Best Practices for Using CRM Software for Sales – Part 1

Posted by Davide Petramala on Mon, Sep 09, 2013

An average company loses between 10 to 30 percent of its customers every year. Meanwhile, a five percent reduction in your customer defection rate can increase your profit from 25 to 80 percent

As a sales manager, you know that a stronger sales team directly correlates to greater revenue. Your job is to maximize your team’s sales potential; however, your team is only as strong as the tools it’s utilizing to get the job done.

This is where three simple letters come into play: CRM.3 Best Practices for Using CRM Software for Sales – Part 1

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is all about four things: sales, service, quality and support. These four ingredients ultimately help sales teams form individualized customer relationships, improve client satisfaction and maximize profit by organizing, synchronizing and compacting daily processes and information.

 

Let’s take a look at some quick tips on how to properly utilize CRM so that your sales team can gain a serious competitive edge.

1.)   You’re a Team…Embrace the Shared System

Your salespeople want to get commission for their hard work. Understandably, they may be reluctant to use a collaboration system that requires them to input their information where others can see and profit from it. On the one hand, you’re leading a team; while on the other hand, the sales environment is a highly competitive one.

Bottom Line: Sales are all about benefiting the wider business. That’s exactly what sales intelligence – technologies (including CRM) for collecting, integrating and analyzing information to sell better – helps support. In fact, research from Aberdeen Group shows that 61 percent of companies that took advantage of sales intelligence saw improved lead quality and quantity to maximize selling time, and 41 percent saw improved knowledge of the customer’s account and history to engage in more successful, targeted conversations.

 

2.)   Optimize for Social Media

As a sales manager, you know that it’s no longer possible to get in touch with someone via one single phone call. This is especially true today thanks to the advent of social media. Today, 76 percent of people say that they feel “positive” after using social media, also using such keywords as “connected” and “informed.” Your sales team better be capitalizing on this to generate more leads.

Bottom Line: Positive customer relationships can make or break even the highest performing sales team. A top feature of CRM is that it can seamlessly integrate with social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, allowing you to more easily track all aspects of your sales team’s social campaign, like which networks are experiencing the most traffic and what your customers are saying about your brand. Analyze this information to understand how your sales team can better nurture leads. If you’re not, you’re already behind in the game, seeing how social media lead conversion rates are 13 percent higher than the average lead conversion rate.

 

3.)   Don’t Ignore Time Management Problems

Time management initiatives haven’t changed much over the years for sales teams. For salespeople, the chief objective will always be the same: do more in less time. The problem, however, arises when your team gets bogged down with non-selling obligations like administration and problem-solving tasks. And they’re not alone – research shows that 80 percent of the average workday is spent on things that have little or no value.

Bottom Line: If your sales team is struggling with these time-consuming tasks, there is clearly something wrong. With the advancement of technology today, your time should be better and more quickly allocated. The primary purpose of CRM software is to alleviate these prolonged processes (i.e. managing contacts, setting appoints, monitoring marketing campaigns) so that team members like Sam can be freed up to do what they do best – sell.

There’s still a huge piece of this puzzle that has yet to be addressed: automation. Check back for part two of this series, where we’ll talk all about automated CRM software.

 

If your organization is on Google Apps, you can go more Google with unified communications.  Download this white paper to learn more>>

Download this Osterman Research Report to discover the best approach to unified communications.

CRM iceberg image compliments of Sean MacEntee on Flickr

Topics: social integration, CRM, Salesforce

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