Struggling to hit your ambitious profit goals? Feel like your sales team is unorganised? It’s a familiar situation. Are you making use of a CRM system? Have you considered utilising one? You should. Utilising the right CRM software could be your sales management solution.
Clever use of a CRM system can take your sales team to the next level and help you hit your profit goals.
What Is A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System?
A CRM system does exactly what it says on the tin. It helps you manage your customer relations! These systems allow you to keep track of all your accounts and sales team activities, as well as automate certain processes.
How Can A Sales Management System Help Your Team Hit Your Profit Goals?
Every sales team has clearly-defined profit goals. But not every sales team actually meets these goals. Your goals should be ambitious but realistic. There needs to be an easier way of reaching them. Is use of a CRM the way? When used correctly; yes.
CRM systems can help optimise your sales team. They can help make your profit goals more achievable. They do this through enhanced pipeline organisation and management.
What Are The Advantages Of CRMs?
So, what are some of the advantages that CRM systems present? There’s quite a few reasons to use a sales management system, so let’s go through a few of them.
Better Customer Service
The main appeal of CRM systems is the advantage it gives for customer service. A sales management system allows you to track your customers and the contact you’ve had with them. They allow you to see if customers are receiving regular attention or if you’re ignoring them. This allows your team to keep on top of contacts and keep the sales pipeline flowing.
Automation For Admin
CRM systems allow for a greater level of automation in your sales team. Tasks that previously could be time-consuming and easy-to-forget can be automated through CRMs. This includes organising call times, as well as scheduling emails to large groups of contacts.
Keeps People On Same Page
Cloud-based CRMs are all the rage these days. This type of CRM uses online-implementation to upload all updates. This means that everyone in your sales team is kept up to date on team progress and contact standings. There should be little margin for misinterpretation when your whole team is using the same constantly-updated system.
More Organised Info
Organisation is one of the main appeals of CRM systems. They allow your team to keep records accessible and organised for all to access. Automation and ease of use allows for increased organisation skills that the entire team can benefit from. Beats wading through piles of papers on your desk, doesn’t it?
CRMs also allow you to segment your customer base. This allows you to organise your contacts in an efficient manner, and make sure the right information goes to the right people. For example, good segmentation through your CRM means you can send targeted automated emails to a specific segment of your contacts. This improves your targeted marketing capabilities a great deal.
Better Upselling/Cross-selling Opportunity
As we know, salespeople love a bit of upselling. Why not try to make a bit extra once you’ve got a hot lead? CRMs can provide better opportunities for your team to upsell and cross-sell to customers. They can do this by providing you with more readily available information about contacts, how your team’s interacting with them, and where they are in your sales pipeline.
You’ve seen through the CRM that sales rep Dave has very recently secured a good sale? You can see the details of this interaction and strike while the iron’s hot, following this up with an upsell or cross-sell.
CRM systems can also help you enhance your marketing capabilities. By having a good overview of your proceedings, you can identify areas which would be a good focus for marketing purposes, and which customers/demographics to market to.
Are There Any Disadvantages Of CRMs?
But what about the downsides, you may ask? There must be disadvantages to using CRM systems? Well, this is true. No CRM is perfect and there’s always a few inconveniences to consider when implementing a sales management system.
It’s a commonly held belief that in order to take advantage of a quality CRM system, you need to shell out a lot. This isn’t always the case. Yes, some high-end CRM systems can seem quite costly, but there are plenty of affordable options available.
In fact, there are so many different CRM systems you’re bound to find one at the right price for you. Of course, you’ll want to consider investing as much as possible.
Generally speaking it’s worth paying more for a CRM system that does more for you.
Also, be sure to consider any charges for repairs or support. Inquire about this with each CRM provider before you make a decision. You don’t want to invest in a CRM system that you’re losing money in fixing all the time.
Potential Loss Of Records
One potential downside of using a CRM system can stem from over-reliance. If you rely entirely on your CRM for relationship management, you could be at risk of record loss. For example, if your system is online-based and you lose access to the server you may be stuck without vital information for a while. This is why it’s good practice to make smart use of your software without over-relying on it.
Training Employees To Use It
Depending on which CRM system you choose to use, training your whole team to use it can be tough. To get the most out of your CRM system and ensure it’s used effectively, your salespeople need to be competent in using it.
This is often a learning experience and can take some time. Usually the best way to learn is by doing, which means the integration and adjustment process may take a while.
Which One Is Right For You?
You may have decided that a CRM system can be your sales management solution and take your sales team to the next level. But the question still remains; which one is right for you? It’s important that you consider a few things before diving into a piece of unfamiliar software.
A Wealth Of Choice
So you may have decided a CRM system is the way forward for your business? Great! But which CRM system is the right one for your team? This is a hard choice. After all, there are hundreds of CRMs available! The range of function in the systems available is huge. Every CRM is unique and serves a different purpose.
You should devote the time to researching the best CRM systems to determine which would be the best fit for your team.
Some Are Free, Some Are Costly
There’s a huge amount of variation in CRM offerings. This applies to cost as well as to functionality. There’s no set price for a CRM system. Depending on what you’re looking for, CRM’s range from free-to-use, to very costly. You may think, ‘why pay for something I can get for free?’
Well, when it comes to software, free options can be beneficial for some uses, however it’s often better to shell out for systems with more depth. This doesn’t always mean that ‘more expensive = better’ though.
This is why it’s so important to have a good look around at your options to find the CRM that offers the right balance between affordability and quality for your business.
Company Size Matters
It’s not just your structure that affects your CRM use. The size of your business and the number of people in your sales team will also determine which system is ideal for you. For example, if you have an expansive sales team with a lot of contacts, you need a sales management system that’s optimised for use with a large, ever changing database.
On the other hand, if you’re a small team that places focus on a smaller selection of more valuable contacts and leads, you’ll need a more focused CRM.
Integration With Existing Software
CRM systems often don’t just work standalone. They can be integrated into some of the software your team might be using. Depending on the software and your reliance on it, this could either be beneficial or troublesome.
When making the plunge into your new CRM, make sure to consider any current software you’re using. For example, if you have any form of existing CRM or alternative, you’ll need to transfer all your data over into the new system. It’s crucial that this is done properly and that nothing is lost in the process. You also need to consider how it will interact with software you’re planning on continuing to use. This includes phone and email systems etc.
Level Of Automation Required
We touched upon automation earlier, now it’s time to decide how much automation your team requires. CRMs range from being highly automated to predominantly manual. There are benefits to both, as well as downfalls.
A large amount of automation in your system can be a huge time-saver, leaving your reps with more time to focus on clients. However, too much automation leaves you open for mistakes. Human input is needed to make sure that your sales pipeline is correct, and high quality.
Striking the balance between automation and manual input can be thought of as a balance of quantity and quality.
Most of the time, you can’t get a good idea of the quality of a CRM by looking at it alone. You need to experience first-hand how it works. This is why it’s vital that you trial your CRM before investing. In fact, it’s a good idea to trial as many as you can.
Cast your net wide, have a go with a bunch of different systems until you find the one that feels best for your team. By doing this you can make sure that you pick the perfect CRM, which is a big investment.
By investing in a CRM that turns out to be less than ideal, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Luckily, many CRM’s provide free trials and demo periods so you can see their quality through use. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Look At Your Competitors
If you want a good idea of what CRM systems work in your industry, try and find out what your competitors are using. This can give you an idea of where to start looking.
Remember To Pick One That Your Whole Team Will Be Able To Use
As we mentioned, your sales team need to learn how to use the CRM system you implement. Because of this, remember to pick a system that you feel your team would find accessible. In addition to functionality, ease of use for your team is very important.
Good Luck Finding Your Ideal Sales Management Solution!
Searching for the best software for your business might be a lengthy process. But in the end if you find the right CRM it’ll be worth it.