To some, a CRM (customer relationship management) seems to be nothing more than a database. What if we told you that it’s so much more—a proper CRM platform is a dynamic tool that can help organizations glean actionable insights to improve the sales funnel and close more deals. Of course, that assumes that you’re using it to its full capacity.
In the business world, relationships are everything. Keeping track of those relationships is where a CRM comes in handy. More than half of the top-performing companies are investing in CRMs, sales enablement tools, and analytics. It’s estimated that the CRM market is going to grow to as much as $80 billion by 2025, but it’s not just about investing in a software platform. It’s also about putting it to work in all the right ways.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to maximize your CRM to close more deals and spend less time doing it.
CRMs make it easy to automate data entry and information sharing. Your sales reps no longer have to spend hours entering leads into the system. They can collect the data, input it once, and call it a day. And, if you’re using web forms and other means to collect leads, a lot of the information can be transferred automatically to your CRM, meaning that your team never has to do a thing until the leads are ready to be cultivated.
Automation saves time. It saves energy. It also reduces the risk of human error and duplication, which means you have a cleaner CRM database from which to work. Of course, a CRM is much more than just a database, so read on for more perks of putting yours to work.
Timing is half the battle in the sales funnel. You have to know when to push, when to wait, and when to make the right moves. That can be difficult to do when you don’t have information in a database like a CRM.
Prospects have different needs and interests. They might not be quite ready for a quote or a purchase, but they’re definitely interested. When you have this information about your customers and their place in the pipeline, your team will better know when to engage.
Better engagement and timing mean more converted leads. That also means a better approach with each customer, which can improve relationships at the same time. Your CRM can make sure that your reps aren’t too eager, but also that they don’t wait too long to make a move.
Part of that knowledge comes from the analytics produced by your CRM. Many people think that a CRM is just a database, but that’s not the case. Many CRMs include a variety of analytics and reporting tools for things like financial forecasting, sales cycles, goal progress reports, profitability, and more.
Your sales team can use these analytics to better understand how things are going, where improvements can be made, and so forth. This will help you find and fix bottlenecks and other issues in the sales process.
You can also use these analytics to get a better idea of how marketing is doing with their campaigns. Attributed revenue reports will provide insights on which campaigns are most effective at drawing in leads and which might need some tweaking.
Sales teams usually function on their own, providing them with greater freedom but also a better team connection. It also creates an inefficient operation, though, because their data isn’t integrated with the rest of the organization. A sales CRM will give you the tools to share and disseminate information in a single place.
CRMs make it easy to communicate within your teams. Whether it’s the features of the platform itself or just the insights that it provides, you can improve collaboration when you embrace the CRM. Teach your sales team how to use this software effectively and it can be so much more than just a customer database. When your team works together more effectively, you will also be able to build stronger relationships with your customers, which brings us to the next point.
In today’s business world, sales are a byproduct of facilitating good relationships and connections. All of the assets that come with a CRM are designed to help with that. It’s called customer relationship management, after all, not customer sales management. Intuition and sales processes are great, but having the cold, hard facts is better.
When you integrate and properly employ a CRM, you will have better insight to your buyers’ needs, expectations, and concerns. You will have valuable insights that can give you the chance to improve relationships in several ways. People are more willing to work with a company that has better customer service, so it’s important that your team stands out here.
Take the time to explore your CRM and how you can put it to work to boost your customer relationships. Then, make sure that your entire team is trained on how to do the same.
If you really want to take your CRM to the next level for your sales team, choose one that you can integrate with the sales enablement tools and other software in your tech stack. Find a platform that can be customized to suit your needs and that can deliver everything that you expect from a robust, dynamic CRM.
And while you’re at it, why not consider partnering with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to handle all those new leads you’re going to generate? We can serve as your 24/7 answering service to catch every opportunity, along with providing support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and integration with your CRM and other tools.