Using customer relationship management software (CRM) is a must for all businesses. It’s a place to store your data sensibly and logically. But CRMs aren’t only information banks. The data stored can be used in different ways to achieve various goals. Many of the tools required for this are already part of modern CRMs. There are some undeniable signs your company needs a CRM, but one less obvious advantage is you can use it to drive sales, an essential growth tool.
Read on to find out six ways that CRM use can improve your sales and profits.
Use your CRM to help with customer outreach
If you reach out to potential customers who’ve already contacted made contact with your business, this can dramatically improve sales figures.
Details from your CRM are like gold dust. Encourage customer service staff to add communication details to the CRM whenever a new client contacts them. Customer support automation has become popular in recent times, but customer service employees also need to know how vitally important their active involvement is.
This data represents potential leads, i.e., people who’ve shown interest in your business and its product(s). What better place to find interested customers than this vital source?
New leads are hard to come by. For example, in a survey of 120 marketers, almost half said generating traffic and leads was the most challenging aspect of their job (as demonstrated in the graphic below).
Train salespeople to locate and contact these potential customers, but make sure you stick to the GDPR and don’t contact customers without reason. This could land you in a lot of hot water.
GDPR states businesses must have a good enough reason to contact customers. They need to have a legitimate reason to believe the customer wants to hear from them.
Assign leads to each salesperson
CRM usage allows businesses to assign potential leads to different salespeople (how to generate leads is another story). Luckily, you can use CRM features to track follow-ups.
Assigning responsibility is an integral part of employee management. Altering the CRM to direct this responsibility to various salespeople can empower them. It encourages a culture of ownership.
It’s also a great way to stay ahead of the competition, as 65 percent of marketers aren’t nurturing leads. (An excellent opportunity to take control of the lead-to-customer journey and harness the power of these leads.) Studies show nurtured leads by 47 percent more than they otherwise would. Nurtured leads enhance customer loyalty and make the sales from each customer more significant.
With each customer linked to a single salesperson, there are benefits. There’s no lost communication between salespeople, something that often frustrates customers. A salesperson will know their assigned customers’ history. The sales team is positioned to communicate with them and make decisions on their behalf.
A CRM can allow a user to input a wealth of information. They can also track and manage leads as the customer moves through the buying journey. This is a simple yet effective way to improve sales opportunities.
Use CRMs to improve the relationship between customer service and sales
In business, cooperation between different departments is essential. It promotes a collaborative atmosphere that serves stakeholders. This leads to more profits. As customer service and sales both deal with customers, this is all the more true. CRMs can promote the synergy of these two essential groups.
CRMs are customer-related. Customer service departments use them daily. This department is the first line of contact for customers, but you can encourage the sales team also to use this resource. This promotes a closer relationship between customer service and sales.
This can only be a good thing. When these two teams work together, it creates a more customer-friendly environment. This relationship has changed recently, partly thanks to the use of video conferencing platforms during the pandemic.
This improved relationship can have many positive side effects. This includes encouraging customer service representatives to upsell. They can also pass customers into sales when they have sales-specific queries.
It will also enhance employees’ interpersonal relationships. This will have a positive effect on their work-life balance and reduce turnover. There’s nothing worse than when two departments have a complex relationship. They won’t work together effectively. Although these effects are not sales-related, they do benefit the business as a whole.
Use your CRM to reduce dropoff
Before customers commit to a sale, they may have second thoughts. Better known as shopping cart abandonment, this practice can be lethal for a business. Using a CRM makes tracking your customers easier. This can help you to understand the thought process of an individual customer. It catches potential sales right in the act before they have a sudden change of heart.
There are many reasons why people abandon carts. Sometimes, there are too many steps when it comes to buying the product. Notably, 24 percent of people leave them because they need to create an account to continue. Another factor is the checkout process being too long and the customer giving up. Collecting this information makes it easier to tackle these issues.
The graph below shows the shopping cart abandonment rate for various industries from a March 2020 study. In total, 88.05 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned in that month. That’s a lot of potential sales missed. With a CRM, it’s much easier to have a complete overview of an individual customer’s reasons for dropping off.
The very nature of CRMs allows for the investigation and unpicking of abandonment causes. Youn can respond to this information by targeting abandoners with a tempting offer. However, make sure not to bombard customers. They could experience email overload and lose interest. Enlisting the functionalities of the CRM in this way can increase sales. It can also improve customer relationships and loyalty.
Create reports more easily
Sales reports constitute an essential part of sales as a whole. They allow for objective reflection on processes and performance. This helps businesses to improve for the future. Did you know CRMs can produce these reports for you? A good CRM with all the necessary features will create specific reports on customer communication, individual sales performance, and even conversion rates.
As well as saving time, the reports produced by CRMs are streamlined and free from human error. CRMs can improve the accuracy of information by 42 percent. CRM software can also provide suggestions for sales reports and analysis. These reports can tell the future. Or, at least, they can guess it. Forecasting is a common feature of many CRMs. Based on currently held data, it permits you to see what may happen in the months and years ahead. You can use this to make better sales decisions moving forward.
Use it to follow up on leads quickly
Keeping in touch with customers is as vital as prospecting new leads. Following up with customers is crucial to sales, and it’s easy when you’re using a CRM. This software can remind sales staff to contact various customers and allows them to track their journey.
As the above donut chart shows, there are often limits to how many times salespeople follow up. The critical culprits behind this lack of contact are forgetfulness and the inability to keep track of leads. As explained, using a CRM nips this in the bud. Optimizing your CRM to take advantage of this statistic is advisable. Catching that 80 percent will ensure more and easier sales. It will also promote consistent client-salesperson relationships that will help grow your business.
Many sales staff feel reluctant to follow up with customers, possibly due to their fear of bothering them. Reassure them with the statistics above. A programmed CRM plan can dispel these anxieties and promote a culture of togetherness. A meeting to put this into practice should take place via a secure video conference. Schedule time for people to contact their customers and support those unsure about this new approach to connecting.
The next steps
As shown, there are many different ways to improve the sales process via CRM use. A CRM can be used to store information and create reports, assign leads, and more. There are easy ways to identify the right CRM for your business. How should a company choose to use its CRM? It depends on its sales and business objectives. The CRM allows for the overall improvement of the sales process. You may find it proves helpful in other ways too. For example, it’s possible to place regular customers into an elite club of loyal members using this software.
It’s essential to review the CRM tools you use to keep up to date with your business’ needs and how they change. As your company progresses, increased sales may lead to new ways to cut costs. For example, you could invest in an automated onboarding process or better manufacturing equipment.
About the Author:
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications and video conference equipment platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.