The Awesome Power of CRM to Increase Sales
“The top salesperson in the organization probably missed more sales than 90% of the salespeople on the team, but they [sic] also made more calls than the others made.” – Zig Ziglar
It was Woody Allen who once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” That was much the same point the sales expert Zig Ziglar was making. But while sales is certainly a numbers game—and top salespeople probably do make more calls—real success requires mastery of many elements of a sale.
Here are just a few skills that salespeople need to master:
Building strong customer relationships
Becoming a domain expert
Managing leads effectively
Understanding data analytics
Following up—before and after the sale
The ins and outs of marketing technology
Quick response to leads and prospects
Researching a prospect’s background and industry
Using a consultative approach
Planning the next step at the end of each sales call
The successful sales rep in the 21st century needs to juggle, manage and excel in these areas and more. And that’s where a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play. It’s an invaluable aid because it and enables today’s salespeople to do it all successfully.
Communication = More Sales
Successful salespeople don’t simply rattle off a list of features and benefits and hope for the best. They help their prospects make an educated buying decision. They ask questions, listen and then tailor their message to best assist their customers. Good communication means more than staying in touch; it’s about becoming a trusted adviser. Your CRM should make that communication easy.
Organization = Better Sales Operations
When working many sales opportunities, the last thing either a rep or management wants is for essential follow up with prospects to fall through the cracks. CRM opportunity tracking helps reps stay focused on ALL their deals. Management can quickly see that every deal is being worked. But for CRM to be used, activity tracking must be both easy and convenient. It needs to provide 100% access from any device and even be available offline.
360-Degree View = More Opportunities Identified
As the saying goes, the devil’s in the details. Well, so are additional sales opportunities. The more granular the customer view—and the more flexible the viewing—the easier it is for your entire team to review account information and identify even more sales opportunities. CRM puts all account and contact information in one place where it’s easy to track, search, segment and run reports.
Pipeline Reports = Sales Growth
The backbone of all sales management is the pipeline report. As a sales opportunity moves through the pipeline, reps need to be able to reflect progress. And management needs a single view of the pipeline to understand what’s happening in the field, assist where necessary, forecast with accuracy and analyze both wins and losses. CRM enables reps and management to work together to grow the business.
History and Continuity = Sales Performance Improvement
Employees come and go, and through it all you need to ensure continuity in your business. You need assurance that when employees leave, your customer contacts and history don’t walk out the door. And when you assign accounts to new reps, you want those employees to be able to get up to speed quickly, have access to customer history and keep customers happy…with no missteps.
Cross-Selling Opportunities = Increased Sales
We all know that it’s both easier and more cost-effective to sell to existing customers than to rely exclusively on new sales. That’s the power of cross-selling—selling additional products and services to your existing customer base. The more you know about your customers—what they’ve bought, the problems that brought them to you in the first place, the successes they’ve had with your products—the easier it is to build a cross-selling strategy that will best benefit your customers…while increasing your sales.
Marketing and Communication Templates = Sales Advice
Your sales reps may know what they need to communicate to their prospects and customers, but crafting professional-looking emails, producing quick sales sheets and designing marketing and promotional messages is not the best use of their time. CRM can put the power of polished communication in their hands and ensure your brand image is always presented in the best possible light.
CRM = Improved Customer Experience
While we all tend to view CRM from the perspective of our own businesses and focus on the many ways it helps our reps and sales managers to do their jobs and increase sales, there is another beneficiary. Our customers. The better we know our customers, understand their history, anticipate their needs and communicate solutions, the better their customer experience. That’s a true win-win.