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Why Are CRM Setups A Problem?

I ran into something about CRM solutions and CRM setup that is definitely under the "Curse of Knowledge" this morning. That's when you're familiar with a thing, and you can't remember what it's like not to know it.

A newbie was fascinated that you could customize setting a CRM up. My guess is he's never done one before. Me, I've seen all kinds of CRMs for over 25 years. From ACT! to custom programmed expensive database solutions for multinationals, there's a huge range in how the problem can be solved.

man coding binary program crm setup implementation problem concern

Image credit: Cottonbro from Pexels

The Problem With CRM Setup

But in today's Click-A-Tron world, where you can just download something free and install it today... well, CRM implementation doesn't exactly work the way a lot of other software does.
From the seemingly straightforward question of "What #pipeline stages should I use?" (oh boy, does that ever affect your salespeople's thinking...and can even result in perverse incentives for payouts) through what records you should collect and what you should ignore, CRM customization is a terrible beast.

That's why I don't do it. I'm a systems and process guy, and CRM setup is soul-sucking for me. I want nothing to do with it. So I delegate this important and challenging task to one of two expert friends I have in the field. They enjoy this kind of thing (sick bastards). Tell me if you want to connect.

Be ready to invest in their expertise. This is a key problem: it's central to your sales process. Sales, if you haven't noticed yet, is core to revenue generation and thereby the life of your business. So kind of important, yes?

Why Not Go With Default Settings In CRM Implementation?

And if you're thinking, "What, why don't you just go with the default settings?" then listen up: it's just like SaaS dashboards. You only see what they let you see, and those measures were picked by a techie programmer... not a business owner with an eye on the right numbers. You'll blind yourself with either kind of app if you go with the defaults.

I did a quick episode about this SaaS dashboard problem for my show. Here's the link to it.

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Got Your 2020 Money Plan?

Your Money Plan is important.

But if you're a small business owner, it's likely you don't have it.

As the end of the year approaches, coaches start talking about planning out the next twelve months. Smart business owners take them up on this offer... and yet if I had to put a number to it I'll bet about 5% actually do the work.

The rest sit back.

They have various reasons for doing so.

After all, the holidays are coming up. They can do the work in January. (But of course they never will.)

Or they get trapped in The How: HOW will this money come in? A revenue plan is just fantasy, as far as they're concerned.

Those are two of the big reasons small business owners do nothing. They continue to drift.

money plan puzzle revenue plan business owner planning decision making choices

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Why Create Your Money Plan

I've seen a lot of people and companies drift.

Some are comfortable.

Some are so uncomfortable they can't imagine how figuring out a money plan will help.

Yet that's the truth: having a revenue plan will help.

It tells you all sorts of things, if you do the work.

Your Money Plan tells you how much you want and need to earn.

It tells you what the minimum price is that you should go to work for.

From that, it tells you the minimum size of problem you should be looking to solve.

It tells you who you should be looking for as a target customer.

It tells you how fast you need to be working.

It gives you all sorts of incredibly valuable information about how your business needs to be set up and run...if you want it to be successful.

So why do so many business owners shrug this planning off?

Why do they believe it's "not for them"?

Two Reasons People Struggle With Their Money Plan

The truth is in two parts.

First, nobody has ever told them about the key factors I just listed for you. The business owners therefore believe this kind of planning is a boring accounting exercise: and who wants to do that besides the accountants?

Second, deep down, they don't believe they're really in control. They think, if they're winning, "I got lucky." That their customers are the result of chance. That it won't last.

And in a weird way, they're right about the second part.

If you don't continually create the outcome you desire, things will fall apart.

But you do have control.

You can control who you speak with...and who you don't.

You can control what size of problem you choose to work on solving.

You can control your activity level and involvement in phases like prospecting, selling and fulfilling orders.

You can control a lot.

Probably a whole lot more than you thought.

So if you're content to stick it out in the comfort zone, abdicate responsibility for the outcome and tell yourself the lie that, "It's all luck"... you're on your own.

But if you're excited about the idea of getting your Money Plan together—and perhaps changing your business much for the better—then we should speak.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a time with him to speak about your situation...and get some serious answers...by clicking here. <<

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Choosing Your Sponsor Wisely for Sales Success

Choosing your sponsor wisely is even more important than I thought.

After 20+ years in the field I didn't expect to be surprised by anything in sales and project management. Peter Taylor's The Lazy Project Manager (not an affiliate link) has changed that.

The opening chapters of Peter's book have impressed upon me the significance of choosing your sponsor with care.

The question is not: "Can I make the sale?" It's: "How can I rig the game for success once we've made the sale?"

If you're a Hit And Run-type salesperson, I've probably lost you. But you'll find out quickly enough... throwing the ball down the field to the implementation team, without having set up the conditions for success, is a game plan for failure. The project team in charge of installing the solution may well improvise their way to a win but you sure have made it hard for them.

For those who care that what you sold is what gets delivered... Peter Taylor has described this key strategic element of the sale and execution in a way I haven't seen done before.

choosing your sponsor sales project management design
(Image by rawpixel from Pixabay)

The Impact Of Choosing Your Sponsor With Care

Whether we're in an academic setting and finding the right sponsor for our smallsat development project...

...or seeking the "buyer behind the buyer" who is the real executive customer up the food chain...

...having the right sponsor in place means the difference between having the support we need to achieve change -- or the unpleasant discovery that the project is doomed to fail (check out those percentages) because it lacks both intent and resources.

I spent most of 2016 working with a change management expert who only dealt with tech firms of 1000+ staff.

I saw how important getting the right sponsor in place was then, but my eyes and brain were focused more on operational issues of managing change. Looking back, he did a good job of what Peter Taylor recommends... and the results of his projects testified to his deliberate efforts up front.

Go get Peter's book. It'll chance the way you view sales as well as project management, and your success rates will rise if you implement his recommendations.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a time to talk with Jason about your situation by clicking here. <<