Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Do expectations in CRM need changing?

The following information is taken from a report recently published by Salesstaff.com titled "100 Sales and Marketing Stats that will blow your mind".
I am not sure how wide a range of industries this covers and whether this figure encompasses high-consideration and low-consideration purchases, new sales and cross sales to existing customers, but assuming this is an average across all of these categories, it certainly flags some interesting points for discussion.

Pressure to perform and 'close' sales continues to escalate. It is simply the nature of business. The combination of technology and improved targeting opportunities has, for many businesses, increased the ability to attract more leads at a cheaper CPL than ever before. And predictive modelling based on past behaviour, life-stage, psycho-demographic profiling and propensity to purchase has certainly improved the ability for cross-selling.

Interestingly however, a widely-held belief and practice amongst many sales people I come across is based on the '3 strikes and out' philosophy where efforts and hopes are placed on the next prospect once the 3 attempts for a 'no sale' result have been made. Given the above figures, perhaps the expectations of businesses need revising.

Clearly, the strategy for high value/high consideration purchases warrants a more sustained effort, a range of strategies and a kit-bag of tactics before giving up, and it is assumed that the selling business clearly understands the metrics in terms of cost per lead (CPL) and cost per sale (CPS) so it knows when it really is time to lapse a prospect.

But I wonder - is it time for a paradigm shift in sales and CRM thinking? Does possessing the ability to so easily shop around, to be much more discerning, empower prospects to now demand more attention, more effort and more 'love' before committing their hard-earned money to a product or service? And if so, are all of your sales people really clear about the 'lead-sale-cross sell-retain' cycle and is this reflected in their targets?

Regardless of business size, having the right metrics in place is vital to gaining a clear understanding of what's working and what isn't. After all, if you can't benchmark it, you can't beat it!  

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