Getting the Most Out of Your CRM and Your Sales Teams

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This blog is not about why sales teams don’t often find the benefits in a CRM solution – it is about how to get the most out of your CRM and your sales teams by improving the lives of salespeople, or more importantly, why salespeople need CRM!

Typically, sales managers see the benefits of adopting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for their salespeople. They appreciate that in a good CRM solution, their sales data will be stored centrally and presented in an easy-to-follow format, allowing them to monitor leads, staff performance and pipeline performance.

The changes to day-to-day sales administration tasks are not always seen as a positive for salespeople however. Salespeople can often see CRM as yet another tool, more work and just another way for their managers to keep track of their work. The perceived extra time that is spent on entering data into the ‘new system’ also adds to the irritation. Salespeople can think that this keeps them from their primary task – selling.

This blog will cover four main sections, improving lead to sale, sales management and reporting, improved collaboration and keeping close to your customers.

Improving lead to sale

  • Show up in time for the new sale

CRMs helps your salespeople know precisely when your customers need to be contacted, such as product replacement, contract renewal or an upsell to a new product or service through task and calendar reminders as well as customer reports. This all increases your chances of closing a sale.

  • Using CRM segmentation to prioritise activity

Customer segmentation is a great way of identifying and organising your customer groups using specific variables and characteristics they have in common. These variables could be demographics, personality traits, geographics, or even their spend. Segmentation provides in-depth customer data that helps your business tailor your products and services to your customers’ needs.

This personalisation gives you a competitive advantage and a better chance at customer conversion and brand loyalty and can help prioritise your activities.

  • Keeping on top of your pipeline.

Using your CRM is the smartest way to track leads and prospects in your sales pipeline. Your sales pipeline maximises your sales potential and segments the entire lead database into different categories. In addition, it helps salespeople plan effective strategies to move leads from one sales stage to the next and can notify sales management and other teams such as marketing, finance and procurement when the stage status changes.

You can use CRM pipeline dashboards as an excellent opportunity to see vital information about your pipeline. For example, you can set these to accurately check how many deals you have in your pipeline, how likely they are to close, deal values and even check on previous activity to highlight patterns in how your leads are interacting with your team.

This ‘at-a-glance’ overview streamlines your analysis process when you need it. You can identify trends and sudden downturns in closed deals and adjust accordingly without going through a lengthy process to find out the issue.

Sales management and sales reporting

  • Keeping your manager happy

Building relationships is at the core of a robust CRM solution from a management perspective. Whether you’re managing a sales, marketing, or customer service department, the system touches on all facets of a customer and/or prospect relationship with the company.

For example, when one department adds information into the centralised database regarding a specific contact, that change will be automatically reflected in real-time throughout the system.

This centralisation allows managers to ensure data is accurate and up-to-date, and managers can find out specific information without the need to chase and ask around. It also creates hierarchies and other organisational tools to help better understand how your companies and contacts are related and managed.

  • Activity and pipeline reports – Not a problem!

CRM helps your salespeople quickly prepare their weekly or monthly reports for management. The process is automated and transparent and takes just a few clicks to inform others about what sales are currently in progress, won and lost.

  • Sales Commission

Sales commission payments can comprise a whole host of factors, depending on what industry you are in and what types of products and services your organisation sells. Using your CRM solution to report on all sales to calculate sales commissions, whatever the commission scheme structure, has a number of benefits:

  • Salespeople will enter data into the CRM and keep their pipelines updated
  • Sales managers will be able to tell who is performing above or below target and they also tend to be paid, at least partially, on their team’s performance
  • Finance have a clear view and audit trail of all deals won

Improved collaboration across the organisation.

  • Improving collaboration between marketing and sales.

Your marketing and sales teams rely heavily upon one another to drive business; your marketing department generates leads, and your sales team is relied upon to qualify and then convert those leads to paying customers. Using your CRM solution to improve collaboration between marketing and sales can dramatically improve your results, or at the very least provide valuable data on how each is performing.

Your CRM platform puts all your business activities together in one place, automates tasks that eat up your time, and centralises your data. It cuts down workload, helps with service management and customer feedback, and brings positive results across departments with less effort.

  • Stay up-to-date on what’s happening.

CRMs can offer shared calendars, document templates and storage as well as email integration, uniting all team members and keeping everyone up-to-date with customer contact.

Through integration with email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, sales can quickly see which of their customers have received marketing emails, whether they have read or acted upon them, giving them opportunities to initiate further sales conversations. Marketing can see what leads are dropping into the pipeline and how they are progressing.

  • Cut down on admin tasks.

A well-implemented CRM solution releases your sales teams from many time-consuming administration tasks by reducing and even removing repetitive actions that take up time but reduces actual sales activity. Pre-defined workflows are a prime example of how a series of tasks can be automated or semi-automated, reducing phone calls and emails around the organisation.

Find out more in our A to Z of CRM Workflows.

Keeping close to your customers

  • Plan and time-manage like a pro

CRMs can help your salespeople optimise their daily schedules and prioritise tasks to ensure customers are not ignored and your key prospects are contacted on time. CRMs allow your salespeople to spend more time with your customers, which leads to more deals closed and growing customer revenues.

  • Know what your customers want

As all of your customer-related data is stored in CRM, it helps your salespeople analyse customers’ historic needs and sales history, as well as seeing if there have been any historical issues that may compromise further sales. Armed with this information salespeople can be on the front foot and ensure that sales meetings are about sales, not issues and they can focus on closing the deal.

  • Keeping up to date with what your customers are doing.

As we know, a big part of sales is the relationships you build with your customers. There are many ways salespeople or sales departments can build relationships with their clients. Your CRM can enhance the way a sales team is organised, create a system or infrastructure, provide an avenue to stay connected and in the front of customer’s minds, and communicate with your customers on a more frequent basis.

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few tips as to how to get the most out of your CRM and your sales teams! If you’d like to discuss your CRM needs, please get in touch with our team today or book a demo.