1. Access to data in real time from anywhere
With a traditional desktop-based CRM or contact management system, information is only available via a workstation with the software installed – people have to rely on an obsolescent database snapshot.
Cloud-based CRM software provides up-to-the-minute information that is available to all instantaneously via any connected device, anywhere. This is because it uses multi-tenancy cloud architecture, which means all users and applications share a common infrastructure that is centrally maintained and updated.
2. Integration of customer information from other sources
When a customer is at the centre of a cloud-based contact management system, it’s easier to fill in any missing gaps about them, using other, compliant sources.
Connected to other cloud-based data sources such as Data.com, the contact management system can automatically fill in the blanks in customer information.
3. Integration of social information
The cloud can also easily be used to analyse the social interactions and conversations that contacts are having on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks.
Is there a problem that a customer is having with a product that they are discussing with others socially? A connected contact management system can give organisations a real-time view of all those interactions and proactively find a solution.
But social networking goes far beyond handling support issues and dealing with problems any contacts may encounter. By integrating social networking and contact management, it’s easy to see who the contacts' contacts are, who they are talking to, who the key players and influencers are who ideally should be contacted, along with an indication of who can provide introductions to them.
4. Smart collaboration with colleagues
While salespeople are often ambitious individuals who’ve developed a personal style that works for them when it comes to pitching, selling and closing, there are times the business needs to pull together as a team to get a deal over the line.
This can especially be the case when:
- a deal is complex
- a deal is in danger of stalling
- the primary account rep isn’t an expert in some of the key aspects of the deal.
At times like these, salespeople need to lay aside their egos and find ways to work smartly together, harnessing their strengths in a complementary way for the good of the whole team. Advanced CRM and contact systems are designed to support just this kind of collaboration.
No two deals are the same, of course, so the sales manager must work out who’s best to play which role to achieve a pitch win or secure a long-term commitment. This will vary between accounts: someone who is ideal as the relationship lead on one account may do better on the delivery side with another opportunity.