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CRM factor for success #1: Harmony with the sales strategy

The digitalization of sales management is a central lever to increase corporate success. But even the best CRM is worthless if it is not embedded in the overall sales strategy. In that case, the time and money invested in implementing the new solution goes to waste. A gap begins to grow between operational (CRM) and strategic orientation, which, in the worst case, can paralyze the entire sales organization.

A Swiss SaaS market leader wanted to avoid this risk when he contacted Homburg & Partner. In addition to software, the company also offers consulting solutions on online offers, search engine optimization and related topics for small businesses. The broad service portfolio was associated with complex sales processes. To make them more effective and efficient, CRM was to be introduced. At the same time, it was important to our client to critically evaluate his sales model, and, if necessary, realign it so that it would optimally harmonize with CRM.

The most important results of the CRM sales strategy project described here

Central components of the sales strategy: Interactive map

Hover your mouse over the image elements to see further details.
Area model Portfolio Key Accounts Channel Mix Controlling Compensation Role profiles
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Dr. Michael Scholl, Managing Director & Partner:

“In order to leverage the enormous potential of digital sales management, it is crucial to optimize the sales process accordingly. By digitally mapping the market, sales can be steered toward the identified potentials in a targeted manner. As a result, the optimal mix of channels and a suitable sales funnel, including key figure tracking, is determined in order to finally define the right compensation model for sales.”

Laying the foundation for a new sales model

The first step of the project focused on the realignment of the regional model. Our client’s goal was to deepen existing customer relationships, reduce the churn rate and acquire new customers more effectively. In the new model, each sales employee was to have his or her own customer portfolio in an assigned territory. In order to optimally tailor the territories to the employees, geographical factors, sales potential and existing customer relationships were identified. These would serve as cornerstones for the new alignment.

Following that, discussions were held with the sales staff on which key figures could be used to describe and digitally map a successful processing of the newly acquired customer portfolio. Consequently, three categories emerged that are central to the client’s sales model: contract structures, customer structure and product sales.

Fine tuning for channels, incentives and roles

Next, we focused on how to separate the sales channels used in customer relationship management. To find an answer, workshops were held with various sales and service departments. The result was an identification of customer needs along the entire customer journey. Based on these, the key steps in the sales process were defined and differentiated sales tunnels for new and existing customers were designed.

The question regarding new sales incentives also had to be answered. In order to ensure an optimal incentive in the new territory model as well, key incentive elements such as fixed salary, bonus share, booster and competitors were determined in coordination with the sales management. These elements were subsequently assigned to the new role profiles and individual development paths.

At a glance: Example sales cockpit for portfolio management

Vertriebscockpit aus dem CRM Sales Strategy-Projekt

The most important results in detail

At the project start, our client divided up sales territories based on zip codes. However, this distribution made it almost impossible to allocate individually tailored territories and customer portfolios to individual sales employees for development and penetration. Hence a key opportunity for more effective sales work was missing. In the course of the project, we developed a territory model that is primarily geared to uniform key figures and customer potential. Sales employees now have a fixed customer portfolio. This way, they have a way to significantly improve the quality of their customer relationships and subsequently improve the overall sales success.

Since our client’s sales employees did not have their own customer portfolios, there were no comparable criteria for successful customer management. In the course of the project we identified suitable KPIs and defined the corresponding cultivation approach. As a result, sales now have a clear catalogue of criteria for success for good customer relationship management. This not only makes the sales team’s work easier, but also makes sales performance more comparable.

Prior to the project, our client was already using different sales channels, but did not clearly differentiate between them. Hence it was difficult to clearly assess the effort and value added by the single channels. For the introduction of CRM, it was therefore essential to revise the logic of the sales channels and align them with the new sales approach. This was based on criteria such as customer channel preferences, the need for explanation of products and the complexity of the sales process per channel. The result was a channel separation between field, tele- and online sales along customers and product groups. The new logic ensures that the sales effort of a channels corresponds to the expected added value.

Our client’s previous key figures system did not provide a way to sufficiently steer the success of the new sales approach. In order to enable controlling that is optimally coordinated with the CRM solution introduced, we developed a new key figures system. Through a mapping in user-friendly dashboards, the client now has a simple and centralized overview of important sales key figures.

At the project’s start, our client had a compensation system for sales that primarily rewarded short-term success. There were no incentives to promote long-term customer relationships. To incentivize the objectives of the joint project, we set up a compensation model with elements that are aligned with the new sales strategy. This way, long-term success is ensured, for our client’s strategic sales orientation and his customer relationships.

CRM Sales Strategy: find out more? Nothing could be easier!

If you would like to find out more about our services in the areas of sales strategy and CRM implementation or discuss similar approaches for your company, please use the contact form to leave an inquiry. Our managing director Dr. Michael Scholl will then contact you personally. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us by emailing or calling us!

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    Porträtbild von Michael Scholl
    Managing Director & Partner

    Dr. Michael Scholl
    Tel.: +49 621 1582-0