Inertia can be a powerful force. Often times in business, the decision not to act and to stick with the same practices is the easiest one to make. However, the ease of sticking with the same shouldn’t allow sales managers to accept the status quo. Maximizing ROI and finding best practices are not the sort of goals that a sales team can expect to reach without stepping out and aggressively pursuing them. In order to find the most efficient way to pursue leads and react to customer service, companies need to constantly question their practices, always seek out better methods, and embrace the use to software systems and emerging technology that help identify their practices.
The nature of business is changing rapidly and anyone standing still can expect to be left behind. This is particularly true for customer relations and sales. Many sales managers aren’t comfortable with the way the relationship with their customers has evolved in the last ten years. More than ever, customers have more control over the nature of the relationship, and many sales managers haven’t been able to adjust to what it means. However, inaction is an easy way to let your competitors streak past you, and getting the most out of your marketing spend involves action. In many cases, the mistake is to ignore emerging technologies and not turning towards the new systems and software that can streamline the way you deal with customers. Stodgy sales managers will insist on seeing immediate results in ROI and won’t venture into a new technology like Social CRM or a Lead Management System until the evidence is overwhelming. Worse, any failure involving these new technologies, no matter how modest, will fuel the desire to stay away from any new methods that could be employed in pursuit of best practices. What’s missing from these arguments is the realization that best practices are discovered not by waiting until there’s a sure thing, but exploring and testing in order to constantly stay ahead of the curve. Any manager willing to wait until a technology is so successful that it’s a no brainer can probably count on being one of the last in their industry to adopt it. LMS and CRM are both excellent systems that can not only automate the sales process and increase efficiency but are designed to record all relevant data and metrics in order to constantly seek out more ways to improve.
Another way that conservative managers can keep themselves from finding best practices is through the idea that it’s best to wait until the appropriate technology develops. Once again, this is a recipe for failure that will allow your competition to pass you by with ease. With the rate at which customer relations are evolving, waiting on taking action can be fatal. In order to capitalize on a new trend or get a leg up on the competition, it’s essential that your company be adopting best practices before it’s clear to everyone that that’s what they are. The most successful managers, in the end, are the ones who are opportunistic and aggressive enough to stay ahead of the trends and be the one developing new practices rather than simply copying their competitors.
On the whole, it’s a simple fact that best practices and maximum ROI are the sorts of things that can’t be waited on. Best practices are not going to come to you, it’s up to the wise manager to seek them out and seize them when the opportunity arises.
Joel Anderson is a business expert who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Find out more at www.leads360.com