The CRM Maturity Model is a high-level blueprint for defining which level you are at in the customer relationship management lifecycle and what tools and strategies you need to get to the next level. From an organizational standpoint, stepping up a level in the CRM Maturity Model is a big deal. With each level comes a more detailed set of processes, a defined sales pipeline with centralized data and tools that allow different departments to synchronize and create a 360 degree view of the customer lifecycle. In essence, each level will likely create more leads, deepen relationships and increase the likelihood of future business, all the while consuming less of your time.
Level 1: Ad Hoc
At Level 1, sales professionals typically use offline tools to manage their accounts, leads, opportunities and sales tasks. Many times these “tools” are a large yellow notepad. The sales professional manages their contacts in Outlook which syncs up with their smartphone. At this level, each sales professional has their own sales process that loosely follows an organization’s process.
No CRM System
There is no true Customer Relation Management (CRM) system involved in Level 1. This means sales management has no visibility on what’s occurring on a daily/weekly basis without having meetings or calling sales professionals. These multi-person meetings are time consuming. The lack of visibility limits the extent to which the sales manager can help the sales professional deal with roadblocks, which is particularly troublesome if that person is new to the organization. The sales manager typically only finds out about a deal when the ink is dry on the contract. The rest of the organization has a limited ability to forecast the demand that comes from closed deals. In a services company, recruiting can fall behind. In a products company, the supply chain and assembly line falls behind.
Level 2: Captured
Organizations at Level 2 maturity have a CRM system where sales professionals are uploading their leads, opportunities and activities. Basic sales stages are being identified and team-based selling is starting to coalesce around the system. Data is now centralized; it’s not walking out the door when there is turnover. Sales managers can see a sales pipeline, trends and begin to help sales professionals with leads.
Value to Sales Professional – Familiar Tools Become More Powerful
With Level 2 maturity, there is Outlook and CRM integration. Sales professionals create opportunities or contacts in Outlook and link it to their CRM with one click—there is no need to go into a web browser. Using their phone or tablet client, the sales professional can use voice-to-text to quickly add opportunities and notes that will be created in CRM.
Level 3: Managed
Organizations typically at Level 3 maturity are using CRM’s workflow and rules-based engine to drive the sales process. The organization’s sales process typically has stages. Each stage has a set number of rules and data points that are required before moving to the next stage. One stage may require an NDA to be signed, for example. The qualifying stage may require the sales professional to confirm the budget or purchasing timeline.
Value to Sales Professional – Guided Process Reduces Sales Cycle
Every organization has processes, but when these processes are vaguely defined and loosely enforced, they can be the root of frustration and inefficiencies. Without these processes, for example, a sales professional may be told to go back and ask the potential customer for something they missed. Having the process clearly defined creates efficiency and transparency; the sales professional knows exactly what to do because they are guided through it all. This level of maturity leads to a decrease in the sales cycle.
Level 4: Optimize
When an organization has reached Level 4 maturity, they typically have implemented one or more of the following:
1. Marketing and Sales Alignment
Marketing and sales alignment occurs when you can make a connection from a marketing activity (e.g. email campaign), to a lead, to a qualified opportunity and finally to a closed deal. By implementing this alignment, the organization can quantify the value of its marketing investments and sales can be directly tied back to marketing activity.
Value to Sales Professional – Alignment Visibility
Now the sales professional can see how much marketing activity contributed to their sales. For example, CRM would show that a certain sales professional had 10 leads generated from a marketing campaign. The professional qualified the 10 leads to four opportunities. Two of those opportunities lead to a proposal of which the professional was able to win one deal. Those are tangible results that leads the sales professional to supporting future marketing efforts.
2. ERP Integration
An organization at Level 4 typically integrates CRM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to pull pricing data into CRM. This reduces the risk of incorrect pricing and lost revenue. CRM pushes orders into the ERP which initiates production or allocation of resources. In this situation, sales is helping the organization forecast demand. Forecasting demand is a powerful organizational tool that is a constant challenge. Being able to forecast demand has an impact on the recruiting process (services company) and production (product company) in a manufacturing plant. The increase in efficiency leads to a stronger bottom line for the organization.
Value to Sales Professional – Faster Sales Cycle
Organizations often lose business because they can’t move fast enough to answer customers. When a sales professional has always up-to-date pricing and doesn’t need to wait on other departments for information, the sales cycle decreases. Level 4 maturity leads to less stress on the sales professional as they have more time to work the sales cycle.
3. Customer Service Integration
In most organizations, there is some synergy between the marketing and sales departments. However, there can be little communication between the sales and customer service departments. That all changes with Level 4 maturity. Many CRM systems including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM have customer service capabilities. Imagine a world where marketing, sales and customer service work in tangent to manage the entire customer lifecycle. Marketing starts by nurturing the potential customer. Then, sales qualifies, understands the problem and proposes a solution. Lastly, customer service ensures the customer is happy and getting answers to their questions. This is true organizational alignment.
Value to Professional – 360 Degree View
In many organizations, the sales professional looks to the future because they don’t have visibility into how their accounts are being serviced.
With Level 4 maturity, the sales professional gets to look at one pane of glass (their CRM website) for a particular customer that shows opportunities, recent activities, past marketing campaigns (nurture),and service tickets (current requests and issues). A 360 degree view allows the sales professional to deepen relationships, proactively address issues, and ultimately increase the likelihood of future business. What more could a sales professional ask for?
The CRM Maturity Model is essential for assessing and optimizing your sales processes, but to go from one level to the next requires the right software, tools and experience. BDO Digital has over 35 years of experience of delivering the right technology solutions to match the needs of midmarket organizations.
We’re practical—we know that very few organizations need all the CRM bells and whistles. Contact BDO Digital and we’ll assess your current strategy, processes and technology needs in order to carefully take you to the next level with the technology solutions you need.