Why good is the enemy of great in your sales CRM system

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“Good is the enemy of great”
-Jim Collins

This quote within  Jim Collins’ book jarred me enough to see parallels in my personal life and business. How many times could something have been at the pinnacle of its existence if we stopped settling for “good enough?” 

In our personal lives, many of us settle for “good enough” regarding physical fitness, job performance, and lifestyle. I designed my house in 2015 when I fell in love with a 1920s two-bedroom one-bath cottage. It was on a large corner lot in my town's historic and desirable neighborhood. It had a beautiful and rare banyan tree in the front yard.

The problem was that it was a 1200-square foot two-bedroom one-bath cottage. It didn’t have enough space for our family or the closet space to support my shopping hobby. Obsessed with the possibilities, I bought and taught myself Auto CAD software. I learned about hip roofs and stair risers and the thickness of my exterior walls. In one month, I designed a three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home with an outdoor living space and a pool. It was a dreamy remodel that kept the historic character of the home. I worked hard to design the house without losing the original floor-to-ceiling windows I love. I created a design that was beyond just good enough. My plan is great. It was so great that the architect I hired asked me why I made a change in firms. Professional validation and recognition for not settling for “good enough.” 

For a solid year, I watched over every detail of my house as it became what I dreamed it would become. We hired dozens of contractors and managed every aspect as the general contractor. To keep the integrity of the original house, we ordered cedar siding from Washington state and found engineered pecky cypress to match the kitchen ceiling to the dining room’s ceiling.

However, as our projected move-in date came closer and closer, I became more and more impatient. As is typical with home renovations, work delays, back-ordered design elements, and later projects took longer as we uncovered issues with the original framework. By the end, I found myself settling for good enough – approving substandard work, accepting design substitutions, and finding easier ways to meet our move-in date. I was excited to move in when we finally got the completion order. I wanted to live in my dream home . Fast forward seven years, and I still love my home. I still think it is beyond great. But I know which elements I settled for and how they could have been great if I had made the sacrifices I should have. For example, I see the cultured marble in my bathroom and think about how I didn’t want to wait for the Cambria quartz. A smaller closet curbs my shopping habit because I didn't want to wait to have the adjacent stairwell redesigned. I omitted the pool bathroom because I had no patience to wait for the plumber. All these decisions were “good enough” and not great. Good is indeed the enemy of great.

From a business perspective, organizations don’t dream of being average. At a business start-up, the excitement of diving into market research, writing the business plan, raising funding, choosing the location, and getting federal identification numbers flood founders with optimism and goals above fundamental greatness. Thoughts of exceeding projections and increasing dividends serve as valuable motivation for stakeholders.

Fast forward to the actual operations of the business. Good begins to win over great. Many settle for basic processes thinking they can operate on simple platforms and software because it’s “good enough.”  When competitors begin to take market share and sales, marketing, and service teams shoulder the burden, they realize that their processes need to improve. It’s part of the five stages of learning. And sometimes, that realization can come too late.

This “good enough” mentality regularly rears its head in B2B companies. I often see it when I talk with manufacturers, distributors, and businesses in the build environment. CRM selection and implementation is a common area where firms compromise with devastating future effects. You are probably aware of CRMs and may be using them.  Perhaps you have a free version or a version that seems effortless. But now you realize you aren't using it to its full potential, or your teams aren’t using it correctly. You may be using your email platform as a CRM. Or an Excel spreadsheet. Or paper files. Maybe all of those systems in addition to your CRM. RevOps begins with a CRM implementation that centralizes all communications between a company and its customers. Creating this single source involves CRM software with features that match your needs, storing customer conversations, and tracking leads you want to nurture.

Let’s look at the differences between good and great in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System for sales representatives.

Settling for “Good Enough”
Resulting “Good Enough” Problem

Leads and conversations are somewhat memorized. Then information and tasks are recorded to stay in front of them. 

You’re unable to keep up with leads.

An intelligent CRM system that sorts and prioritizes prospects to help respond to them in a timely and efficient manner.

Your sales team is busy. The pipeline is manually updated, and reporting is tied to sales meetings.

You don’t know what your sales team is doing daily. You can’t forecast revenue opportunities or pinpoint holes in your sales funnel.

A robust CRM system lets your team update details from mobile devices and is immediately available to act. Your sales pipeline is automated to account for actions leads take independently from your sales representatives. It will also help accurately forecast future sales.

You took detailed notes in spreadsheets, sticky notes, emails, and text messages.

Your data is challenging to locate; you must ask sales representatives for status updates. 

A CRM system can remind you of milestones and events for your clients so you can communicate with them and earn trust throughout their journey. This single source gives everyone transparency to activities with a prospect and automates reminders so good leads don’t fall through the cracks.

Your sales team spends a lot of time each Monday providing accurate reports and forecasts.

Your reporting process takes too long. Manually searching for information and entering data to create a report means your sales team spends time away from what is most important: selling.  

A CRM system keeps all your data in one place, making accurate analysis accessible and quick. It also automates cleaning your data, adding information left out and removing duplicates.

Your sales team shows high activity levels communicating to the masses and reaching new prospects every day.

You are unable to track engagement.

An intelligent CRM system will show you when they opened your email, how much time they spent looking at a document you included, and what pages they read and engaged with the longest. It will give you insight into their interest in your content and what your next move should be.

Marketing, Sales, and Service departments are clearly defined and independent.

Different departments are using a different set of tools that are disconnected from each other.

An ideal CRM system will help align these departments to save time and streamline processes. It will help you find more customers, win more deals, keep customers happier, and connect your entire company to accelerate your growth. 

When organizations think they are doing well, they don’t realize their potential to be great.

Because the customer journey is mostly over by the time they get to the sales department, other team members are now responsible for driving revenue.

Sales, marketing, service, and operations must be aligned throughout the entire funnel if they want to succeed. 

Ultimately, your CRM will tie to your company’s website input forms and pages to generate even more leads and automate B2B sales with Revenue Operations.

Years from now, after taking the next step, you will look back on the days when your systems were good enough. When good enough was the enemy of great. 

Illumine8 helps manufacturers, distributors, builders, and service providers in the building industry drive more revenue with Revenue Operations. Technology and CRM implementation are crucial components to reaching aggressive growth goals. If you are curious about effective transformation in your B2B, middle-market growth stage company, take our digital transformation readiness quiz or schedule a meeting with me to get started.

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