Gareth Cartman - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Put the phone down. You don’t need to make an appointment to get your eyes tested but you do need to check your vision – or rather, your CRM vision. So many businesses these days are blindly following conventional CRM strategies but are still not seeing significant gains.
The trouble is, if you don’t know much about CRM, you think that the best way to get ahead and benefit the most is to follow what everyone else is doing – what your supplier suggests – all the articles you’ve read online. Remember when SEO first exploded onto the scene – how many articles were written stuffed with keywords that read awfully and didn’t exactly pull in rankings either?
It’s the same old story with CRM. Those who are lost are looking for quick wins and not implementing the most cost-effective, time-efficient ways to satisfy their customers while ensuring they’re not stretching themselves too thin to be able to complete their own daily duties.
So with that in mind, let’s remove the difficulties involved with CRM, let’s lessen the sales challenges that we all face and make sure your CRM is working for you, not against you while ensuring you’re not tied to your desk responding to every demand it throws up in and out of the office.
Five steps to squeeze the most from your CRM is the shortest time
1) Be scrupulous with the accuracy of your reporting:
You’ll lose time – and in the worst case scenario, money when you are putting in the man hours compiling spreadsheets and e-mails. Poor reports will only lead to pore forecasting and poor decision making so make sure your sales teams have a firm steer on their pipelines and which prospects to connect with by using your CRM to track prospects at every stage of your selling process. Make use of the dashboard, pipeline charts and sales statistics to create insight into actual performance – they’re invaluable tools. And remember, because this real-time data is available 24/7 you won’t waste time collecting sales forecasts or making decisions with suspect data.
2) Don’t be a slave to admin processes
As Warren Butler points out in his blog, salespeople aren’t administrators. Let them do their job – sell. Yes, administration is important but when sales teams are spending hours inputting data that other office people could do, they’re wasting valuable time that they could be out sealing deals. Just think – how many extra deals could be secured each month if this time was used more efficiently? The most successful CRM strategies free up sales teams from these laborious tasks and guess what? It doesn’t affect productivity or profits – or if it does, it’s only for the better. Remember, that CRM systems can reduce the time needed it takes to create new quotes by storing details on products and prices, triggering reminder activities, building profiles for contacts and tracking every step of the sales process.
3) Strengthen your relationships
Customer relationships are paramount to the success of any business – but it’s near impossible to cross-sell or up-sell if teams can’t clearly see the status of each customer relationships. Swap your spreadsheets for an all-in-one CRM solution that brings together all the information you need in a single database that can be shared through the entire organisation. With access to well organised relationship data, sales teams can easily respond to customer requests, see order histories, share communications and develop customer profiles.
4) Keep on top of every opportunity
Remember how we were talking about being blind to opportunities at the start of this article? CRM systems can help you avoid that mistake by helping sales team to qualify prospects and never miss a beat. With a fine-tuned CRM system you’ll be able to capture leads from website forms, spreadsheets and other data sources for prompt attention plus guide workflows, schedule reminders, allocate leads to the right people and monitor everything in real-time for optimal opportunity take-up.
5) Maintain a concise sales cycle
Long, slow, enduring sales cycles never did anyone any favours. These inefficient processes will slow you down and stretch your resources leading to spiralling costs. A well-considered CRM system will fast track your sales cycle by reducing time intensive tasks and developing smarter processes. Streamline your processes and you’ll be able to qualify prospects quicker, enhance data quality and cut training time while setting up reminders and automated trigger e-mails all on an intuitive dashboard that monitors everything 24/7 for ultimate control and convenience.
Publish Date: October 6, 2014 11:37 AM