How a CRM can improve your sales process

Adding a CRM into your business can support your salespeople and administration staff in simplifying and streamlining the sales process. A large number of administrative tasks that are easily overlooked by your team can also be automated by using a CRM.

Here are just a few of the ways a CRM can improve your sales results:

  1. Increase visibility of prospects in your sales funnel
    As your marketing delivers leads, your sales team is busy contacting them. They establish which of your products or service is the best fit for each and then move through the process of encouraging the sale and eventual closing. A CRM streamlines your sales process by providing greater visibility of prospects as they pass through the sales funnel.

    CRMs make it easy to see where every prospect is in the sales funnel, at any given timeSales teams that rely on spreadsheets or worse, antiquated systems like post-it notes, rolodexes, or notebooks risk the chance of leads falling through the cracks. Everyone makes mistakes and following up leads is easily forgotten unless you have a system to remind you. Automatic reminders based on any value stored in your CRM can be set to remind the team to follow-up leads.

    A CRM makes it easy to prioritise leads and makes it obvious which leads need more work. When you work in your CRM, you can assign values to your leads to show how far through the sales process they are, how well qualified they are, and additional information. Administration staff can point out hot leads and place them at the top of the salesperson’s contact list for each day. It’s a no-brainer for the sales team to then work their way through their leads.

    Increased visibility thanks to a quality CRM leads to a more effective, efficient sales process. When your leads are automatically organized by industry, job title, interest level, and more, your sales team can spend more time on what they’re best at — closing deals.

  2. Who did what and when?
    A CRM records who, when, where, and how a lead was contacted and stores notes as to the nature of each conversation. From initial generation of a lead, through to marketing contacts (ie. email campaigns), sales admin contact, and sales manager notes, each touchpoint with a lead is collected and stored in the CRM.

    No matter who looks at the record of that lead, they’ll be able to find out exactly where the prospect is in the sales process. At each point in managing a sale or conducting business with your contacts, your records are updated, stating by who and when. As the sale progresses through to close, the sales manager and the team will be able to see clearly what has happened and what needs to be completed.

  3. Reporting
    Making reports can be a chore. Especially if they’re due on a regular basis and involved many different sources of information from multiple spreadsheets and third party software. But what if they could be automated? Bingo, that’s what a CRM does for your sales team!

    A decent CRM can generate sales reports at the click of a button, incorporating data from sales and contact activity over a set period along with external third party software data too, so sales managers and team members can see progress. With regular reports you can see what’s working and what’s not for each member.

    All data in a CRM can be analysed and there’s plenty in there. From contact activity to opportunities, targets, and budgets, segments, and lead status. Reports can be customised to your requirements and generated automatically to meet the most demanding of sales manager’s requests.

    From the information presented in your reports, you’ll be able to further streamline your sales process for even better results. For example, report on your key Key Performance Indicactors (KPIs), and discover what level of activity is required for successfully closing a sale. Is it at least 10 cold calls per week or more? Is it one email campaign per month or two?
  4. Documents the Sales Process
    All companies have a sales process that begins with the founders’ original selling methods and finessed over the years as products and services are added. Having a CRM means setting standardised actions that occur for all leads as they move through the sales process. These standardised actions between you and your customers will give consistency to customer relations and also save the team time.

    Defining the sales stages in a CRM helps define the sales process for your team. Any future employees will also have a solid introduction to how your company works and lets them get up to speed quickly.

    The sales process will become embedded in all employees, so that as a sale progresses, the sales team know exactly what to do as they follow the sales process within the CRM. Sales people will be following your sales process to a tee and any deviations from the committed approach would show up in reports.

  5. Automate tasks and data entry

    CRMs can streamline the administration tasks that come with collecting and managing data. With a centralised system, there’s only one set of data to worry about (not 10 different versions of excel spreadsheets). Therefore, your admin team in head office, sales managers on the road, and call centre work with the same information.

    Web leads that arrive from online forms can be automatically added to a sales person’s database and set to have a follow-up call and email instantly. This saves having to re-type information and removes hours of administration time per month.

    Along with that, many CRMs like BuddyCRM auto-populate fields based on standard definitions. With auto-populated fields the majority of information is completed for a contact record, again reducing the amount of time taken to enter and update data.

    Third-party integration allows information from other software packages, eg. accounting, inventory, ERP, logistics, and email-marketing systems to be brought into the CRM and automatically displayed within a customer record. No more looking up multiple systems just to find out the day of an order dispatch, the number of a product, or whether a marketing email has been received.

    Reduced admin time means more time selling. More selling = happier sales reps, pleased sales managers, and hopefully, delighted customers.

Your company’s sales process is vital to your sales department. With clear practices in place and defined in your CRM so that the sales team is following company policy, they’ll be able to guide customers through the buying journey.

Successful companies have a time-honoured approach that works well for them and is implemented throughout the team. A CRM can help you to guide the team and create a successful business.