How CRM Improves Sales Processes
Sales reps always have their eyes on their quotas, looking to further customer relationships and capitalize on new opportunities to increase profits. But we all know the difficulties of meeting sales goals. Keeping up with various customer interactions, managing data and creating forecasts take up considerable time that could be used to reach out to new prospects or respond to consumer needs. When sales teams aren’t maximizing their time and resources to bolster customer relationships, your bottom line suffers.
However, there is a cure for common sales pain points: customer relationship management software, or CRM. CRM serves as a comprehensive tool for taking care of front-end processes and boosting revenue. Keep reading to find out which sales problems your business can solve with CRM software.
“We spend too much time entering data.”
71 percent of sales reps waste most of their productive hours on manual data entry. Instead of reaching out to more prospects or responding to a customer query, sales teams are transferring data from emails or sticky notes into various spreadsheets and reports, sometimes inputting errors along the way. One of the most exciting benefits of CRM software is its ability to automate rote tasks and maintain accurate, up-to-date data in one place.
Salesforce, for example, leverages AI technology to automatically capture data from emails, contacts and more. It can also log and associate each email and meeting to the right leads and contacts without any work on your end. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM automates menial processes as well, instantly creating new cases upon receiving a customer email and automatically routing leads to specific users. By connecting with other Microsoft products such as Outlook and SharePoint, it seamlessly transfers information between your platforms. With CRM cutting down on manual data entry, sales reps can take more time to develop valuable customer relationships.
“Which opportunities should we focus on?”
Time is money, and when your sales department is wasting their time chasing down a prospect that’s unlikely to sign the dotted line, you’re potentially losing out on more qualified leads or repeat business. CRM software includes the analytics and reporting functions necessary for gaining a complete picture of leads and clients and making smart business decisions. With CRM tracking interactions with customers, sales reps know who to contact and when to close deals.
Vendors are taking this insight to the next level using machine learning and AI technology. Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes Predictive Lead Scoring (PLS), an out-of-the-box feature that scores leads based on their likelihood to become an opportunity. Salesforce collects data from historical sales cycles, customer engagements, competitor involvement and more for accurate lead scoring and opportunity insights. Both solutions equip sales teams with the knowledge and tools to help them determine the best actions to drive revenue.
“We can’t keep up with customer expectations.”
Numerous reports reveal an astonishing shift in customer expectations. Valuing service and personalization more than ever, 84 percent of consumers want to be treated like a person, not another number, and 86 percent of consumers will pay more to enjoy quality experiences. This puts the onus on sales representatives to focus on the details of the buyer’s journey, but there simply isn't enough hours in the day to tailor each interaction to each customer’s unique needs without the help of CRM.
CRM software provides the nuanced data and automation necessary to create rich customer experiences. By centralizing customer data in one solution, the system ensures that interactions remain consistent across multiple channels. Mobile CRM applications provide on-the-go insights to allow sales reps to respond to customer needs no matter where they do business. From using contact names in emails to personalizing messages based on customer locations, your CRM can automatically provide a personal touch to customer interactions. This capability gives your business a competitive edge without consuming hours of your workday.
“Our sales forecasts aren’t reliable.”
Created from current and historical data, sales forecasts should accurately predict how a particular product will perform during a specified period of time, enabling the rest of the organization to get production, budgets and other processes in line with expected customer demand. Accurate forecasts also allow sales teams to develop a strategy for meeting their quotas. But without accurate forecasts, companies are susceptible to instability and customer dissatisfaction.
Therefore, every business should seek out reliable sales forecasting when selecting their CRM platform. A CRM solution should ground predictions and forecasts in concrete, precise data. It should also use the latest technology to add greater nuance to predictions. Salesforce, for example, utilizes machine learning and data mining to forecast future sales performance and generate meaningful reports. Smarter predictions fuel smarter strategies to strengthen your business’s bottom line.
“Some critical information isn’t readily available to us.”
Front-end data isn’t the only information your sales team will need to optimize customer relationships. What if customers want to check the status of their orders? What if there’s an exclusive offer available for a particular client? What if there’s product or account information in your back-end solution necessary for closing a deal? Salespeople can’t easily navigate an unfamiliar ERP system to find what they’re looking for or wait around for another employer to provide the necessary data.
That’s why it’s important to integrate your ERP and CRM solutions to allow sales teams to operate from one platform. Software integrations transfer data between your systems to keep information accurate and up to date. With a wealth of front and back-end data at their fingertips, your sales reps can answer any customer requests and gain a full view of the customer. This insight is essential for personalizing customer experiences and increasing profits.
Your bottom line shouldn’t fall victim to slow sales processes and poor management of customer data. CRM software gets your sales team in top shape, eradicating all-too-common issues that plague your profit margins.
But it’s not just about what you have—it’s how you use it. Let the CRM consultants at Datix help you get the most from your software. With a robust understanding of manufacturing and distribution needs, we know how to align your CRM instance to your processes and provide the necessary training to encourage widespread user adoption.
A certified partner with both Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and Salesforce, we have a deep knowledge of two of the top CRM vendors. Furthermore, our Unity integration application can seamlessly connect CRM and Epicor ERP to promote end-to-end insight and streamlined operations.
Eliminate pain points in your sales department and see greater profits. Learn more about our CRM solutions by contacting Datix today!