Whether you’re looking to maintain relationships with existing customers or engage prospects throughout the sales cycle, it’s impossible for even the most talented sales rep to remember every customer interaction, so they can follow up at the right time with the right message.
As businesses strive to give a personal and genuine touch to every customer, tracking sales activity and follow up is critical. Yet, customers interact with businesses across multiple channels and at fleeting moments – how can a rep effectively monitor and keep track of it all? Including interactions with others, such as customer service.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is a lifesaver for busy sales reps and marketers to track customer data and relationships in one integrated system. According to Pardot, 79% of leads fail to convert without a CRM. Think of all the opportunity you’re leaving on the table, if only 20% of your leads turn into sales (gasp)!
Today, we’ll walk through CRM basics and the cross-team benefits of implementing a CRM system.
A Quick Overview of CRMs
Think of your CRM as a database housing customer and prospect demographic data (name, address, company size, etc.) and behavior data (services or orders purchased, email interactions, calls, follow ups, customer order issues, etc.).
It offers businesses a single location to log interactions across teams and channels, to build a 360-degree view of leads and current customers. Think of your CRM as a rolodex or “little black book” for the digital age with even more information about your customers.
A CRM helps with organization, communication, and follow up prioritization. Here’s a few ways teams benefit from a collaborative CRM:
A CRM is the hub for all sales activity. If your sales rep is calling on a prospect, they easily look that record up in the system to see all their past interactions and what they’ve purchased in the past. What emails have they received and opened? When was the last time they interacted? What products caught their interest?The rep logs notes after the phone call, so when they next reach out, they’re picking up the conversation right where it left off. Reps grade leads to reflect their buying power or stage of the lifecycle, create alerts to be notified when contacts activity ramps up, or send prospecting emails directly.
Marketers need insights into their audiences’ engagement throughout the sales cycle. Frequently, marketing produces leads (prospective customers) and passes them to the sales reps to contact. Without a CRM, the feedback loop between sales and marketing is strained. Were the leads produced by a specific marketing effort good? Are they converting? What happened with the ones who didn’t convert?A CRM enables sales reps to modify fields to reflect lead quality and sales cycle phase. Marketing gains a window into the post-marketing cycle to measure overall effectiveness of their efforts and pipeline.
Management, finance, and leadership use CRMs to report on the health of their sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. A CRM helps hold teams accountable and offers transparency across teams and all levels of the organization. Trends can be visualized in real-time. Are sales going up for the quarter? How are your territory reps performing? Where are issues arising with customer service?
CRMs come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re a large and dynamic organization, a sophisticated tool like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics has the robust features your sales and marketing team needs.
If you’re a B2B vendor or wholesaler, Whereoware’s Pharos CRM has unique product-focused features that many CRMs do not. For example, you can place orders, manage customer issues and returns, analyze sales, ensure lead follow up, or schedule an appointment.
Ultimately, you’re looking for a CRM that fits your business needs and budget to convert more leads, manage customer relationships, and grow sales.
A few of our favorite CRM capabilities:
Reporting + Dashboards: Reports and dashboards help you monitor your sales pipeline and activity, without slaving over Excel. By making the data visual and easy to digest, up-to-date dashboards help businesses understand their metrics at-a-glance (and the data is near real-time).
Order History: Knowing what, when, and how much the customer purchased helps marketing and sales understand their customers’ product interests and position them for repeat business.
Cases: Does your business have a customer service team or a one-man help desk? Cases reveal pain points and recurring issues.
Media Library: House all marketing collateral/sales sheets and PowerPoint presentations in your CRM, so your teams can easily access the most current, on-brand version.
Plays Well With Others: There’s strength in connectivity. Look for a CRM that easily integrates with other solutions, like your business intelligence or marketing automation platforms. These integrations enable you to leverage data and behavior across systems to trigger corresponding notifications, email campaigns, or audience segments.
Which CRM Is Right For You?
A CRM offers a collaborative window into daily sales activity and customer interactions. It helps you monitor, manage, and optimize your sales pipeline. It helps reps access the information they need to sell better and maintain customer satisfaction. It streamlines reporting and follow up.
Choosing a CRM can be daunting. Get started by identifying your basic business needs along with your overall budget and scale. If you are a small business, you may not need the features of an enterprise system. If you sell products, you’d benefit from a streamlined, product-focused CRM, like Pharos CRM.
Still unsure where to start? One of our digital experts is happy to talk through your options and help you grow your business.