Growing a company into a successful business requires efforts and time. The more your company grows, the more process you need to put in place to align teams and departments. Some processes can be verbal, others need software to ensure efficiency.
Implementing new tools into a company structure can be challenging but also financially demanding. Although complicated, and often time tedious, it is important to have the right systems in place to ensure everyone can work in the best way.
Like any other department, sales requires a CRM software to track all activities. The more salespeople you have, the less you can rely on spreadsheets and notes. Everything needs to be organized in one place, where everyone can get access to important information in just a few clicks.
CRM tools allow sales managers or small business owners to track beyond the sales, to understand if a problem exists and fix it. Sales activities are not only about closing deals. Sales activities are about customer interactions, communication, and funnel analysis. Keeping track of these is crucial for a successful business to improve over time.
If you are reading this, probably you are already thinking about implementing a CRM software. However, it can be difficult to understand when is the right moment and why you need to do it.
1. The Right Moment For A CRM Software Is Now
You might have noticed that not all information is shared correctly among departments. Take a look at these common questions:
- Has communication among teams become complicated?
- Do your team members subtly (or not) complain about information loss?
- Do you have more than one salesperson?
- Are you collecting leads from different sources?
- Has any of your sales guys left the company and leads went lost?
All this is normal and every growing company faces similar issues. These simple questions though can lead to poor results, if you do not act in time. You can prevent this, by having in place the right structure that helps you track what you need.
Having to work on ten different spreadsheets at the same time it’s not ideal, to say the least. You don’t want your sales team wasting time on (electronic) papers. However, managers sometimes ask to fill in yet another spreadsheet with information existing somewhere else.
Manual processes can create bottlenecks and slow down performances.
So why is this still happening?
A CRM software can reduce drastically the time wasted in these redundant activities by automating data entry, repetitive tasks and avoiding paper printing. With the correct system in place, not only efficiency will increase but also sales.
Stats show that with the right CRM, sales can grow as much as 30%.
3. Enhance Collaboration Between Departments.
Your sales team is the first point of contact with new clients. We often work on leads coming from different sources.
We might have a lead generation specialist; use a generic contact form on our website; have an “info@” email address; or just go to events and collect business cards.
Although not really relevant at first sight, we do want to understand where are the most profitable leads coming from. Why? By comprehending this, we can:
a) Focus our efforts on best-performing channels
b) Ask other departments to support our activities (events for Marketing; Website for Design/Marketing)
Efficient collaboration among different departments will help your company becoming more profitable. You waste less money on unneeded channels and focus your activities on the right ones.
4. Understanding Client Lifecycle
CRM tools are not only relevant for sales teams. All departments dealing with customers should have a centralized database to analyze clients activities.
Account Management is an extension of the sales department, for example. It is crucial for every company to understand that every person interacting with the client is doing sales. This means that there is a need for a deep understanding and embracing of a CRM software at all levels.
By analyzing communication and client lifecycle you will know how to address their needs and act upon them.
4. Increase Accountability Among Team Members
Salespeople are not so keen on taking responsibilities when a lead is lost. Sentences like “It was not my responsibility” or “I thought Bob would do it” can be common.
A CRM tool can centralize activities and provide a clear overview of responsibilities. Fewer leads will be lost. Tracking clients interaction is crucial for sales efficiency. Although clear from a management perspective, this can be perceived as a “pointing finger” system.
It is important to explain how everyone can profit from a clear and organized database to understand where there is room for improvement.
5. Data, Data, and Data
Data is important for every company. The problem is that we don’t often know what to do with the data collected.
We assume to know everything about our customers. We know when and how they want to buy. Yet, we might be missing tiny details that could increase sales.
A correctly setup CRM tool can help spot multiple points that we might be overlooking on a daily basis. On top of this, we can collect several data points and create customized reports for all levels within the company.
Remember that collecting data cannot give you an answer to an unclear question. Define what you want to track and then start collecting data accordingly.
Getting data on a monitor with some graphs that no one is looking at, makes no sense.
6. Pipeline Analysis And Forecast
Sales rely on pipeline analysis. Any trusted and professional salesperson works daily on his/her pipeline. Managers need to trust and act on it with the salesperson.
CRM tools provide an effective way to create clear pipeline reports to help salespersons be efficient. Having clear pipelines can also help salespeople forecast correctly activities and opportunities.
7. Selling different products
CRM software become handy once you have more than one product to sell to your customers. It is possible to easily control which product sells the most and to which client type or in which region. All this information can help your company profit in the long-term.
Once you add more services or product, a CRM tool can help you also in projecting correct forecast and doing a retrospective analysis.
8. Growth It With Your Business
Understanding that you need a CRM software is not the end point. You came a long way, but there’s more to be done. You need to look at what platform is the best for your company size; what functions and reports you would gain from. There are quite a few solutions out in the market that you might want to consider. Take a look and ask your users to give you some feedback.
CRM tools are SaaS products, which means the product grows as your company does.
Implementing a CRM tool in a company can be demanding. Resources can be wasted on training hours and controlling. If your team doesn’t see the need of such a tool, you are failing at that communication. Take the time to reduce doubts and increase adoption.
What experiences you have with CRM tools? Which one would you recommend?