Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the key aspects in business. Although, many organizations are leveraging such a tool, many are still striving to attain a dependable CRM system that truly provides an ROI. Meet Focus, an outsourced sales and CRM management provider whose unique offerings and ideologies have helped many businesses achieve their milestones and overcome the various obstacles that stand in their pathway when setting up a sales organization and/or a CRM. Specifically related to CRM, Focus concentrates on supporting and guiding companies to get the most value out of their investment.
Although Focus was established in 2003 with an original purpose to set up and run lead generation departments, the last five years have seen Focus transform its attention to disrupt the customary CRM implementation market. Steven Wright, joined the company in 2006 as a Business Development Manager, and over the years has grown through the organization playing various roles and responsibilities. Today he is the President and CEO of Focus.
“From implementing and managing lead generation resources and processes, we transformed to taking more ownership of the sales organization as a whole. In general, we became our client’s Outsourced Sales Manager. In that process, CRM is always a part of that discussion,” mentions Steven. Most companies need some level of a CRM to help centralize, manage and organize their sales efforts. The most basic reasons for having a CRM are usually for pipeline visibility, forecasting, tracking activities, and gaining a 360 degree view of their customer from lead to cash.
Today, many CRM providers rely on 3rd party implementation vendors to set up their CRM and what has been very troubling to Focus is how these vendors go upon their implementation. None focus on understanding the underlying processes a CRM will facilitate, especially how a lead is generated and how it will make its way to a sale. In addition, none provide the energy and resources to transform user behaviour and change habits through ongoing personal training. For now, the implementation vendor’s job is to simply digitize any uncovered processes into CRM without challenging its legitimacy and therefore, CRM is always being set up to fail. To respond to this, Focus’ business started to pay more attention on supporting and implementing Salesforce.com, the world’s largest CRM company, with a substantial effort put on customizing the tool based on properly defined sales structure, process and strategy and then deploying it through a heavy emphasis on user training to increase adoption.
Solutions to Rely On
With roots in sales optimization, Focus makes sure that people not only understand how to use their CRM tool, but more importantly, they ensure people understand the “why” they’re using it. Specifically, what value they are to generate through their usage for themselves, their colleagues and organization. Because this always requires a behavioural change at various levels of an organization, Focus leads a client through three core areas:
- Process Design
- Customization & Administration
- User Adoption
“Believe it or not, most organizations lack a defined process for how a lead is generated and it’s journey through the buying cycle to cash”, says Steven. As a result, Focus, with its two decades in Sales Process Design, works with its clients to properly determine sales structure, process and strategy before any CRM is turned on.
CRM Customization & Administration:
Once the underlying structure, processes and strategy have been defined, a roadmap of how the CRM should be customized is now clear. This includes determining what areas to activate, what fields to create, who should have access to what and what automations should be built. Ultimately, what is being built now has a clear connection to the value previously identified and agreed upon.
Launching CRM with one or two group sessions and expecting users to get it, is where most implementation companies fail. Although the defined processes and customizations have been made, there is always going to be tweaks to the CRM as real usage takes hold. Moreover, and “most importantly, usage is a behavioural challenge. If users are left to their own self-discipline, experience has shown that people will return to their old habits; get complacent and ultimately avoid using a CRM tool” understands Steven. As a result, “like a personal trainer at a gym, most humans need someone to support, motivate and guide then to build a lasting habit”.
Into the Shoes of Leaders
Steven graduated with a Bachelor in Administrative Studies, with Honours in Marketing and a burning desire to become a marketer. Like most entering the marketing realm however, he ended up in a business development role. Working in the promotional products industry, he was responsible for introducing new clients to a software designed and geared to simplify the imagination and ordering of customized products. Realizing his desire to support people, he decided to explore a sports marketing role within the memorabilia market. He was responsible for setting up, training and on-boarding, sales agents throughout the US and Canada.
While this provided him with some great exposure into the world of sports marketing and setting up an organizations sales resources, he knew he needed more. And so began his career with Focus. In his early days he would hire and onboard business development reps, set up Salesforce.com or other CRM’s and work with clients as their outsourced sales manager.
Glimpse of Focus’s Future
“If you usually think about software and technology, and how it is assessed and deployed, most believe you turn it on, you do a couple of customizations, and you just expect it to work,” claims Steven. Many organizations purchase CRM tools, locking themselves into a long-term investment only to realize that no one is using it. As a result, no data is managed correctly disallowing for effective analytics and information to be attained from the system. “Companies often share their conclusions of the EPIC failure that CRM Implementation has been for their business,” says Steven. “We are here to change that”, says the CEO.
Therefore, “the first and most important first step is to ensure that an organization views their technology purchase as an investment as if it was like an employee. This investments requires a proper ’job description’ and any tool selected must be onboarded, coached, supported and evaluated often”, believes Steven.
As Focus continues forward, it’s goal is to continue to position itself as a Sales expert who enables it’s clients to get the desired return from an investment in CRM. “In summary, people are spending money on CRM and most people are, unfortunately, a year, maybe two years following, are regretting that decision. And so we want to be a resource to these clients to help them avoid that,” says Steven.
If struggling to achieve the value from your CRM is a reality or wanting to ensure success from the beginning, Focus would love to chat. Send them questions to firstname.lastname@example.org