A Sales CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system can tell you how much work you can expect to have come in the next week, the next month, the next quarter. It gives you the ability to define your sales process and measure the stage of each potential contract. Sales CRM programs also give you reliable reporting to make the right decisions and predict the future. Wouldn’t you rather “know” than “guess”?

Making sales predictable so that you have enough work for your crews to do is important, but if you don’t have a Sales CRM in place you are also leaving a lot of potential money on the table. Leads are slipping through the cracks due to mismanagement. Did you know that the first company to contact a lead has a 238% higher conversation rate than the second to contact? Companies on average take 19 hours to respond via email and 61 hours to respond by phone. Do you know that following up is important? What are you doing about it? Do you know that if you take managing leads seriously that you’ll smoke your competition?

The problem is, sales people and estimators are telling you one thing, but the reality is they’re doing another thing. This means that you aren’t in control and you need to keep a closer eye on things. Without a good Sales CRM, you will also find that you’re unable to see trends at a glance and see who and what is really performing well. How can your sales manager manage his team objectively without knowing what your closing ratio is? How do you know where to spend your marketing dollars, or is it just a guessing game? What are you able to expect in future sales without understanding your pipeline? Are you thinking that you can buy that next big piece of equipment, building or 2 more service trucks based on hope? It’s better to really know.

Think of it this way, would you “hand weld” an entire TPO roof, just because you happen to already own a Leister heat gun, or would you rather do the field laps with a robot? A Sales CRM is like the robot. A Leister hand gun is like most database software.
In a Sales CRM, must be able to insert and measure your identifiable KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), or in layman’s terms, each step of the sales steps. Sales Managers also need to be paying attention to reports like sales pipeline, closing ratios, selling cycle, achievement against goal for sales and bid volume, lead source tracking on a per sales person, per division basis. If you’re not keeping track then how can you hold your team accountable to performing the right activities to close more deals? It’s better to “know” than to “guess”.

So, is a CRM all about the Sales Manager after all? No, CRM’s can be user-friendly even for roofers and can actually help sales people sell. Sales reports are a huge pain in the neck for sales people because they get paid to produce revenue. But if the system can actually help them sell more and keep them focused on the right priorities, everyone wins.

So, if you knew your competition was following up with every lead and tracked every step of the sales process, would you want to compete against that guy?