For many SMBs, CRM solutions have proven to add immediate value to a company sales team by significantly enhancing their rate of success. Can a CRM system help your sales team?
A Customer Relationship Management system, when used properly, can streamline your sales processes and ultimately increase sales. It is also an extremely effective tool when the solution is implemented correctly and your sales team is well trained on how to use it.
CRM software is commonly used to develop and manage customer relationships with your business. The software is designed to be easily customised to match the needs of your business and gather specific data to help you provide personalised customer service.
CRM systems are also designed to do more than customer relationship management and personalised customer service, they are also capable of managing business relationships including all of your business contacts and partners, marketing campaigns, and sales lead strategies as well. High quality CRM solutions offer many different tools and features to help you to accomplish sales team activities with each one offering its own set of exclusive capabilities.
Benefits of a CRM System for Sales
As you research different CRM solutions, you will find a broad range of tools and features that can provide many benefits for your sales team. Some of the benefits include:
Improved Lead Generation
Poor quality leads are a common problem that exists with many sales teams across a variety of industries. CRM solutions provide automated tools that provide your sales team with the support they need to grade and analyse leads. The leads can then be segmented to funnel the qualified leads into the sales process. When each lead reaches a specific qualification, they can be automatically assigned to a sales team member which reduces manual processes and expedites the sales pipeline. This process significantly increases the results when it comes to lead generation.
CRM solutions provide intuitive tools that integrate with automated marketing tools to allow you to delve into customer buying behaviours. These tools take your sales team a lot further than just being limited to the traditional information such as demographics and other data. This is accomplished with advanced data collection and analytics tools that provide your sales team with accurate and specific customer data. The end result is better decision making and sales campaigns that are specifically targeted to the customer’s interests.
Improve Sales Cycle Management
CRM solutions can provide your sales team with the tools they need to follow the customer through the entire sales cycle. Thanks to automated tools, your sales team members can stay with a lead through the entire sales cycle from not being ready to make a purchase right through to their first purchase and beyond.
Send Targeted Promotions
When you use the automated marketing tools to gather customer data, this allows your sales team to customise promotions that are targeted to the lead’s interests and their specific stage in the sales cycle. Sending targeted email promotions that are relevant to the lead produces improved results and keeps the customers engaged in your products and services.
Improve Campaign ROI
CRM solutions consist of multiple modules which integrate with one another. If you are using automated marketing tools in one module that integrates with your sales campaigns, generating reports on the Return on Investment of any campaign is much easier. CRM solutions provide tools capable of syncing campaigns that are generated in the marketing module. The tools are bi-directional and will sync the marketing campaign back to other sales modules included in the CRM platform.
CRM systems contain automated alerts that help to keep your sales team on schedule. You can customise the alerts so sales team members are reminded of when it is time to call or email a prospect. Because all leads remain in the pipeline, they can easily be nurtured on a continuous basis until they are ready to make a purchase.
This is a lot more efficient than dealing with leads on paper where there are no automated reminders or integration with other applications such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook. Sales team members can also set-up personalised emails that can be automatically sent out at a specific time to keep your business visible to potential and existing customers.
CRM solutions help your sales team to easily organise all notes, contact data, customer buying habits, and other customer information all in one location. This helps to make your sales team more effective and work more productively. It also makes all the data easy to see at a glance which is a real time saver when you compare it to the old methods of sifting through filing cabinets and huge drawers of papers.
Marketing campaigns that generate new leads can be very costly and often eats up a significant portion of the marketing budget. A CRM solution helps your sales team to convert more leads to sales using automated tools instead of forgetting to do tasks and then allowing the leads to fall through the cracks. And when you save time, you also save on costs. Plus, it allows your sales team to focus more on selling instead of doing paperwork.
Create More Effective Marketing Campaigns
CRM solutions remove a lot of the guesswork out of creating marketing campaigns. A high quality CRM system will allow your sales team to automatically generate reports with specific information that helps to analyse and measure the success of any marketing campaign.
Once you know the campaigns are working and what products are selling the best, you can invest more money in marketing that actually works. This is different than conventional methods of running marketing campaigns where a high percentage is demographics and guesswork.
The advanced tools included in a CRM solution help your sales team to closely monitor and identify each sales opportunity. This includes tracking the customer at every point in their decision to make a purchase and identifying why they may have dropped out of the sales pipeline. This provides your sales team with the information they need to draw a customer back in with special offers, coupons, and other tools that will move them to the next phase of the sales process. It also helps your sales team to achieve their target goals for growing a customer base.
High quality CRM solutions include advanced collaboration tools that allow team members to collaborate in real-time regardless of where they are located. Some of the collaboration tools include applications such as Go To Meeting, video-conferencing, webinar tools, instant messaging, and other tools that allow team members to quickly communicate with one another. This saves time and eliminates hassles such as playing phone tag, overlooking email messages, and more.
Increase Accuracy and Consistency
Because each module integrates with one another including a central dashboard and intuitive reporting system, this eliminates the problems associated with duplicate data. This means that all sales information is accurate and consistent when it comes to analysing marketing campaigns, studying customer behaviour, generating new leads, and more. The CRM tools include workflow capabilities that automatically track and report metrics that support specific targets and goals which keeps your business moving forward.
Personalise the Customer Experience
CRM solutions are packed with intuitive and automated tools that help your sales team to improve, maintain, and develop a strong track record of ongoing customer relationships. If you choose a high quality system, all interactions with customers, regardless of where they are in the sales or buying cycle, are operated in a systematic manner across the entire business.
CRM solutions also allow your sales team to personalise the customer experience by using tools that analyse current sales strategies to determine if they are on target or they are falling behind the intended sales goals. It also ensures the customer’s needs are being met and the right products that they are looking for are placed in front of them. This is a lot better than a one-size-fits all approach where the customer feels as though they are just another number.
Secure Sharing Company Wide
A high quality CRM solution ties everything together across your business and allows for secure sharing of information. Because a CRM platform supports integrated functions across your sales department and other departments in your organisation, everyone can use the system and view all interactions taking place across different modules.
The CRM modules also include customisations you can set for access control if you need them. However, the integrated functions allow you to see customer interactions across all departments. This avoids delays in customer communications and mitigates errors and mistakes.
Additionally, management teams are able to gain transparency to get an accurate overview of department and organisation activities. This helps to empower staff members by providing a common area where all sales and marketing, finance, purchasing, product delivery, and other daily business operations take place.
Improved Customer Service
Using traditional sales methods, providing the customer with a complete and personalised experience would require hours and hours of work. Because a CRM tool is packed with intuitive and automated tools that save time and money, providing the customer with a personalised experience is a lot easier. The end result is better customer retention, repeat sales, and improved results from marketing and lead generation efforts.
Reduced Travel Expenses
Depending upon the type of business, sales team members may spend a lot of time on the road with marketing campaigns and promotions. Using CRM tools, many of the marketing campaigns can be accomplished electronically.
Plus, if a sales team member does have to travel, the CRM platform allows you to coordinate and organise the trip to make it the most cost effective. Tools such as those that filter client and prospect information according to their location results in reduced travel cost, less frustration, and improved use of time. Additionally, sales team members can access the CRM platform from anywhere instead of collecting data and then entering it when they return to the office.
Improved Customer Interaction
Many CRM platforms allow you to create communication touch points that increase customer interaction. The tools include surveys, website forms, social media tools, and other components that foster customer interaction and allow your sales team to gather data. It also helps the sales team to identify areas that are in need of improvement so they can be acted upon to improve customer retention.
The information we have provided in this article outlines some of the benefits that a CRM solution can bring to your sales team. CRM solutions are not just for large enterprises, they can also accommodate small sales teams for SMBs by providing a faster, simplified, and more affordable way to optimise your sales activities.
CRM solutions are also more cost effective in terms of technology and often require little more than a conventional web browser to access a host of advanced tools and features. Many SMBs are enjoying the benefits of using CRM solutions to empower sales teams and improve customer retention, and to keep a business in profit for the long term.
About the Author
Our CRM is a professional software development company. Based in London we provide SMEs in the capital and the surrounding area, with the original CRM software application for Microsoft SharePoint.
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