Rob Meyer

4 Signs Your Company Needs a CRM

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Although platforms like Salesforce have become commonplace, there are many businesses who, for whatever reason, have bucked the trend and are not adding a CRM (or Customer Relationship Management System) to track their sales efforts. These organizations have avoided CRM platforms for a variety of reasons; however, there is a point where businesses – even those that never needed one in the past – need to seriously consider adding a platform manage sales activities. Here are four signs that it’s time for your business to add a CRM:

1. Sales leads have fallen between the cracks

A sales lead is one of the most valuable commodities for any business. Organizations spend countless hours prospecting, warming and following up with leads. When you discover that you missed out on a potential sale because a lead was overlooked, it’s a loss – money left on the table. Of course, this is an error any business can make from time to time, but if you’ve noticed it’s happening more and more, there’s a problem to be addressed. In many cases, it has something to do with how lead activity is tracked in your organization. Maybe you use a spreadsheet, maybe sales reps track their own leads. Whatever your organization does, leads are being lost in the mix. If this is happening, then you need to seriously consider adding a CRM. With a CRM, you can rest assured that each sales lead that comes in is accounted for in your database and is being tracked.

2. Marketing efforts are growing more varied and complex

If your organization is primarily relying on salespeople to generate new leads, then a CRM may not be necessary; however, the minute that marketing joins the lead generation mix, you have two separate departments handling leads. At that point, keeping track of all the moving pieces can get difficult. Plus, as marketing initiatives diversify to include inbound and outbound channels, the total number of leads increases, and their position in the sales funnel becomes more varied. Keeping track of these will grow more complex. At this point, turning to a CRM may be necessary. Not only will the CRM help streamline handing off leads from marketing to sales, it will also help ensure that each lead’s position in the sales funnel is recognized across departments and team members.

3. More team members joining the sales organization 

Perhaps your sales team has been relatively stable over the past few years, with the staffing and the size of the organization being maintained with little turnover or change, but the demands on your team have increased, thus rendering additional sales reps necessary. Suddenly your staff, which has an established process in place, is faced with change. Navigating new team members and establishing new processes can be difficult, and a CRM can be a great asset. Not only can it establish uniform processes across your business, it can also help you track performance of new sales team members and provide visibility into inefficiencies.

4. Sales process has grown more complex 

When an organization begins marketing to a new vertical or targeting a new type of business, the overall sales cycle will most likely change. Whether this means additional touch points are required, new points of contact established, or lead time increased, the routine your sales team is used to has been thrown out the window. If this is happening to your sales team, in order to get things running smoothly again, a great step to take is adding a CRM. This will help solidify a process and provide your team a view into what is happening across the team.

Use Your LinkedIn Recruiting Efforts to Showcase Company Culture

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LinkedIn has been a go-to professional networking website for years, but recently has grown to be an established job board. Today, the site includes over six million jobs and millions of company pages, making it a one-stop site for people looking to both job search and conduct company research. Although other websites such as Glassdoor and Crunchbase are often used for company research, chances are that LinkedIn will be one of the first places where job seekers interact with your company.

LinkedIn company pages are viewed by customers as well, so you may have the inclination to fill the page with product information; however, LinkedIn’s company page should not be used as a platform to sell. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate company values and share company culture. This is important to both potential customers and job seekers.  As a recent Forbes article put it, “With 60% of consumers wanting to know what a company stands for before supporting it, company culture and the way employees are treated are paramount to your business’ success.”

What follows are four best practices to keep in mind when building your company’s presence on LinkedIn. These steps will help ensure your LinkedIn company page is telling job seekers and potential customers the story you want them to hear.

Build Out the Company Page

Every LinkedIn company page has an “About Us” section to insert company information. Use this section to communicate both your business’ mission and values. For recruiting efforts, it’s also a good idea to keep company details (location, employee count, etc.) as up to date as possible.

The company page also offers a number of branding opportunities. For starters, the avatar should be your company logo. For the background image, choose a photo or image focused on the company rather than the product. It’s important that the background image reinforces the company culture described in the About Us section. Images of internal staff, branded materials, logos etc. will also suffice.

Post Often and Focus on Culture – Not Just Business

Once you create the company page, don’t sign off and forget about it. Make a point to post to the LinkedIn company page a few times a week (many large companies will post 5 days a week). Postings should include press releases, company news and blog posts; you can also throw company culture postings into the content mix, if desired. The next staff lunch, event or professional development activity are all great things to share with your followers.

Make Sure Employees are Connected to the Company Page

A company’s employees’ profiles are the windows into a company, so encourage your internal team to link their personal LinkedIn profiles to the company’s profile page. This way, job seekers can look at the profiles of those with whom they’ll be working, giving them an idea of how they fit in with the team from a professional standpoint.

For consistency in messaging, you can also share job descriptions with your staff to include in their personal profiles. These job descriptions should mirror the descriptions included in job postings, as well.

Keep Your Job Postings Updated

Outside of keeping your company page active, pay attention to how the company is presented in job postings. When drafting a listing, take the opportunity to highlight your company’s mission, values and culture. Keep the listing current and specific. A generic job posting with unique job responsibilities isn’t enough.

Have the hiring manager draft a job post that explains the role, what to expect working with the team, the company’s core values, and how success is measured. Communicating this in the job post will attract job seekers that share your values and appreciate your company culture.