Don’t let the sales force hog all the benefits

So, you’ve invested in CRM software and your sales team are loving it.

Don’t let the sales force hog all the benefits

They’ve got the information they need and the power to increase their sales, communicate quickly and build stronger relationships with their customers and their fellow account managers. Are we a tiny bit jealous? Don’t we deserve a better way of working as well?

If we stop thinking of customers as being something external to our organisation, we start to unlock the potential of CRM systems. Anywhere there is an exchange of information, there is a supplier and a receiver. There is, if you want, a customer for information and a vendor of it. In a business context, the customer may be the finance director and the vendor the payroll clerk. The customer may be the wider public, the vendor the marketing department of the organisation. In an education setting, the customer may be a student and the vendor a tutor. CRM systems can manage the communication of information between all of these groups and do so incredibly effectively.

Many organisations get hung up on that word ‘customer’ at the start of the CRM acronym and fail to realise what an incredibly powerful tool CRM software is. It can transform any business process or any organisation. Team management functions can be used to manage any team: HR, finance, marketing, production or distribution. And sales, of course, let’s not forget them!

Imagine knowing that everyone in your organisation was connected and up-to-date wherever they were, whatever device they were working on. Imagine the benefits of synced information and online collaboration across multiple sites. Imagine the possibilities for effective training, communication, celebrations of success and the achievement of corporate goals. If these benefits exist for the sales force, they should be available to the whole organisation. That way you don’t just grow your sales figures – you grow strength across the board, and you build a community.

We’re all customers. We’re all vendors. We can all benefit.

Mark Barlow is CEO at AppLearn