As a sales pro, you are no stranger to the process of sales. In most instances, you will be spending your time engaging with leads and helping them along their buying journey. CRM is a big help. But if you are only using it as a glorified contacts book, you are selling yourself and your company very short. So to help you use your CRM more extensively, today we’re going to introduce you to 8 useful CRM functions.
What you will learn in this article
- Why CRM is more than a fancy Rolodex
- What is the CRM process
- 8 great CRM functions you cannot afford to miss
- How they apply to your business
- How to get started with CRM
CRM: much more than a digital Rolodex
While that was true in the Nineties, CRM has advanced exponentially since then. Today, it integrates into every facet of your business to help prospects and leads become paying customers.
CRM is strongly aligned with the sales process. As such, CRM does an excellent job of building stronger relationships with customers, helping you close more sales, and ensuring customers stick around for more.
What is the CRM process?
In a nutshell, the CRM process enhances the relationship between your company and your customers. A large part of this is the ability to automate business processes and keep the sales team focused on closing deals, not spending time on admin. Typically, this means leveraging your CRM to capture leads and log deals and customer interactions.
But how can you optimize the CRM process to let you and your sales team work more and efficiently and bag more sales?
8 great CRM functions you cannot afford to ignore
CRM should take center stage for capturing and storing leads from all your sales channels. Whether the lead is captured via your website, social media, word-of-mouth referrals, the CRM is the central repository, not random spreadsheets. This data capture can then be applied to your CRM-based workflows to obtain the efficiency gains in the sales process.
As you travel through the prospecting process, you can use a CRM system to maintain contact records and log the information you have learned along the way. For example, a contact gets logged whenever they visit your site. So if they downloaded a guide about air conditioning rather than heating systems, you know they are interested in buying an AC unit.
Connecting with leads
When your CRM captures basic contact details about a lead, you can use this information to feel them out. The CRM you select should have email and phone integration to allow easier logging of your interaction with every lead. After reaching out, the next step, as you will be aware, is to assess how likely you are to win their business.
A critical phase in the buying journey is assessing whether your products or services are a good fit for the potential customer. Asking open-ended questions – ones you can’t answer with yes or no – are the best way to get to the crux of the matter. You can then log the responses in the CRM and move them down the sales funnel.
Sales negotiations will often hit barriers. If so, you can document these objections in the CRM, and this lets the rest of your team know. This is valuable for training purposes and lessons learned. Documenting objections also gives other team or staff members a heads-up should they contact the same customer.
CRMs are integration-friendly, so don’t forget to hook up proposals software. Once connected, it is easy to share and create proposal documents within the CRM system. In addition, using CRM tracking gives you insight into whether the document has been opened or viewed and allows you to link the prospect to specific deals without leaving the system.
When a proposal has been accepted and the deal closed, you can log it in CRM to ensure accurate, up-to-date reporting. This is essential to help the CRM to generate accurate reports and forecasts. Equally, if a deal is a bust, you will want to log that too.
Cross-selling and upselling
As all interactions and purchase histories are recorded, CRM is a valuable tool for identifying cross- and upsell opportunities. You can then offer personalized deals on a product or service that complements their purchase or solves another problem they may have.
How to get started with CRM
CRM is today the most beneficial way to boost your sales and ensure more efficient working practices across the board. CRM is powerful and versatile yet easy to use and implement. However, before investing to bring about next-level selling, you should educate yourself on the functions and benefits of CRM. That way, you can ‘sell’ CRM usage to sales staff and ensure maximum technology adoption.
If you invest in CRM, be sure you understand all the features and how they work. The best method to do this is to arrange a free trial. Many CRM providers set up a demo account, and you have 14-days to assess the platform and how it can help your company.
Sales team, no matter how big or small, can benefit from CRM. The level of organization and business insight simply cannot be matched manually. To thrive in the modern globally competitive business landscape, the two keystones are efficiency and customer experience.
If you wish to gain a vital competitive edge, it’s highly recommended that small businesses concentrate their research on cloud-based CRM providers. These systems are highly affordable and well-featured. A small business would be wise to steer clear of on-site solutions in terms of practicality and affordability. They are expensiveand require dedicated staff to run and maintain servers. For these reasons, a cloud-based solution is by far the more practical option for small business enterprises.
One of the best cloud CRMs for small businesses is, of course, Samdock. Contact us today to find out how we can take your sales process to a new level of efficiency.