRM. This will form the basis of the business case that will be used to justify the project.

  • Facilitation of project team workshops at all critical points in the decision process, ensuring cross-functional involvement and agreement.

  • Selection of a preferred CRM system and vendor (typically within 2-3 months of project initiation).

  • Objective, documented reasons for the rejection of all other systems.

  • PowerPoint presentation summarising the selection process, which can be used for Senior Management or Board level presentations.

  • Assistance with commercial negotiations.

Benefits
  • We don't sell CRM software and offer completely independent advice.

  • We bring knowledge of current best practice and functionality to the selection process.

  • We have worked with nearly all of the leading CRM products and implementation partners and can offer unique insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each.

  • Our selection process is comprehensive and rigorous and guarantees that the chosen vendor and system provide the best match.

  • Our selection process is driven at every step by reference to your optimised Revenue Performance Blueprint and the underlying processes.

  • The process facilitates cross-functional and multi-level involvement, which promotes user buy-in.

  • Senior management will fully understand the project in terms of costs, timescales, intended solution and benefits - and most importantly ROI.

  • We don't employ trained monkeys!  Every RPMG consultant has at least 10,000 hours of relevant experience of business system strategy, selection and implementation - and use.

 

If you’re working on a government or corporate RFT, bid or RFP and you need help developing the pitch, persuasive content and documentation, talk to us. Thought Bubble is skilled across all aspects of the tender process including:

  • Initial assessments (bid/no bid)

  • Bid management and support

  • Pitch strategy and win themes

  • Development of key messages

  • Document structuring and content

  • Section drafting, executive summaries and reviews

  • CVs and staff profiles

  • Design for readability including diagrams, tables and process flows

  • Audits and reviews

  • Workshops, training and coaching.

​We can also oversee and work closely with executive teams, sector specialists, technical writers, graphic designers and layout specialists.

Strategic Bid Management

Faced with the challenge of global competition, business leaders serious about running ethical and responsible businesses often have to be strategic and creative in the way they address RFT responses – with a clear destination in mind for their organisation.

This is especially the case for companies that aspire to be competitive and well-regarded players in the global economy beyond their own borders. These companies have to understand and effectively manage not just business risk, but need to demonstrate the willingness to advance industry innovation, aid in nation-building and deliver greater community capacity.

RPMG has led and coached major bids for major corporate, PPP and government-funded programs which span IT, telecommunications, health, construction, infrastructure, banking mining, and Defence services.  By using our skills in people management, leadership, communication and bid strategy we can lead or simply coach the many experts within the organisation’s overall function to ensure bid strategies are aligned against buyer priorities, core business interests, the organisation’s growth strategy, and which are strongly linked to corporate governance and shareholder value.

 

"Do more for less."

If there's a tagline for sales management over the last 3-4 years, that's probably it.

Fueling the next wave of revenue and profit growth is a top priority for many sales leaders. As companies scale, however, traditional methods, such as adding more front-line sellers to expand account coverage or overlay sales capacity, often yield diminishing returns and are simply not practical in many resource-constrained industries. Sales leaders are simply expected to do more with less, in most cases.

In our experience, companies that build world-class sales-operations functions can realize one-time improvements of 20 to 30 percent in sales productivity, with sustained annual increases as high as 5 to 10 percent in some cases. Our research also shows that companies that invest one resource in sales support for every front-line sales resource drive significantly higher sales productivity than companies that invest less. Underinvesting in sales-support functions simply shifts the necessary transaction and administrative work to sellers, taking away time better spent with customers.

At the same time, new trends are forcing sales leaders to rethink how they sell. Customers used to the simple purchase processes in the B2C world are expecting the same sort of experience with B2B companies. They’re demanding more self-service capabilities for product research, trial, and purchase, for example. Given that so much is available online, customers also have a higher bar for the depth of technical expertise on products and services that solution vendors bring.

Enter sales operations. A strong sales-operations function can address these issues and drive revenue growth by reducing the time reps spend on various administrative tasks, speeding up the sales process, and improving the experience for the customer.  Not only does it enable revenue performance on the upside by streamlining conversion and improving velocity, focusing on process re-engineering, automation, and optimisation of sales-related support resources also dramatically reduces the costs of the entire process.

We've helped our clients make lasting improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of their sales operations models, including interactions affecting customers across multiple and complex channels and internal platforms.

 

Nearly all our clients are asked or expected to stand up and present themselves and / or their solutions.  Some CEO's use public presentations as a primary marketing and branding strategy for their companies and themselves. 

Not everyone can stand up and blow an audience away like Steve Jobs could, or as Tony Stark did in Iron Man.  Not everyone wants to.   From JFK igniting a nation about "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth", to Jobs' famous iPhone launch, to Tony Stark's launch of the Jericho in Iron Man I, most great talks actually have a simple, common structure that helps their message resonate powerfully with listeners.  And that structure can be taught.  It isn't even really that hard.  If you want to watch and listen to a little more about that structure, take a look at the presentation given at TED by ironically enough, presentation expert Nancy Duarte; or watch here how Tony Stark aka Robert Downey Junior literally blows them away.

Leaving the theatricals aside for a moment, it's important to remember that presentations are another important stage in the revenue conversion process.  It's frequently not just about telling a story or painting a compelling vision - although those things are still critical.  It's about describing a product, service or solution without putting people to sleep, commanding a room of stakeholders with different agendas, personalities and attention spans, and perhaps most importantly, creating a sense of trust.  It might be a simple concept, but particularly in a corporate or government pitching environment, there's a lot going on and a lot at stake.

At RPMG, our consultants have helped hundreds of clients improve their presentation and pitching skills over the course of 150+ projects.  I don't think we've created any new Steve Jobs's or Tony Starks, but we've helped out clients deliver with more confidence and professionalism, and to win and retain business they themselves said they were going to lose.

 

Sales collateral - the tools and materials that help move buyers and prospects through their buying journeys, comes in many different shapes, sizes and flavours.  We've helped clients construct content libraries and killer collateral in over 100 sales transformation projects around the world.  

Here are some guiding principles, and below a few case studies from actual client projects. 

White space

You do a lot of great stuff, and you to want to tell your buyers all of it.  You need to describe a lot of value, even if you just focus on a single service or product line.  But if you're building a one-pager or brochure, space will be tight.  There’s a content marketing buzzword that applies here: snackable content.  For digital media, this means listicles and 30-second videos.  It’s a bit different for print collateral, but the idea remains the same.  Focus on the main copy points and resist the urge to throw in everything and the kitchen sink.

Unique and special

When your sales tools inevitably get thrown in a pile on your prospect’s desk, it pays to be memorable. Your business already has a unique selling proposition — and that’s going to be conveyed through copywriting — but it helps to find creative ways to drive that message home. Play with different shapes and paper finishes to capitalise on overlooked elements.  Clever visual cues and unique haptics can only serve to reinforce your positioning and brand recognition.

Engaging

The exact call to action will depend on the collateral itself and its place in the sales cycle. But in general, printed sales tools fill a role that’s complementary to digital. Depending on what those digital resources are — whether it’s an app, company blog or landing page — they can direct your prospects toward more information specific to their needs. Sharing this type of useful, compelling information could serve as a critical entry point into your content marketing funnel.

Leave the wheel where it is!

Sales collateral has just one objective: to help prospects through the decision making process. Tell a good story, be informative, and be clear. And when possible, work with a B2B brand and marketing agency that specializes in developing sales collateral and messaging (for internal and external use). This is by far the best way to keep it all consistent and cohesive and ensure you are optimising your sales collateral and materials.  At the end of the day, we are trying to drive progression and velocity, and want to put our best foot forward!

Some sample collateral pieces
 

The strongest influence on the success of an organisation is the proficiency & stability of its people. Recruitment of new talent & retention of experienced and appropriately trained team members is critical to sustain & grow a successful business. Through precise & effective proprietary personality & behavioural assessments, skills & ability assessments, best practice recruitment strategies & effective team building techniques, we enhance the selection & development of the right sales and marketing people and managers for your business.

What if you could clone top sales performers not just from your organisation, but other organisations as well?  

 

And predict the future performance of your sales people to an 85% certainty?

How would it feel to know that you never again have to hire or promote someone who was destined to fail?

Or know that your hiring managers would never again turn away someone destined to succeed?

Well, you can.  Click on these doc links to learn how.

 

Every year hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions, world-wide is wasted on irrelevant, unnecessary or inappropriate sales skills development.  There are a number of observable reasons for this.

To begin with, the one off training program which is the stock-in-trade of most training organisations and the standard tick-in-the-box for the bulk of Sales and HR Directors, may supply a short-term motivational buzz and provide the participants with a few thought provoking ideas.  In reality, however, once they’re  back at the "front-line", the day-to-day pressures take over again, the old reactive mindset returns and the status quo resumes.

To begin with, the one off training program which is the stock-in-trade of most training organisations and the standard tick-in-the-box for the bulk of Sales and HR Directors, may supply a short-term motivational buzz and provide the participants with a few thought provoking ideas.  In reality, however, once they’re  back at the "front-line", the day-to-day pressures take over again, the old reactive mindset returns and the status quo resumes.

One-off training is almost by definition event-based.  A chronic misunderstanding about training, particularly sales training, is the issue of changing habits. Habits are formed from years of influences and behaviors which have been cultivated through many years of constant repetition.  They become part of a company’s culture, just as “acceptable underperformance” has become part of XYZ’s culture.  Till now.

 

Behaviours don’t change after a one or two-day training program – no matter how good the ideas are.  Results come from repetition and sustained commitment to success.  During the passion workshop, Charles repeatedly used the personal training and fitness metaphors.  When was the last time other than starvation that you lost weight in a day or increased muscularity and fitness without exercise?  A big part of Aquarius and indeed Houston more broadly, is to encourage the team to abhor rather than embrace shortcuts, and begin a process of training them consistently over time for best results.  They need to be treated like athletes, even if at the moment most of them not only aren’t but don’t believe they can be.

 

Most - not all - but certainly 95% plus of courses on offer today, deliver what we describe as "generalised" skills development.  A senior BDM operating within the insurance sector, will today find themselves doing exactly the same training program that will next week be given in identical fashion probably by the same instructors to a telecommunications rep operating from a call centre.  Last week it was delivered to a manufacturing company selling hydraulic equipment.  Sure, the basic selling skills may be consistent.  But success in any of these disparate industries requires specific skill sets and “cookie-cutter” workshops have models demonstrably proven to be failures.  Even the training organisations themselves are willing to concede this.

 

Nearly all training organisations today start from the assumption that every individual participant is at the same level in terms of experience, expertise, has the same "commercial bandwidth” and the same behavioural preferences for learning new things.  This is of course, completely nonsense.

 

Age and experience don’t necessarily equate with success – particularly in the world of sales.  The reality is that although some professional salespeople do have ten years experience, most have one year's experience which they’ve repeated ten times!  The best performing sales people we observe across the organisations we work with, are almost invariably the ones who have consistently received ongoing skills development from the "emerging" stage all the way through "advanced", right up to the "consultative” level (where that is appropriate).  But the keywords are “consistently” and “ongoing”.

Little wonder then that eighty seven percent of adult training is lost within 30 days.  The old training for training sake simply does not work. While short-term productivity occurs, training for selling or any other field of endeavour, is a long-term process.  Selling requires a series of programs that instil motivation, memorisation and practicum.  Short-term production might help monthly revenue gain, however, progression of buyers through the Funnel resulting in consistent quarterly and annual results are the proper success metrics.

 

Client training program - Case Study
 

Nearly all B2B executives say channel partners are critical to their sales strategy but less than a quarter of them feel they have control over how the process works, according to a research study from Accenture.

The consulting firm’s report, ‘B2B Customer Experience 2017,’ includes global responses from more than 1,300 people who showed just how difficult it’s becoming to reach and satisfy prospects and customers.

While using value-added resellers (VARs) and consulting firms has been a common practice for years, the rise of digital options to purchase and use many products and services is making the management of B2B sales channels more complex, the report suggests.

For example, 61 per cent of all B2B transactions now begin online, according to Accenture, while 90 per cent of survey respondents said they never respond to “cold” outreach through e-mail, phone or other channels from someone they don’t know. That means relying on third parties, the report concludes, but only if you can truly orchestrate them effectively,

To survive today, sales organisations have to be agile - which by definition means being dynamic:  responsive to market and customer changes, engaged with customers and partners and channelling the right opportunities to the right sellers at the right time.

Our research confirmed sales executives are in a quandary. There’s a growing recognition of the value of an integrated, agile selling capability.  What’s lacking is the strategy and tools to accelerate the shift. To create a front-office “engine” that powers profitable growth, companies should do whatever they can to break down the decades-old barriers between sales, service and marketing. For starters, they should include sales operations in the mix, since they no longer just enable sales but rather provide fuel to the front-office transformation.

Completely changing the sales operating model to bring a dynamic channel strategy to life is a daunting proposition. But there are guiding principles that can facilitate the change and create a common vision around agile selling.  For example, initiatives aimed at driving an agile selling transformation should be assessed against whether they help achieve one of five objectives: standardization, consistency, collaboration, ease-of-use or process adoption.

If they don’t address these criteria, they should be dropped. Once a course of action is determined, companies can drive the change in multiple ways:

Crush the silos:

 

Establish cross-functional communications. Listen to marketing,

service and sales reps and managers to build understanding and commitment. Be clear, responsive and engaging, and take advantage

of social collaboration and networking tools.

Design for digital and analog interactions:

Design roles and responsibilities to enhance the potential of new processes and tools.  Focusing on roles within processes is a good

place to start.

Connect and collaborate:

Empower stakeholders and put them in control of the new way they work. Deliver insights and tools to connect them with the customer and each other, including indirect channel partners.  Social collaboration forums and digital technologies can give them a voice.