You can only help your customers (and sell to them) if you understand their requirements. That’s why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are so powerful: they enable you to capture all your company’s information about prospects in one place, so you can develop a deeper understanding of every opportunity. Each interaction can build on the previous one and your company can behave as a single organisation in the customer’s eyes.
However, CRM is just a tool, and its effectiveness will depend heavily on how you use it. We’ll tell you about three revenue killers that might be lurking in your company right now, and give you tips on defeating them.
To unlock the potential of a CRM solution, it’s essential that your team is trained on how to get the best from it. While training is often carried out when a solution is first introduced, people come and go, and experienced team members often fall into the trap of using the same handful of techniques they can remember. Regular training enables you to revise the most helpful usage patterns, and dig deeper into some of the enhanced productivity features.
Perhaps most importantly, regular training helps the team to gain confidence in using the software. CRM solutions are sophisticated and some people can feel intimidated if they aren’t supported in using them effectively. When people lack confidence, they might be tempted to revert to sticky notes and scraps of paper, undermining the premise of the CRM solution.
Training can also help to bring about cultural change. In many organisations, sales teams feel a strong ownership of their leads and might be reluctant to record everything in the computer. Some sales people might feel the CRM solution is there to spy on them. Regular training can show how the solution helps everyone to spend more time delighting customers, selling more, and growing the company.
Sales people are hired for their talent at selling, but much of their time may be spent preparing to sell and not actually generating business. Your salespeople may be wasting time trying to understand the lead pipeline or where their best opportunities are. Manually creating proposals and quotes can be time consuming, and the whiteboard is a relatively labour intensive way to track sales progress against targets.
This is the kind of work that your CRM solution should be doing automatically for you. For example, you can use it to route leads to the right person, to avoid manual rerouting within the team. The CRM solution can use a repeatable process to create quotes and proposals, and deliver up-to-the-minute reports tracking sales against targets. Artificial intelligence can identify the most promising leads to follow up, while alerts and schedules can highlight those requiring immediate attention.
By giving your sales team more time, you can avoid the risk of leads going stale. The best time to act on a lead is often just after it comes in.
One of the frustrations that sales teams can experience is a disconnect with the marketing processes. There may not be enough leads, but it can also be a problem if the sales team is overwhelmed with leads and they aren’t converting at a good rate. That’s a lot of wasted time on the phone.
CRM systems make it easy for marketing to capture more information than ever, including the context about where the information came from, and the very first interactions the prospect had with your company. You can also see how the customer has interacted with various marketing campaigns and assets. That’s all useful information, but the first question the sales team will ask is: “Are they ready to buy?”
One of the easiest ways to increase the efficiency of an overstretched sales team is to strip out the leads that aren’t ready to buy, so your people can focus on the best opportunities. To do that, ensure the marketing team has a view of the entire marketing and sales funnel, so they can better understand which leads convert, and which nurturing processes prove most effective. That will help to find promising new prospects, but will also enable them to better time the handover of a lead to sales, so that it’s more likely to convert. It might be a culture shock for marketing to share responsibility for sales in this way, but it helps to ensure your sales and your marketing efforts are focused in the right places.
As a Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner, we can help you with business management solutions for businesses of any size, that include a comprehensive CRM system. Whether you have outgrown your existing CRM solution or are implementing CRM for the first time, we’d love to tell you more! Why not give us a call?