Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable you to compile details about leads and customers so you can target them more effectively. Unfortunately, many companies that invest in CRM technologies are not using them to their fullest potential. When used properly, CRM systems can help you develop a customer-centric approach and a communications cadence that will maximize your opportunity for success. Here are 3 reasons your CRM system is one of the most valuable tools in your sales arsenal, and how you can make sure you are leveraging it to its full potential.
1. Better Alignment and Coordination Among Teams and Processes
Integrated data gathering and access builds bridges between marketing and sales, making both teams more productive. You can learn more about each lead/customer as well as the overall composite – what’s working well with your sales process and where you need improvement. Refining your sales strategy and execution enables you to find more and better-qualified leads, faster, to keep your pipeline full. Automation makes it easy to share information among sales personnel and across marketing and sales teams. It allows salespeople to spend their time more meaningfully, building relationships with leads and closing sales. That’s the personal touch every prospect wants. But personalization is impossible without the ability to collect information and the intention to use it strategically to nurture and convert leads. CRM data gives you valuable insight into each potential customer, by tracking online behavior, website interactions and history. Identifying what triggers each prospect’s response and when, you can individually guide them down a path from lead to buyer, reducing the sales cycle.
2. Right Time, Right Conversation
Closing sales is easier when you have demonstrated that you can provide relevance and value. It’s all about connecting, establishing credibility and building relationships. Real-time CRM input puts the latest prospect intel at your fingertips, making your sales team more agile. With better across-the-board visibility into prospects and their behavior, marketing can stay in touch in timely, meaningful ways, using automated workflows and targeted content to nurture prospects in effective and meaningful ways. Tracking all these touches allows sales to determine the best time to contact a prospect and the right things to talk about. You can also “nurture” current customers, because the more you know about them, the more easily your sales team can identify appropriate and timely opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. That makes sales people more efficient and your sales process more cost-efficient. Proactively approaching customers with solutions you know they need builds loyalty as well as sales. And it boosts marketing and sales ROI.
3. Better-Informed Sales Strategy and Business Decisions
Continuous improvement starts with information. Digging deeply into your CRM enables you to pinpoint specific ways to improve your marketing and sales process and interactions with prospects and customers. Because you can see the big picture as well as the “fine print,” you can make sharper business management decisions, refine forecasting and sales strategy, and arm sales with the tools they need to zero in on the strongest leads. Analyzing CRM data in conjunction with website analytics and other business information can help identify opportunities to improve products and services or develop new ones.
Salesforce quotes the Harvard Business Review as saying, “sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%, and investment returns have often exceeded 100%.” So to say that “information is power” may seem a trite reminder. However, in today’s marketing and sales environment where success rests squarely with your ability to tailor your efforts to each prospect and customer, those lacking access to the right real-time information are truly at a disadvantage.
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