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The Velos Group Newsletter MAY 2013

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Why CRM Implementations Fail
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PART II: Reasons Why CRM
Implementation Programs Fail 

Editor's Note: This subject contains significant details.  Rather than eliminating information to fit the newsletter format, the article is presented in Part 1 and Part II segments. Part II CRM Failed Program Implementations Items #4-6 are covered in this issue:

Reasons 4 - 6: Why CRM Implementations Fail:
  •   Focus on Quantity vs. Quality: Inquiries not qualified
  •   Qualified leads not distributed quickly to lead owner
  •   Feedback regarding lead status difficult to collect  

Quantity vs. Quality: Inquiries Aren't Qualified Leads:

If a company's objectives are to improve sales force results and productivity, it is imperative that the company starts qualifying sales inquiries and only pass along qualified leads to sales. The more "gross calendar content" time sales spends in front of qualified prospects, the more successful they will be in achieving their targets.


It is critical to separate the "inquiry qualification" job function from the "selling-to-qualified-prospects" function. This can be accomplished with an internal group, (either the marketing or sales department) or it can be out-sourced to a telemarketing agency. In either case, the key to the success is a commitment to qualifying all inquiries based on criteria agreed upon first by sales and second by marketing.  The results of each marketing activity must then be closely monitored.


Once the company has committed to making this fundamental shift in the approach to CRM, then they can start measuring the quantity AND quality of each inquiry and marketing activity. Over time, the company can determine which activities produce the most and best leads for sales and which contribute to the successful attainment of sales goals and market share goals. As companies become more efficient in the allocation of their marketing budgets, they will see a corresponding increase in their bottom line.  

For example, a recent client implemented a closed-loop system where they produced a report highlighting some interesting data that helped the company more precisely spend their advertising money:

  1. The trade magazine that produced the most number of inquiries was actually producing the fewest number of qualified leads and thus, the high cost per lead and the highest cost per sale.

  2. The publication that produced the fewest number of inquiries actually produced a disproportionately higher number of qualified leads and sales.

I'm convinced that if the company had not implemented the CRM program, they may have spent their advertising money differently (unscientifically) and wouldn't have been as effective.

Qualified Leads Not Distributed Quickly to Lead Owner:

Good, qualified sales leads are a lot like a good piece of fish: only good when fresh. The longer they lie around, the staler they become.  While it is good to qualify each inquiry and only distribute qualified leads to sales, the method and speed with which this is accomplished is a critical element in the success of the CRM system. The basic problem most companies face is that they use a hierarchical organization approach and require a human to make decisions as to which sales resource will manage the lead. 

Successful companies diligently document their lead distribution rules and then incorporate them into their CRM software. As a result, once a lead is qualified, it is automatically distributed to the ultimate lead owner. All individuals in the organizational chain are "info copied" and instructed how to view the information within the CRM software.  At this juncture, it's important to design, document and manage the process of exceptions, where no clear-cut lead owner exists.


In today's market, the potential buyer most likely has already done a great deal of research on the Internet.  With fast distribution and quick follow-up by the sales organization, the prospect's perception of the company is much higher.  In addition, the sales rep gains a better opportunity to "shape" the specifications of a potential solution and, as a result, generate more sales at a higher gross profit margin.  

Feedback Regarding Lead Status Is Difficult to Collect:

In the past, companies have provided sales with their inquiries or leads in through paper, email, Excel spreadsheets, etc. They were instructed to "work their leads" in any system they felt comfortable, but were then required to use a completely different pipeline/forecast reporting system.


The CRM system should successfully eliminate these multiple processes. Properly constructed, it is one unified system requiring very little extra effort by the sales rep to create the advantages for which the system was designed originally:  

  • Fast distribution of sales leads
  • Increased sales results and productivity
  • Creation of actionable management reporting - allows them to manage leads more effectively and efficiently

Once the system is in place, the most important thing a sales rep must do is update the status of the accounts they are working with.  This information then serves as the input for the Pipeline or Forecast reporting. Everything else is handled by the software and requires no sales rep involvement.   


Mark Friedman

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