Updated: May 11, 2021
Theoretically, all businesses know that the key to their success is sales. In practice, reaching out to customers and getting them to buy your product is easier said than done. On the one hand, there is an issue of awareness: many customers have problems but aren’t aware that there are ready-made solutions on the market. On the other hand, there is tough competition among brands: modern consumers are well-informed that there is a wide range of products that meet their requirements. So, you cannot just make a product, put it on the market, and hope that customers will discover and purchase it. You should make efforts to educate people about your brand and the product itself through sales activities. To organize, optimize and streamline sales processes companies need a customer relationship management system. If you have never heard of it, let’s see together how CRM systems help sales processes.
1. Keep Your Sales Team Connected
Let’s imagine a situation, quite common in companies, that don’t have a CRM system. The company has 3 salespeople, who keep the notes about customers locally on their PCs, in various documents. Since the company generates leads through different channels like email marketing, paid ads, social media, personal contacts (email, phone number) of a prospect, happens to appear in the lists of two salespeople. As a result, the same prospect is contacted twice as if for the first time, which can make your organization seem disorganized.
To avoid this and similar situations, you should have a system that connects your salespeople and keeps them all on the same page. CRM systems can help the sales team reduce the number of mistakes and avoid unnecessary hassle and time-wasting. In this centralized place, you can keep all your customer data, log calls, make notes, create and assign tasks, register leads and sales opportunities, etc. As a result, the CRM system will help you boost your team’s productivity and increase sales.
2. Standardize Your Sales Processes
Once you have a CRM system, you should standardize your sales processes by building a roadmap for closing deals. For doing that, you should, first of all, register your sales opportunity in the system. Then, define the stages of the sales pipeline, for example, in Salesforce Sales Cloud each opportunity goes through 10 stages:
Id Decision Makers
These are the default stages in the system, which can be changed - added or reduced based on which sales pipeline works best for your company. The idea is that the CRM system helps the sales team to understand where they are with their sales opportunities, what their next steps are, how many deals are expected to be closed, how many of them are won or lost. With this information at hand, you’ll be able to see the real picture of your entire operations and set realistic revenue goals.
3. Prepare Reports with Just a Click
To understand how CRMs help sales processes, let’s go back to the example, where your company has 3 salespeople, who keep customer data on personal Excel Spreadsheets, documents, or notebooks. Apart from that, you may have dozens of tools that your team uses for making calls, sending emails, scheduling meetings, etc. So, every time you need to compile a weekly/monthly report about the performance of your sales team, you need to extract that data from different tools and then combine all the lists. This may take several hours if you’re lucky enough, or even days.
Unlike manual reporting, the reporting in CRM is automated. With a CRM system you can prepare your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even annual reports within a few minutes. The information can be displayed via tables or charts. And the most important feature of automated reporting is that the chances of making mistakes caused by carelessness, inattentiveness, or human errors, are equal to zero.
4. Create and Manage Tasks Like a Pro
Have you ever missed the date/time of calling a prospect, sending him an email, or following up with him because you have simply forgotten about it?
CRM systems help sales reps manage their tasks like a pro by automatically notifying them of the actions that need to be taken. For example, in Salesforce CRM you create a task by inserting the contact person’s name and company, describing the action, defining the priority level/ status, and setting a reminder date and time. No matter when the action needs to be done - in a week, month, or year, the CRM system will remind you about it by sending a notification.
5. Show up on Time for More Sales Opportunities
The fifth way how CRMs help salespeople is by allowing them to show up in front of your customers on time for new sales opportunities. How? Well, this is easy. The best CRM systems for sales reps contain information about the closed deals - purchased product, contract number, licensing type, etc. So, in the system, you’ll be able to see when the contract is expired and contact the person or company for renewal. Or let’s say, you sell two complementary products. Once a customer purchases one of them, you can use this upselling opportunity to reach out to them and offer the second one.
6. Improve Collaboration Across Teams
Though the benefits mentioned above are predominantly for the sales representatives, CRM systems support marketing and customer service teams, as well. By having all the customer data in one place, you can smartly segment your audience according to various criteria, create personalized messages for them and execute successful marketing campaigns. Your customer support professionals will have up-to-date data at hand and provide fast and quality customer service, which will certainly increase the customer satisfaction rate. So, by having CRM software in place, you’ll optimize the collaboration between marketing, sales, and customer support teams and boost their performance.
7. Access The Customer Data Anywhere, Any Time
And the last (in our list) way how CRM systems support sales processes is the availability of flexible access methods. Previously, the majority of CRM software was on-premise, and you could access your database on your working PC only. Nowadays, most CRM systems are cloud-based, which means that you can assess it from any device - computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. Some advanced CRM software like Salesforce has gone even further by creating a mobile CRM application, which can be downloaded from Play Market and App Store.