Time. Keeps. Ticking. Away. So we decided to show you just how a CRM can help you make your processes time-efficient, your data accessible, your team collaboration seamless, and, ultimately, turn you into the selling machine that you can be.
For years on end, everybody used spreadsheets to organize their processes, and collect and track data, including sales managers and reps. Today, however, the landscape has changed so much that we have a plethora of specialised organizational tools available, such as Asana, Basecamp and Trello for project organization; Toggl, RescueTime and Hours for time tracking and allocation; Evernote, Microsoft OneNote and Google Keep for notes…
On the other hand, there are CRMs, which we feel are a level above all of the previously listed tools and apps. Where an organizational tool may help you with specific tasks, a CRM will organize the actual processes that are taking place and taking care of your customers.
Specifically, we’re here to talk about the benefits of using a CRM for sales and, without further ado, here are our top five ways a CRM can actually speed up your sales.
1 – Use CRM as a data repository
The elegance and ease with which a CRM allows you to collect, store, track and find data on your leads, prospects and customers is simply astonishing. Gone are the hours you had to spend browsing through infinite text files and getting lost in never ending fields within a sub-sheet, let alone the times of keeping countless papers in your drawers and on your table.
With a CRM you’re upgrading to centralized customer data and the ability to jump to the profile of any one of your leads all while remaining in one tab of one browser window. The information you have on your leads in one place covers everything from phone numbers and email and street addresses, their status and position in your pipeline, to a historic overview of events involving them.
This gives you the possibility to dig into your data and gain better insights much easier than you ever could before. Notes that you can add to leads and events are just a cherry on top.
2 – Use CRM to Organize Sales Processes
As I mentioned before, where other organization tools are focused on specific tasks, a CRM let’s your organize the actual process, while also immensely speeding up the rate at which the tasks themselves are done.
A CRM lets you customize the sales pipeline and set a clear outline of its stages according to your needs and the way your team works, making it incredibly easy to track leads. It’s only natural that humans can keep a limited set of items in their mind and the ability to have such an overview of all the stages of your pipeline and the current status of all your leads can pretty much put a smile on your face every day before you snap your fingers and start closing deals.
The other benefit of a pipeline that’s well organized within a CRM is that onboarding new sales reps becomes a breeze. Just letting them log into your team’s CRM will already present them with a clear overview of how your process is set up.
3 – Use CRM to accelerate responsiveness
One of the main points of failure with leading existing leads through your pipeline is response time and research suggests that sales teams and reps that are not using a CRM take up to 3 times longer to respond with an email or almost 2 times longer when it comes to calls.
With a CRM you get a clear overview of all leads and prospects in all stages of your pipeline, plus a calendar overview of all reminders and scheduled tasks. Additionally, you have the option to automate email replies (at least you do in Platformax!), making your response time instant. Enough said.
4 – Integrate with other apps to best optimize your workflow
We have come to a point in time where there’s almost nobody out there in the industry using less than 3 apps or tools to get their work done. I, for example, use Gmail, Asana, Trello, Toggl, Slack, and Google Keep and Drive daily. But, if there were no way to integrate them all, I would be spending too much time with each of them. Instead, I have reminders from everything popping up in Slack, new data from everywhere being forwarded to Trello, etc etc.
Most CRMs today support a plethora of integrations, with Platformax, for example, integrating with Google Drive, Gmail and Calendar, MailChimp, Twilio, Freshbooks and Zapier (meaning basically everything). This allows you to optimize your workflow to the maximum and you should definitely make use of it.
5 – Use CRM to forecast your sales
If you feed your CRM with correct data and keep it updated (which you definitely should be doing!) it can reward you with a glimpse into the future, forecasting how the relations with your clients will turn out.
Apart from helping you look ahead, a CRM can also help you analyze the current status of your leads. It will help you pinpoint bad performers and act upon them, as well as find the best performing behavior and help you apply the same strategy to others.
The ability to analyze things in real-time, in one place, will help you come to decisions faster. Moreover, a CRM will also provide you with the information on how long your sales cycles are and which steps take the longest, helping you figure out which steps of your processes need to be tweaked and optimized for faster sales.
Implementing a CRM in your sales process and using the above-mentioned advice will help you drive rapid lead response and increase your or your team’s selling discipline, and the actionable insights will help you further optimize your current process. Additionally, the centralized and easily accessible data, combined with the power of integration with other tools and apps will further improve your overall productivity.
Have you got a reason against using a CRM, or, more likely, another advantage to share with us? Let us know in the comments down below.