Cooking and online CRM?
There is no shortage of advice about how to sell. In fact, when you scan through the latest popular “how to sell” books, you’ll notice a LOT of similarity. So if the there is broad concensus as to how to sell and the methods are readily available, why are most businesses constantly pointing to their sales team and their sales performance as their greatest challenge?
Well, of course, sales is always a paramount concern. But, the answers are out there for all of us to read, listen to, watch, etc.
The problem is that sales can not be boiled down to a cook book recipe. Sales is about people. A buyer and a seller. They have to communicate and make decisions. Every one of us is different and every sales call unfolds uniquely. Anyone that’s read a book on selling techniques that inspired them knows that you can’t walk into every sales meeting with the same script and expect success.
It’s no different than cooking really. There are tons of cookbooks available. There are several in my kitchen. I’ve read a lot about cooking. I’ve experimented and tried to learn a lot of cooking technique. Am I a great cook? Not according to my wife!
Just having the recipe does not ensure success. In the kitchen or in a sales meeting. Why not?
Because there are infinite variables that cannot be controlled to adhere to a recipe or script.
Your oven thermostat may be off. The meat may be a little thicker or of a different texture.
Your customer may be in a bad mood. There may be someone in the presentation with a predetermined preference.
Online CRM – Cookbooks or Rule books?
This is part of what motivates many sales executives to leverage a sales automation or online CRM solution. The customer relationship management system (CRM) is expected to act as the cookbook for the sales person. Its supposed to guide them so that they make the right decisions, say the right things and focus on the right prospects.
And it can. To a degree. Just watch a great cook and how they use a cookbook or recipe. Its a starting point. It shows you want ingredients to start with and general guidelines about temperatures, times, etc. But the best cooks take it further don’t they? They add or change ingredients according to their taste or the other dishes in the meal. They change the temperatures and times according to the quality of the ingredients they’re able to purchase.
An online CRM is no different to a good sales person. Its a guide. It should not be rigid guide that cannot be varied. A great sales person would be stifled by such a CRM system. The online CRM needs to point the right direction but allow enough freedom for each sales person to flourish and be their best. In addition, the customers matter her too. Some approaches are clearly not right for certain approaches. The sales person’s job is to intuit the best recipe for the right customer.
In fact, a great online CRM will help document the steps, decisions and statements made by sales people and customers in every unique scenario so that new and better selling recipes can be formulated and shared with the team.