By Shawn Hessinger
Customer relationship management software makes it easier to handle your whole sales process. This goes for any business, whether you have a sales force of one or 100. But if you think of CRM systems only as a way to add efficiency or improve customer service, you’re missing a big part of the point.
CRM systems also help you increase your sales numbers, says Brent Leary, founder and managing partner at CRM Essentials. Below are 13 ways businesses boost their sales using CRM software and turn prospects into customers.
Increase Sales Numbers with a CRM System
1. Share Information Across Your Sales Team
Coordinate your activities when contacting leads and making pitches. We’ve all been in the position of receiving several phone calls from the same company. It seems as if the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing — as if there is no organization. Is this a company you would want to do business with? Leary explains:
“That might not sound like something that would drive sales, but if one person contacted a lead and then another person contacts a lead, that would hurt the sale.”
2. Keep Track of Your Sales Process
Do you have a five step process or some other sales system designed to keep your team consistent when following up leads and closing sales? If you want to be sure your sales team is following it to the letter, than a CRM system can be great for monitoring that too. Sales people may say they have followed all the steps. But now you will have a way to double check.
3. Keep Your Sales Manager in the Know
In addition to keeping tabs on your sales team, CRM software keeps your sales manager in the know, says Leary. These tools let the head of a sales department keep track of what deals are in the pipeline. But more importantly, it keeps track of what stage each deal is in, including which deals are ready to close or have already closed. In short, it allows your sales manager to keep his or her finger on the pulse of the whole sales process.
4. Better Allocate Your Sales Resources
Bigger clients may need more resources from your sales team. This could mean more resources to land them in the first place and then to continue providing service over the length of the relationship. Some prospects may not need as many hands. Or you may have learned from experience that some prospects are more of a long shot, so you don’t want to expend the same energy. Good CRM software lets you see at a glance how your sales resources are allocated. This makes it easier to make intelligent decisions about how best to deploy your team.
5. Let Members of Your Team Know Where They Stand
Individual members of your sales team need to know how they’re doing too. Are they meeting their sales goals? If not, how far off are they? An important step toward self-improvement is to understand how you measure up. CRM software can give your sales people an easy way to benchmark their performance and strive for improvement.
6. Make it Easy to Share Sales Materials and Other Documents
Give your team an easy way to share sales materials and other documents. Your creating a win-win. This helps them improve their performance and ultimately close more sales. It also saves time and boosts the efficiency of your sales department. If your sales team is spread out geographically, it’s even more important.
7. Simplify Reporting Requirements
CRM software simplifies many aspects of your sales teams’ lives, says Leary. That includes reporting sales activities. Some mobile CRM apps, for example, automatically journal activities. These include how many sales calls were made in a given day or how much time was spent setting up calls or lunches. Such tools make it easier for your sales team to input important data, Leary explains. Then they can spend the time they save selling.
8. Enable Collaboration
We’ve mentioned how CRM systems help your team share documents, keep track of sales calls and give sales managers a better look at what’s going on. We can see a bigger picture here too. CRM software helps your sales team collaborate on many levels. It enables team selling to land those really big accounts too.
9. Use for Partner Selling
Just as larger sales teams use CRM systems for collaborative selling efforts, smaller businesses use it for partner selling. This might include several small businesses, perhaps even on the solopreneur level, using a CRM system to collaborate. They could partner to land a large sale or sign a large client that would benefit them all.
10. Create “Web to Lead” Systems
According to Leary, this involves creating a form on your website to capture leads. The system then routes the leads directly to the person in your sales department who can reach out and make a connection. Say goodbye to hot leads being lost in an overcrowded inbox!
11. Keep Track of Important Contacts
Small business owners have a lot to keep track of. That includes your most important contacts and prospects. Who’s the decision maker you need to reach out to when making that next important sales call or sending that next critical email? CRM systems can monitor changes on social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and others to notify you when important changes occur.
12. Keep Up With Notifications and Reminders
Just as you need to keep track of that important sales contact or prospect, you need reminders about when to touch base. Failure to follow through could mean loosing an important relationship. So CRM systems provide notifications and reminders about important contacts and prospects you maybe haven’t spoken to lately. Be sure not to loose contact and miss out on that next big sale.
13. Use GPS on CRM Apps to Connect in Person
GPS enabled CRM apps also can lead you right to a prospect’s door. Who needs a sales call or email when a face-to-face meeting is possible? Leary says GPS enabled CRM apps let you identify prospects in your area. They also provide map directions and contact information to set up a meeting.
Original Post: SmallBizTrends