Have you considered implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform? There are seven telltale signs that indicate your company is in need of a CRM platform to generate more sales and facilitate your company’s growth.
In essence, CRM tools enable you to find ways to increase revenue by turbocharging your sales machine. It happens through visualizing the path to closing more deals, collecting and processing information about all the interactions with your clients, and providing data for decision-making. All this results in a quicker and more effective sales cycle.
For example, with the help of CRM platform, you may uncover that some of your prospects are too cold to be in the sales funnel. In this case, your marketing team should warm the potential customers up before passing these leads to the sales reps. If done correctly, your sales team will secure more deals by focusing on the leads who are ready to buy.
Furthermore, with data from your CRM software you can better control the sales of the add-on services, upsells, and cross-sells to your current clients, which is an important way to increase your revenue. But first, you should figure out the data needs for each department. This will steer you in the right direction when determining the best way to use this powerful technology for your company.
Let’s review the process of collecting and analyzing data in order to set up a CRM platform for your business, step by step.
If your company has never had software to help manage your relationships with your customers, you may want to start by providing some background information and usage examples. Once employees have a basic understanding of the capabilities of a CRM system, figure out how it can help them with their work and make them more efficient. Depending on the resources and time you have on hand, you can send questionnaires or schedule face-to-face interviews. The needs of each department might be different, but they should all be taken into consideration. Here’s an example of how it could look like after you compile the results.
What they want: The right tools that will allow them to sell more
Salespeople want to be able to automate manual tasks so they can focus on closing more deals. A CRM system should allow them to set up customizable alerts and automatically schedule email drip campaigns based on a lead's behaviour. It could also record sales calls and attach them to the corresponding lead’s notes on the platform. Less manual work equals more sales, so the main focus here should be on minimizing the repetitive tasks via integrations and behind-the-scenes processes.
What they want: To identify the lead sources that bring in ideal customers
Marketers want to see which lead sources bring not just one-time buyers, but loyal customers with the longest lifetime value. This knowledge lets your marketing department use its budget strategically and get the best ROI. They may also need tools to upload leads that were generated through marketing efforts such as live events or webinars.
What they want: To resolve cases faster and improve customer satisfaction rate
First of all, your customer service representatives need to know who they are communicating with, and what the person’s needs are. This knowledge helps them prioritize tasks and resolve the most urgent cases faster. A CRM platform manages all the data you have on a customer, so researching a particular customer, their history with your company, and their current needs should be a quick task.
Moreover, call recording and assigning the recordings to the correct cases helps identify the productivity and effectiveness of your customer care department. This should also be done automatically.
Finally, an automated feedback form sent to customers after the interaction will help keep your team’s eyes open for possible future issues. Proactive service is a major step in increasing customer satisfaction.
To facilitate the implementation of a CRM solution, you need to know what your sales process looks like. Here’s an example of why this knowledge is important.
Let’s assume that, according to your sales cycle, prospects are put into your CRM platform as soon as they’re captured by a landing page on your site. They need to be automatically assigned to a sales manager based on their location. For example, for a company operating globally, an E.U.-based team needs to receive the leads from countries there, and leads from Canada are handled by the North American sales team.
Moving further, you need to learn more about your lead qualification stages and how they are assigned: for example, whether the initial point of contact is a call or an email. This will determine if it's necessary to set up automatic email responses to minimize manual work and let the sales team concentrate on more personalized activities.
Once a potential customer is identified, a member of your sales team can reach out to them and move them through the sales funnel to close the deal. Your job is to understand those sales steps and identify where a CRM tool can help streamline the process. For instance, during a conversation, you uncover that some deals can be closed faster when a prospect is invited to watch a product demo. Thanks to this insight, you know to send out an automatic invitation email for them to watch a demo video when they reach a certain part of the funnel.
Each sales process is unique, and you have your own scenarios to deal with particular customers. A CRM tool can help you analyze the sales process and ensure that all your departments are working together smoothly to achieve the best results.
After the first two steps, you now have the information about the data needs of various departments and the details of your sales process. Now it's time to think about the framework of your CRM platform and what kind of data should be collected within the system. It’s a popular opinion, especially among marketers, that there is no such thing as too much data. However, in some cases, you need to decide which data is vital for making decisions and what information your company doesn’t need very often.
One of the biggest benefits of a CRM platform is that it can house and organize data and information from a variety of business tech sources. In most cases, a CRM system receives data through an API that can process a limited number of requests. Think of an API as a technological intermediary that allows for communication and data exchange between two separate systems. It can only handle so much information at once. Consider what data you actually need, and don’t worry about information that will never serve a purpose.
For instance, getting a prospect’s street address is possible, but your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will never mail brochures or otherwise to a street address. So why waste resources on something you don’t really need?
Lead contact details, such as phone, city, country, email, and other data points, such as which landing page captured the information, are all essential. However, especially at an early stage, you could even skip information like the lead source, as you can get it from your Google Analytics later.
Focus, at least initially, on the data that’s most important to your business. Try to learn some personal details about your prospects, as these data points will help you connect with them and warm them up for your sales pitch. This is an easy task if you have their social media profiles. Some CRM platforms, such as Salesforce, even allow you to automatically associate the potential and current customers with their social media profiles.
Another important piece of information that you should track in a CRM solution is your lead’s activity on your site. Experts agree that selling to a person who has already visited your pricing page a few times is much easier than making a sale to a lead who only reads your blog posts. Knowing more about how exactly your potential customers interact with your site could give you invaluable insights into their thought process. This kind of information helps you customize your interactions, making it more likely to close more deals. Automatically pull all the necessary data into your CRM platform and leave unnecessary pieces of information out to keep your database as clean, organized, and well-maintained as possible.
Once you have thoroughly analyzed all the data, you will know how your CRM system should look and function. Now it’s time for action.
First, decide on the CRM software that will work best for your business. Approach this choice with all seriousness, as it will determine the features and types of sales and data analysis you can implement. One highly relevant selling point is the level of service you’ll receive from your CRM vendor. Make sure you understand what kind of training and support your company will get as part of your investment.
After your company starts working with a CRM provider, there comes a testing stage. Try uploading your client data and see how convenient and efficient the system is. Don’t overcomplicate it with complex integration code: All you need is to upload a spreadsheet with information about your client base. At this stage, you can also make sure that your leads are getting assigned to the correct geo-location or another set attribute. This is the time to double-check that the system is good to go.
Even the best CRM system won’t help your organization sell more if your employees are not using it correctly. This is where the adage “garbage in, garbage out” comes in. Take the time to train all your CRM users properly and implement an onboarding course for newly hired employees. Remember how in the first step we found out that each department has its own needs? Make sure that you modify the training to fulfill those needs, too.
And of course, always work closely with the platform’s customer service as they can assist you with this step. For example, should your company decide to work with Salesforce, you can ask employees to complete this online training to familiarize themselves with the tool.
During training, emphasize that it’s up to every team member to provide as much information about the lead as possible. The abundance of detail and accuracy of the input information is what directly affects the entire sales process.
By going through these five steps, you can set up a customer relationship management system that’s unique to your business. But don’t consider your job complete just yet — this is just the beginning of your CRM journey. Periodically and regularly collect feedback from the system’s users and modify the settings according to the needs of your organization.
When implemented correctly, a CRM tool will help you collect and analyze tremendous amounts of data, discover business trends, and make decisions that will result in more sales.