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Setting Up Your CRM Correctly Could Bring Unexpected Dividends


As a founder in the B2B space you know how valuable your CRM is. You look at it every few days, go over it with your CRO or salespeople and it’s the gauge you… gauge when you want to know how your company is doing and how to update investors. So why do we see so few founders taking the time to set up their sales CRM properly? This could literally be the difference between increasing revenue to failing miserably and getting funded to not getting an investment.  

It’s what we look for in great founders and sales teams.


With a good CRM system in place, you can keep track of all your customer interactions, automate your sales processes, and gain valuable insights into your sales performance. But with so many options out there, how do you know which CRM system is right for your business? And once you've chosen a system, how do you set it up for maximum effectiveness? Let’s dive in. We'll answer these questions and provide tips for setting up your sales CRM.

Choose the Right CRM System

Before you can set up your sales CRM, you need to choose the right system for your business. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Features: Look for a CRM system with the features you need, such as lead and opportunity management, sales forecasting, and reporting.

  • Integration: Make sure the CRM system integrates with the other tools you use, such as your email and marketing automation software.

  • Ease of use: Choose a CRM system that's easy to use and customize, so your sales team will actually use it.

  • Cost: Consider your budget and choose a CRM system that fits within it.

Once you've chosen a CRM system that meets your needs, it's time to set it up for maximum effectiveness.

Define Your Sales Process

The first step in setting up your sales CRM is to define your sales process. This means identifying the stages of your sales pipeline and the actions that need to be taken at each stage. For example, your sales process might include the following stages:

  • Lead generation

  • Qualification

  • Needs analysis

  • Proposal

  • Negotiation

  • Closed won/lost

Once you've defined your sales process, you can set up your CRM system to match it. This might include creating custom fields to capture information about each stage of the sales process, setting up automation rules to move leads and opportunities through the pipeline, and creating reports to track progress at each stage.

Customize Your Sales Pipeline

Next, you'll want to customize your sales pipeline to match your specific business needs. This means adding and removing stages, creating custom fields to capture relevant information, and setting up automation rules to move opportunities through the pipeline.

For example, if you're a software company, you might have a longer sales cycle than a company that sells office supplies. In this case, you might want to add additional stages to your pipeline to capture the steps involved in evaluating the software, such as a trial period or proof of concept. You might also want to create custom fields to capture information about the customer's technology stack or specific pain points.

Train Your Sales Team

Finally, it's important to train your sales team on how to use your CRM system effectively. This means providing them with clear guidelines on how to enter data, use automation rules, and run reports. It also means setting up regular training sessions to ensure everyone is using the CRM system correctly and to address any questions or issues that arise.


Customising the CRM to your specific vertical, company or even your own internal whims can be the difference between success and a bunch of really frustrated salespeople (and investors).

Using the cookie cutter approach and just going with the stages given by your CRM isn’t going to cut it. Every target vertical can and should have different pipeline stages. 

Here are a few examples:

  1. SaaS Company

  • Awareness: Identifying potential customers and introducing them to the product

  • Education: Providing education about the product and its benefits

  • Evaluation: Allowing customers to test the product and providing support during the evaluation

  • Decision: Closing the deal and converting the customer into a paying subscriber

  • Retention: Ensuring that the customer continues to use and renew the product subscription


  • Inquiry: Receiving initial inquiries from potential customers

  • Needs Analysis: Gathering information about the customer's needs and requirements

  • Proposal: Creating a proposal based on the gathered information

  • Negotiation: Discussing the proposal and negotiating terms with the customer

  • Purchase: Closing the deal and completing the sale


  • Lead Generation: Attracting potential clients through marketing and advertising

  • Qualification: Evaluating potential clients to determine whether they are a good fit for the firm's services

  • Needs Analysis: Gathering information about the client's needs and requirements

  • Solution Proposal: Creating a proposal outlining the services the firm can provide to address the client's needs

  • Negotiation: Discussing the proposal and negotiating terms with the client

  • Engagement: Beginning the engagement and providing ongoing services to the client


  • Lead Generation: Attracting potential clients through marketing and advertising

  • Qualification: Evaluating potential clients to determine whether they are a good fit for the insurance product

  • Needs Analysis: Gathering information about the client's insurance needs and requirements

  • Proposal: Creating a proposal outlining the insurance product that best suits the client's needs

  • Negotiation: Discussing the proposal and negotiating terms with the client

  • Policy Issuance: Closing the deal and issuing the insurance policy to the client

These are just a few examples of different stages in the pipeline for different verticals. It's important to customize your pipeline to fit your specific business needs and to continuously evaluate and update it as your business grows and changes.


But how do you identify the right person in the potential client's organization to engage with during each stage of the deal?

  1. Lead Generation: When generating leads, you want to identify the person within the potential client's organization who has the authority to make purchasing decisions or has the ability to influence those decisions. This might be a C-level executive, a department head, or a decision-maker in the purchasing department.

  2. Qualification: During the qualification stage, you want to make sure that the person you're engaging with has the authority to make purchasing decisions and has a need for your product or service. This might involve asking questions about their budget, their decision-making process, and their specific pain points to determine if there's a good fit.

  3. Needs Analysis: During the needs analysis stage, you want to engage with the person who has the most knowledge about the specific problem or need that your product or service can solve. This might be someone in the department that is experiencing the problem, or a manager who is overseeing that department.

  4. Proposal: When creating a proposal, you want to engage with the person who will be responsible for evaluating the proposal and making a recommendation to the decision-makers. This might be the same person you engaged with during the needs analysis stage, or it might be someone in the purchasing department who is responsible for evaluating proposals from vendors.

  5. Negotiation: During the negotiation stage, you want to engage with the person who has the authority to negotiate terms and finalize the deal. This might be a C-level executive, a department head, or someone in the purchasing department who has the authority to negotiate contracts.

  6. Closing: When closing the deal, you want to engage with the person who will be responsible for signing the contract and making the final decision to purchase. This might be the same person you engaged with during the negotiation stage, or it might be someone higher up in the organization who needs to give final approval.

By identifying the right person to engage with at each stage of the deal, you can streamline the sales process and increase your chances of closing the deal. It's important to do your research and ask the right questions to determine who the key decision-makers and influencers are within the potential client's organization.


Remember, customizing your sales pipeline to fit your specific business needs is essential. And don't forget to train your sales team on how to use your CRM system effectively. Provide clear guidelines, create reports, and set up regular training sessions to ensure everyone is using the CRM system correctly.

Setting up your sales CRM is crucial to achieving success in B2B sales. Choose the right CRM system, define your sales process, customize your sales pipeline, engage the right person in the potential client's organization, and train your sales team. If you need help setting up your sales CRM or have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team for assistance.

Thanks for reading, and happy selling!


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