The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

 

 

How can a CRM system beneficial to produce performance changes in your sales process without the accounting history of your accounts and contacts?  I strongly believe that it is not possible.  As Salesforce has evolved from a CRM platform to a platform to integrate all systems to your customers and prospective customers, the transformation of a common, simple view of all data in one place has never been more important.  Integrating accounting transaction history, credit limits, and other key data in the accounting system to the CRM account/contact view in Salesforce or any CRM drives a faster pace for decision making and simplicity.   On this topic, I want to share four examples of the value of integrating your CRM and accounting systems and then conclude with a suggestion for you to consider for your organization.

Example 1 – Knowing the “flight path” of your buyer’s journey to a sale promotes a healthy forecast for your whole organization

The days of flying by the seat of your pants in sales are ending has evolved into a sales process that can be executed consistently by all sales team members.  The result is relevant sales activity is captured quickly, easily, and affordably by sales deal stages in a CRM system.  Over the last several years and peaking in 2020, the sales efforts must be quantified and organized for understanding and forecasting the predicted sales timing and dollar amount.  When this flow of work is consistently input by all sales team members, then revenue and cash flow will be known and can build a revenue forecast that can be relied upon.   When the sales team has this insight along with current customer sales history, credit limits, terms, and product/service lines used, the sales team will have all the valuable data needed to support their newest sales and find common characteristics to continue to guide their success.

Example 2 – Accrual vs Cash basis of sales opportunities

I mentioned in Example 1 how the days of flying by the seat of your pants in sales are obsolete.  What this means is working on your sales deals and not tracking the progress of that deal.  When this happens, a sale technically is only known when the deal closes.  From an accounting perspective, if you do not accrue expenses and only book when the expense is paid, this is the cash basis method.  Therefore, the same holds true in tracking deals in the CRM system.  If you are not tracking sales progress in the sales process, this is equal to a cash basis sales approach.  We do not have forecast or prediction capabilities until the sale is closed.  Organizations need to “accrue” their sales process just as the accounting system accrues expenses and other events that are recognized but paid or closed yet.

Example 3 – Valuing the importance of information in the CRM and accounting systems equally

One thing is for sure:  you cannot prepare a correct tax return for the organization without an exact and organized accounting system.  The same is true about the sales process:  if the sales activity is not organized by sales stage from learning about the prospect’s interest to the sale close, then there is not a reliable forecast of revenue and cash flow that can be used to capture the whole picture accurately of the business performance.

Example 4 – How and what to integrate between CRM and Accounting

If I have convinced you of the importance of integration, then the next step is how to integrate and what to integrate between your CRM and accounting systems.  First, how?  Depending on what CRM and accounting system is in place, there are dozens of solutions usually.  If your team does not have the experience and skillset for this, then there are many innovation and technology companies that can help.  Certainly, our firm can help.  Second, what?  This depends; but for sure at a minimum, you need insight into sales history, quotes, and other specific information like past due status, credit terms and credit limits are important.  All these components from accounting need to be displayed on the account view.

I will finish with this:  if you believe that integrating your CRM and accounting systems is valuable but you cannot achieve this without help, then call me.  And, if you do not believe this and don’t care to achieve this then I want to know why, so call me.  Having a solid integration between these two so systems will unify your information systems, enable faster decision making, and better experiences for all of your folks and your customers and future customers.

 

 

 

 

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

Proper metrics drive great decisions

 

 

 

How do you know if your CRM system is REALLY working?

Sales metrics: How well are you closing valuable deals?

What does sales success look like for your business? Here are 5 metrics to measure sales team performance and CRM success.

Close rate

Your close rate is the number of deals closed compared to the number of leads in the pipeline. If you have 100 leads in your pipeline and only 10 close, your close rate is 10%.  It’s the holy grail of sales metrics.  Pretty much every sales team under the sun uses close rate as a measure of success — but close rate alone doesn’t always tell the whole story.

What’s the missing information?

  • Business 1 closes 75% of their deals.
  • Business 2 only closes 5% of their deals… but makes more money. How?!

Higher average deal size. Make sure to look at average deal size alongside close rate. How much are your closed deals actually worth? Compare your close rate for the six months leading up to the implementation of a new CRM system with the six months after. If your CRM’s doing its job, your close rate should increase.  If it decreases, it’s time to take a close look at your sales team productivity and the quality of your leads.

Upsell rate

Upselling: Convincing the customer to spend more than they originally planned. Your upsell rate is how many customers buy things that they weren’t originally planning to buy.  Let’s say you run sales for a home cleaning company. Upselling might involve selling customers:

  • A year’s worth of monthly cleaning, instead of purchasing month-by-month
  • Deep cleaning services instead of the basic option

If you convince 1 out of every 5 customers to upgrade their purchase, your upsell rate is 20%.  A CRM can help increase your upsell rate by helping you predict which leads are most likely to upgrade or buy other products. If finding predictors increases your upsell rate, congratulations — your CRM works.

Net-new revenue

New revenue means spend from new customers.  How long a customer stays “new” depends on your business model.

  • If you sell yearly subscriptions, new revenue is the revenue generated by customers within their first year.
  • If you sell one-time products, new revenue is the revenue generated by customers’ first purchases.

Why measure net-new revenue? It tells you how much money your sales team is making. Tracking new revenue and close rate tells you how valuable your newest batch of customers is.

What can you do with the right CRM in place?

  • You should be able to identify more high-value deals
  • You should be able to close more high-value deals
  • Your net-new revenue should steadily increase

Length of each pipeline stage

How long does the average lead stay in each stage of your pipeline?  Stages are the steps of your pipeline (or sales process). Tracking stages helps you find bottlenecks in your sales process (like if deals tend to get stuck in a certain pipeline stage).

Let’s say leads stay in the proposal creation step 10x longer than any other step. Sure, creating proposals takes time, but how can you help your sales team move these leads to the next step more quickly?

  • Is there a way to automate some of the proposal creation process?
  • Do you have proposal templates?
  • If so, are they easy to use (and is your team using them)?

The more effective your CRM system, the faster deals move through each stage of your pipeline. Which brings us to… 

Length of sales cycle

Also called lead velocity, which sounds more fun (and science-y). Lead velocity measures how long the average deal takes to close.  If a lead’s first conversation with your sales team is in early January, and they make a purchase or sign a contract in early July, your sales cycle is about six months long.

These two factors play a big role in length of sales cycle:

  • Number of decision makers involved
  • Cost of product or service

The more people involved in the decision to purchase, the longer it will take to close. Same goes for price: the more expensive the product or service, the longer the sales cycle.  Those factors are out of your sales team’s control. But you want to speed up the sales process and close deals more quickly.  Which is exactly what CRM software was made for.  CRM makes your sales process more efficient, meaning you can sell more in less time. A match made in heaven!

Keep an eye on this metric over time as a way to measure CRM success.

Marketing metrics: Are you marketing the right message to the right people?

Is your marketing team making the most of CRM? Here are 5 metrics you can use to measure marketing success.

Customer lifetime value (CLTV)

This metric predicts how much revenue you can expect from a single customer account.

To calculate CLTV, you need 4 pieces of information:

  • Average purchase value: Your company’s total revenue over the course of a year divided by the number of purchases that year.
  • Average purchase frequency rate: The number of purchases over the course of a year divided by the number of unique customers who made purchases that year. This tells you how many times per year the average customer buys from you.
  • Average customer value: The average purchase value multiplied by the average purchase frequency rate. This estimates how much money the average customer spends with you per year.
  • Average customer lifespan: How long the average customer continues to purchase from your business.

Once you have all the above info handy, multiply average customer value by the average customer lifespan. Voila: your company’s average CLTV.

The right CRM helps you:

  • Increase the average customer lifespan by improving retention and satisfaction
  • Target more high-value leads through your marketing

When your customers spend more and stay longer, your CLTV goes up.

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Your CAC is the total sales and marketing spend required to close a customer:

Effective CRM helps you lower your CAC by:

  • Targeting more qualified leads
  • Automating sales and marketing tasks

When you target more qualified leads, you close more deals. Automation makes your marketing team more efficient, which saves you time and money. Combine the two? Your CAC will drop.

Revenue generated by campaign

How do you know that your email marketing campaigns work? Sure, you’re getting clicks and your unsubscribe rate is low, but how does a series of emails contribute to your company’s bottom line?  This metric answers just that. If you run an ecommerce business, this metric is especially important. The goal for (almost) all email campaigns: to convince people to buy from you.

Breaking down how much you make from each campaign can help you identify what resonates with your customers. This lets you test and improve:

  • Email length
  • Calls to action
  • Subject lines
  • Images
  • “From” field
  • Number of emails in the campaign
  • Much more!

CRM gives you insight into customer behavior and preferences. Knowing what your customers want helps you send the right messages to the right people.

Email list growth rate 

This metric measures how much your email list grows over a certain time period.

To calculate email growth rate:

  • Subtract the number of unsubscribes from the number of new subscribers
  • Divide by the total number of contacts on your list
  • Multiply by 100

Say you have 500 new subscribers and 50 unsubscribes. Your list has 5,000 contacts total. Here’s the math:

  • 500 new subscribers – 50 unsubscribes = 450
  • 450 / 5,000 = 0.09
  • 0.09 x 100 = 9% email list growth rate

 

Your CRM helps your marketing team increase this metric with:

  • More opportunities for opt-in forms (pop-ups, gated content, etc.)
  • More targeted emails → fewer unsubscribes

Customer service metrics: How well are you meeting your customers’ needs?

You might think of CRM as a way for sales and marketing to gain new customers — but it can also work wonders for keeping your existing customers happy. Here are 4 customer service metrics to measure.

Net promoter score (NPS) 

How likely are your customers to recommend your business to someone else? NPS answers that question on a scale from 1 to 10.

To measure NPS, you need to send customers a survey with some variation of these questions:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
  • What made you choose that score?

Respondents are broken into three categories:

  • Promoters (9-10): People who are really pumped about what your business has done for them (and want to shout it from the rooftops!)
  • Passives (7-8): People who get what they want from your business, but aren’t particularly excited about it
  • Detractors (0-6): People who had a less-than-great experience and are likely to switch to a competitor

What does NPS have to do with CRM? (Besides fun acronyms?)

  • CRM helps personalize the customer experience, which makes people happier (and more likely to give you a higher score!)
  • CRM keeps all customer info in one place, letting you see a customer’s NPS and how it changes over time at a glance
  • CRM lets you automate sending out NPS surveys and reporting on the findings.

You can automate sending out NPS surveys through ActiveCampaign. In this automation, NPS surveys are sent only to customers who have been active for longer than six months.

One caveat of NPS…

Before you get too excited about measuring NPS, you should know that this metric has its fair share of data-backed criticisms.

  • NPS is not a strong indicator of retention
  • NPS rarely correlates with churn

If you’re looking for a metric to predict churn and revenue, look elsewhere — like to your financial and retention metrics.  As Patrick Campbell of ProfitWell says, “NPS is still useful, but likely only as a framework for identifying those customers on an individual basis who are raising their hands in frustration.”  Where NPS really shines is as a pulse check at the account level. Regularly collecting customer feedback helps you address customer frustrations and stop would-be bad reviewers in their tracks.  You can also use NPS to find your biggest potential brand advocates. Right after a customer gives you a high NPS is a great time to automatically follow up and ask them to review you (or ask for a customer story).

Churn rate 

The dreaded churn.  This metric tells you how frequently customers leave. It’s the opposite of your retention rate. To calculate churn rate, divide the number of churned customers by your total number of customers.  68% of customers who churn do so because they believe you don’t care about them. CRM makes it easier to prove that you do. Track customer interests, activity, and interactions, then use that information to:

  • Send personalized emails based on previous purchases
  • Ask for customer feedback
  • Reward customers for hitting certain milestones

The more appreciated and listened to your customers feel, the more likely they are to stick around.  Another way to lower churn with your CRM: look at accounts who have churned in the past. What do they all have in common? Keep an eye on indicators that a customer might churn, then work with at-risk accounts before it’s too late.

Average time to resolution 

The right CRM system should lighten the team’s workload and help them serve customers more efficiently.

Average time to resolution: How long does it take your customer service team to resolve the average support ticket after it’s been opened?(Pro-tip: Measure this metric in business days or hours so that it doesn’t factor in off-hours.)

Look at your overall average time to resolution, then drill down to a rep-by-rep level. If certain reps take way longer than others to resolve tickets, make sure they have the right tools and training they need. Analyzing this metric can help you figure out where certain reps might be struggling.  If your CRM works (and your team knows how to use it), the average time to resolution should decrease. We’ll get into the “why” in just a minute, but first…

Average number of follow-ups per ticket

Lucky number 13. How many callbacks or emails does it take for the average issue to be resolved?  This dives a little deeper than the average time to resolution. It doesn’t take into account how quickly the rep or customer replies. Instead, it measures how effective the responses are.  How can CRM help you lower these two metrics?  Make sure your support team gives customers the most relevant and tailored info the first time around.  CRM software makes it easy to see everything about your customer — behavior, preferences, activity, previous support tickets — in one place. Use it! Incorporate this information into the solutions you offer customers. The more background your customer service team has, the better (and faster) they can help your customers solve their issues.

Run the right CRM reports to measure success

Use these CRM metrics as a starting point — but don’t feel pressured to use all of them. Choose the KPIs that measure the things you want to improve.  Your KPIs should tie closely to the goals you set as part of your CRM strategy — why did you put this new CRM system in place originally? Make sure you’re measuring how well you’re meeting those original needs. (If you set SMART goals, you’re already halfway there.)

Once you know what you want to measure, you need to figure out how to measure it. Many CRMs offer built-in reporting that lets you track the same sales, marketing, and customer service metrics we just ran through.

Here are 4 popular CRM reports you can run to measure some of your chosen metrics:

Sales forecast report 

A sales forecast report uses your lead data and sales trends to predict future revenue.

With ActiveCampaign, you can use win probability to take revenue prediction one step further. Win probability uses machine learning to analyze hundreds of factors, then predicts how likely you are to close a certain deal.

Win probability helps you figure out which actions lead to closed deals and which are unimportant.

Sales conversion report 

This report tells you what percentage of leads convert within a certain date range — aka your close rate.

You can break this report down by lead source to see where these leads came from. Do more inbound leads close vs. outbound leads? What about leads from social media vs. organic search?

This report has the answers.

Sales performance report 

sales performance report gives you a leaderboard view of your sales team’s current and historical performance. These are the KPIs for this dashboard:

  • Sales performance metrics, including total deal value, total number of deals, and average deal value
  • Bar graphs depicting the deal value by stage and number of deals for each sales representative on your team
  • A table of each deal in a pipeline with deal owner and deal value
    Deals sorted by Deal Status (Open, Won, or Lost), Currency, or Pipeline

In ActiveCampaign’s CRM, this graph breaks down the total deal value and total number of deals by stage. This can help you ID bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your sales process.

Lost deals report 

Analyzing your wins feels great, but don’t forget to learn from your losses, too. Finding out why someone said ‘no’ to your business can be even more important than knowing why someone else said ‘yes.’

A lost deals report shows you which deals your team didn’t close — and why. Use this report to:

  • Find common reasons that leads fail to close
  • Figure out how to handle those objections from other leads as they come down the pipeline

The (success) story is in the data

“Data, I think, is one of the most powerful mechanisms for telling stories. I take a huge pile of data and I try to get it to tell stories.” – Steven Levitt, Co-author of Freakonomics

Measuring the right metrics can be the difference between a success story and a cautionary tale. If you know how to measure your CRM success, you can keep track of how close you are to reaching your goals.

If you find yourself off-track, be willing to test different ways of using CRM to meet your business goals. Try something new, measure the results, rinse, and repeat. You got this!

 

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

Accountability is gosh darn valuable

 

 

 

 

How Can You Ensure Accountability Within Your Sales Team – CRM is the Key

 

Have you experienced an environment in your career where the sales manager will ask you to make the required daily follow-up calls then some salespeople would say they completed their calls, even when they hadn’t?

For these organizations, it is a constant battle. Apart from not making the calls, these salespeople were notorious at finding ways to cut corners and cheat the system.

I know this is not the norm but it begs the question, how do we hold our salespeople accountable for their daily, weekly and monthly activities?

CRM Ensures Accountability

In today’s organization, most of the leads received come from the phone and/or Internet. That means that  most of the business is dependent on the salesperson’s ability to schedule appointments to qualify their lead.  CRM utilization becomes critical when managing these processes. CRM allows salespeople to achieve new levels of production with unsold and expanded revenue from current customers. CRM enables salespeople to work more efficiently, be better organized, and better manage time and relationships. Managers now have access to reports that enable them to coach and motivate each salesperson.

If the sales manager is not monitoring the daily actions of the salespeople at the organization then inevitably the sales team will find a way to cut corners. What they thought was being done in the organization, often wasn’t. They had no concrete way to show that it was or was not happening.

Tracking Opportunities

To improve accountability, utilize reports to track the number of new opportunities that your salespeople are entering into the CRM. Nothing is worse than seeing someone take multiple customers without entering those customers into the CRM. One common rule from organizations should be: “If it isn’t in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” If data is not entered into your CRM, it throws off your marketing and ROI reports.

Tracking Phone Calls

The second key metric is phone calls. It is important that your CRM is integrated with your phone system in order to track outbound phone calls. Having salespeople mark all of their calls completed is one thing, but it’s even better to have proof that the call was made, and how long they were on the call. The top salespeople are constantly those who take the time to make the most calls. If your state allows it, record your calls. This is great for managing quality and training.

Make sure to monitor inbound calls as well. Most customers are calling multiple companies, and this is often the first contact the customer has with your business. If your salespeople don’t handle inbound and outbound calls correctly, it will ultimately affect your conversion rate.

Email and web lead tracking is also important. You need to know how many emails the salespeople are receiving and sending out, as well as how long it is taking them to respond to their web leads. Salespeople love people that come in and buy, but what about those that don’t buy, or those who are hard to get in touch with afterward? Make sure you are looking at reports that reflect this data.

Pipeline Management

Pipeline management is key for success. When salespeople get busy, the first item taken off their plate is prospecting. When salespeople stop prospecting, the pipeline eventually runs dry. Make sure that as part of tracking calls, you know the type of calls the salespeople are making. Ensure there is always a focus on prospecting. Salespeople also have a tendency to move people to “lost”. This is a way to get the CRM follow-up to stop or to hide those customers that didn’t work out. Do you have a review process in place for a manager to look at each “lost deal” and try to “save a deal”?

Activity Reports

Some CRM tools have a daily activity report or check out report that shows everything the salesperson has done for the day (opportunities, appointments, calls, talk time, emails, etc.). When I worked at one organization, I noticed they had a problem with accountability, so they instituted a new process. Before a salesperson left for the day, they would print out a report and give it to their manager to check out. The report told the manager everything they had done as well as all the calls they didn’t complete. Quickly, managers were able to see what had been done and what had not been done. Often, the manager would send the salesperson back to make more calls before they left. Salespeople began to feel ashamed when they handed in their sheet that showed low call volume. It motivated them to make more calls. The organization drastically improved their follow up process and began to see an immediate increase in their sales.

Have a Plan and Set Goals

Having a plan and setting goals are essential parts of improving accountability. It is crucial for salespeople to establish a set of daily, weekly and monthly benchmarks that help them measure and manage their ultimate goal. If the goal of each salesperson is to sell “X”, don’t focus on the end goal. Monitor the activities that will help them reach that goal. It also helps if the salespeople are included in setting the goals. If you do this, they should have a personal stake in the outcome. Without inclusion, salespeople will figure out the best excuses in the world about why they can’t meet their goals.

If you have a salesperson who isn’t taking responsibility, then you may need to mentor them individually. Focus on their behavior and the issues at hand. They need to be held accountable for their actions, which can include low prospecting activity, not meeting sales targets, or low margin sales. As accountability grows, your salespeople will form a good habit of doing the things they must do on a regular basis. With a few changes, you’ll help them get on their way to becoming a top producing salesperson.

 

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

CRM coordinates the efforts for the customer

 

 

 

 How Do You Know If Your CRM Is Adding Coordination Value?

 

Have you ever thought about the value that a coordinated business flow has to your team and your customers?  In my mind, this is such a big deal.  Why is this a big deal?  Here are some of my thoughts related to a coordinated business flow for your team and your customers.

  1. Like a perfectly executed double-play in baseball, it begins by knowing what to do before the play occurs. In business, that translates into what to do for a new-found buyer of your products and/or services.  It stands to reason that if your buyers all have similar characteristics and needs then your process for converting the prospect into a buyer should be the same.  Like turning a double-play with two outs and a man on 3rd with a left-handed batter.  Thus, a coordinated business flow begins with consistently handling the steps from prospect to customer by your team by role.
  2. The business flow is as good as your data inputs related to the people in and around your business. I can’t tell you how many instances where we have been asked to come help an organization with their CRM that is full of empty fields, irrelevant information, and poor quality data in the contact records.  I’ll ask why they have all of those empty fields and the response is usually something like “our IT guy said these are good fields to have”.  I’ve been in technology and innovation for over 30 years and I promise you that is not the person to be laying out what your operations, sales, and marketing people need to see as they do their jobs.  We work tirelessly for our customers to focus on easy to input, highly valuable, less is more type data for all records.  We focus on not just this but how can we protect that field from input errors as well as how can we populate a field automatically based on the input of another field.  This drives consistency and a coordinated value for our customers.
  3. The outcome of items 1 and 2 are that the reporting and forecasting results are accurate and reliable for decision making. How many times have you experienced a revenue forecast change at the last minute before a board meeting?  Tough to explain a material change to the board when prior forecasts were different.  Even worse, the cash projections that follow the revenue forecast are off so now the bank and/or CFO are up in arms.

CRM is so valuable to an organization when executed properly.  I’ve seen enough instances where the execution as been poor and not only is there no value from a coordinated team but there are so many other problems that get created that really adversely position an organization. 

Are you finding that this is happening with your team?  Call me.  We can solve this for you and it won’t break the bank.

 

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

CRM Helps Leaders Get Buy In

 

 

CRM And Teamwork – How Teams Buy-In to Your Business Model?

 

I believe when the members or an organization have completely bought in to the vision and mission for the organization.  That means that employees, customers, prospective new customers, board members, vendors, and all the families related to these key roles of any organization have a stake and claim to delivering the vision and mission.  Thus, even small companies can unify around quite a few people to succeed.

Let me share my three critical ingredients to achieving buy-in from everybody involved.

  1. Alignment – to me, this means moving the conversations with your team from what they are doing and how they will do it to why they are doing what they do. What’s the difference maker here?

For me, it begins the journey of thinking about the vision and mission from other viewpoints.  Thinking about the White Rock mission not just from my view, the leader, but from those on our team, their families, our vendor support, our customers, and more.  When we start looking at why we do what we do from the eyes of others, we are better at the doing because we deliver empathetically.  This drives authentic behaviors that drive great feelings from within.  Thus, enthusiasm grows from within all and is shared.

  1. Clarity – this is the hard part too. For your mission and vision to be clear it needs to have these qualities in the DNA:
    • It must be believable – everyone must see this as possible
    • It must be fully inclusive – everyone must see how vital they are
    • It must be reinforced – everyone must know where to go to see the vision and mission actions
    • It must be transparent – everyone must have access to where the vision and mission are taking place
    • It must be practical – everyone must see the vision and mission as healthy to all involved
    • It must be people-centric – everyone must know that the vision and mission is larger than anyone person but smaller than the team – give them confidence to achieve
    • It must have purpose – if I don’t live it why would I expect those on my team to live it; be exemplary
    • It must be visible – I’ll end this article on how to do this – keep on reading
  2. Challenge – challenge yourself as the leader and let your team challenge you too. Challenge them in the same healthy manner.

So, back to 2.  There is no better system where the vision and mission should live than your CRM system.  This is where your stakeholders are anyway.  So, make your CRM demonstrate the vision and mission.  If you follow the principles that I have developed over the last 15 years around what constitutes a great CRM system, strategy, and policy, then having a place like your CRM for your team to witness the accomplishments of the organization’s vision and mission will provide the transparency and authentic culture growth you desire.

 

 

The Relationship Between CRM and Accounting Systems

Culture Grower

 

 

Your CRM Is A Great Driver for Your People-Centric Culture

 

I hear this all the time, we have a great culture at our company or (fill in this blank) has been the catalyst to the culture in our organization. 

When I hear this, I like to ask, how did your culture become so great and/or why (fill in the blank again with what you used above) did you start this and who started it, you or those within your company?  I ask this because this is an indicator of the authentic value.  It also gives me insight of where the motivation for the culture came from – was it leadership driven, employee driven, a mix, or something else?  For something like culture to be engrained into people on a team serving others, there has to be a secret sauce.  Something that doesn’t go away if the people change, leaders change, customers change. 

To be a people-centric organization, there needs to be something sticky.  I use people-centric because every person related to the organization plays a role – employees, customers, prospects, vendors, board members, and family members to these people.  Frankly, I think the secret sauce, like most secret sauces, should be and can be something simple.  In our organization, we rely heavily on our CRM systems and the integrations so that we know everything about everybody all of the time.  Our business is people.  Our secret sauce is the data-driven environment manifested in our CRM system, strategy, and policies.

Why is this our secret sauce and is that weird?  Let me share three important elements related to our CRM practice, our people, and our culture.

  1. We don’t not share information within our company. Our whole team has insight to everything.  This includes EVERYTHING.  It was great one day when one of our engineers said that he loves working with us because regardless of whether work is going well or not, he knows also how well the day is going for others because he can see that days work activity and always find something to brighten a tough day.  That is culture.
  2. When a deal has begun or when a deal has landed, we ring the bell! Even before COVID, we have always worked as a company that is remote.  We have been conducting Zoom calls for years.  We have tried about all of the video conferencing platforms too.  When we are together, we talk about our opportunity wins and losses.  We talk about the day and we study our dashboards.  Even though we all have different roles, we know each of us depends on the other for success for all of these we serve.  No one has a bigger role than the other.  We all have critical roles to fill.
  3. There is a big difference in organizations where the leaders say, “we drive our culture because we have developed a great compensation plan” versus “our culture grew because/was created by (fill in the answer)”. The difference is one culture was driven and the other culture was grown.  I sincerely believe that the sustainability of a culture runs beyond any individual if it is grown.  To that, your CRM is the glue.  It’s the well for all of the information needed to do your job and do it well.  This is information used to shepherd your team, having confidence that others can suggest and lead while having access to the data needed to do this.

I am a huge fan of growing your organization’s culture.  I know we are in the CRM business.  Even if we weren’t, CRM would still be a big factor in our culture because it is a people system.  People will come and go while your data about your people will be steadfast and increasingly important as time marches on. 

I encourage you to check out these other resources from our website to know more about us and who we are.  Let me know if I can help you.