by James Townsend
- Define how leads are handled. What do you consider a lead? Is it a marketing list that is used for prospecting? Does someone become a lead by visiting your website, downloading a whitepaper, filling out the Contact Us form or through some other action?
- Define when an opportunity exists. What is the trigger for a lead turning into an opportunity? How do you determine what the prospect is seeking and qualify them before creating a lead.
- Assign tasks to people. Who handles leads? Does a different person or team focus on opportunities?
- Define sales territories. How are leads and opportunities assigned to sales people? Based on geographical location, the products or services sought or a combination of these factors? Do you assign prospects and customers to reps or could they have different reps for purchases of different items?
- Define the sales process. How many steps take place from the time a lead appears until the deal is closed as a win or a loss? What do you call these? For government sales, for instance, there may be many additional steps for formal solicitations, responses, and iterations of contracts which would not be needed for a sale to an individual consumer.
- Define the opportunity. Opportunities are the heart of a sales CRM. Do you need additional forms or fields to qualify opportunities and describe the scope of what is being sold? Do you use a catalog of line items which apply to an opportunity? Do you have multiple pricelists?
- Define access. How does your sales team access the CRM? Do they work from computers or mobile devices? Who should be able to access which information? Can sales executives see opportunities that belong to others, or only their own?
- Define reports. While standard reports such as the sales pipeline appeal to a wide variety of companies, reporting (and dashboards) are typically tailored uniquely for the measures that are valued by a company. Do you emphasize the number and quality of interactions with customers? Are proposals tracked in your CRM or do they exist outside the system?