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 “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” – Albert Einstein

When it comes to choosing the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution and developing an effective CRM strategy, it is important to choose a CRM-business growth partner that knows the power of listening and asking the right questions. So, this should be someone that first takes the time to listen.

How do you tell if they’re listening?

When they ask the kinds of questions to help you reach your business goals. And when they can help you determine if their CRM solution can accommodate your business relationship strategy and make satisfying your customers the focus for your business. Ultimately there should be a collaborative CRM experience that helps you grow a more profitable business

Taking Stock

As a business owner, or a key member of an organization, it is important to identify your business needs and your goals. They will most often be directly associated with specific pain points. So, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself to help you communicate with a potential CRM-business growth partner before choosing a CRM solution.

  • What are your expectations for your CRM system?

  • What are the existing problems you want to solve?

  • What are some potential future problems?

  • How will a CRM solution help your business deliver the most value to your customers?

  • How would CRM make your employees job easier and more efficient?

Answering these questions for yourself provides a framework for your CRM strategy. It gives you an opportunity for you to listen, get important questions answered within your organization, and get a clearer picture of where your business, employees, and customers stand. Plus, it offers key insights into how each could look in the future. You will find that when you’re ready to discuss a CRM solution with a CRM-business growth partner, you will be able to:

  • Better communicate your problems, needs, and goals.

  • Determine how well they are listening based on the questions they ask.

  • Evaluate if their CRM solution is the right one for you.

  • Evaluate if they have a competent mix of knowledge, creativity, skill, flexibility, and reliability to deliver the results you’re seeking.

Things to remember when choosing a CRM system...

A CRM-Business Growth Partner that Listens Every Good Conversation.jpg

For example, if one of your goals is to find a more effective way to measure sales performance, it is important that your CRM-business growth partner asks meaningful questions related to:

  • The way sales performance is currently being measured

  • The number of sales people that will need to be tracked

  • The types of information that will need to be reported across the company

  • How to measure performance as the organization grows in number and complexity

Carefully listening to the answers to these questions can help the CRM-business growth partner begin to identify where there might be current holes and how they can be closed with CRM. How robust the CRM system will need to be to manage the size and activities of the sales workforce. What type of integration is needed to ensure access and use to all necessary parties. How to build in systematic flexibility and potential customization that would make future growth seamless.

As a central part of listening, a good CRM-business growth partner will also interview key stakeholders and users in your business. These conversations should center on how CRM can make their jobs easier and more efficient. They will listen for keywords that inform them of desired functions and features that would benefit them and the customer experience. They will have discussions that explore ways to solve existing and potential problems, ways to improve processes, and how to reduce cost. The goal of interviewing stakeholders and users is for the CRM business growth partner to get a deeper understanding of what is needed and what is required to develop a more systematic and practical approach to helping your business fulfill its needs, solve problems, and achieve its goals.


Evaluate the Right CRM Solution for You

In the case of the example presented above where the goal was to find a more effective way to measure sales performance, if careful listening has taken place and the right questions have been asked then your CRM-business growth partner should be able to show you how their CRM system can serve as a solution, and have the flexibility to support changes.

In our role as CRM-business growth partners and success advisors, we would address the goal of effectively Just-what-I-wanted-CRM-1.pngmeasuring sales performance by showing how our Infor CRM solution offers the Opportunities feature that would allow your business to continuously measure individual and team sales performance.

  • It shows where each member of the sales force stands in reaching both individual and team sales goals as well as new sales opportunities.

  • It includes a pipeline analysis that shows the sales potential of each stage of the sales journey. This data would allow each member of your sales force to know where to put their efforts and where they can best maximize their productivity.

  • It keeps track of the activities each member of the sales team completes by volume and proportion. Activities such as phone calls, personal activity, meetings, and even items on their to-do list.

But this feature, along with all the other relevant Infor CRM features, has very little value if we as growth partners have not asked the questions that best inform us on how a CRM solution should function to accomplish this goal. Without intense listening and questioning we would not have been able to effectively determine the best way to implement and potentially customize the system to increase the effectiveness of how your business measures sales performance.

Though it may not be evident on the surface, you, as a business owner, listening and asking the right questions and your potential CRM-business growth partner doing the same to get to the root of what’s needed, saves you money, loss of quality sales people, and the risk of customer dissatisfaction. And on the other hand, you gain a competent CRM-business growth partner and success advisor that brings care, attention, and commitment to your CRM success.

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Related Resources:

Relationships - the most important differentiator in CRM success

Business Development Success with CRM Strategy and Tools

20 Proven Ways Infor CRM can help improve your business

Is your CRM system supporting or supressing you?

Benefits of Customer-focused, customer-centric strategy...

5 Ways to Avoid the Pains of Being Orphaned by your CRM Vendor

Answering the Why of CRM to Gaining Business success with CRM


Topics:   Customer Experience Improvement CRM Executive Decision Business Growth Enabler Make your business work smarter

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