Without the right tools in place, sales can be a messy process, making difficult on leadership teams to know what their sales numbers really are – and can cause major problems if a salesperson leaves the company.
Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can go a long way to alleviate those problems. Getting the right system in place can bring clarity to your sales process and even help your sales team close more deals. Here’s how:
Get a better handle on your sales data
Without good sales data, you’re shooting the in dark. Often times, the only place sales data exists is in the heads of your sales team. Using a CRM gets this data out of their heads and into a place where it’s beneficial for everyone.
A good CRM system will include reporting features so you can see what’s going with your existing sales. This will allow you to get an accurate picture of what your sales team is doing and what sales efforts are and aren’t working. It’ll also allow you to see what’s in your sales team’s pipeline, so you can more accurately forecast and plan for the months ahead.
Some CRM’s include customizable dashboards. We recommend looking for a CRM that does - if team members can’t see the numbers that are actually important to them, dashboards aren’t exactly helpful. Individual members of your sales team should be able to see their own numbers while sales managers and leadership should be able to see company numbers.
Close More Sales
Using a CRM system can also help you close more sales with new customers. There are few places where it does this:
A CRM formalizes your sales process and puts controls in place so that nothing falls through the cracks. Is there something you need every time you make a sale? Make it required information in your CRM.
Using a CRM helps you make more informed decisions by showing you what’s working and what isn’t working in your sales and marketing. This helps you focus your sales efforts on the area that drive the most sales instead of guessing at which way will work best.
A good CRM gives you more time to sell by automating administrative tasks (this is also helpful if the admin work isn’t getting done now – a common problem among sales teams in every industry). Some CRMs can integrate with your email and automatically keep track of communications with prospects.
Manage and Upsell to Existing Customers
A good CRM will help you manage your relationship with your existing customers by acting as a portal for notes, communications, and records of your relationship. Everything from individual touchpoints up to contracts should be in your CRM, so there is never confusion about what a customer has and follow up actions can be taken appropriately.
Say a customer mentions to you that they will need to make a large purchase in six months. Using a CRM, you can create an activity for yourself to follow up with them at the right time, quickly access the details of your conversation, see what they have already purchased from you and make the right suggestion at the appropriate time.
Some more robust CRMs, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, actually have upselling as a built-in feature. It looks at your existing data to see what kind of customers buy which products and when and will offer suggestions to your sales team. This helps you suggest the appropriate products at the right time, instead of trying to cross sell products a customer probably isn’t interested in.
Keeping track of your client information in a CRM is also especially helpful if a salesperson leaves your company. Their information is still there and a new sales person should be able to come in a pick up right where the last one left off.
Using a CRM can be a huge help to your sales team. But it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. It’s important to spend time finding the right system for you and your sales team. Using a system that doesn’t work for you can be just as painful as using no system at all. We’ve broken down some specific features to look for in this blog.