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From the Excel era to CRM in the cloud – Part 1 – Sales

• Don't know what your sales people are doing? • Can't find important information about your customers? • Are you lost in the mess of Excel files? • Preparing reports takes a whole day and involves too many people? • The printer is constantly working and wasting growing amounts of paper and ink? • Data not consolidated? • Can't get to them when you're working remotely?

It's probably a sign to abandon office programs, Excel, Word and scraps of paper that get lost when they're needed the most, for a decent Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. And the one in the cloud, so that the information is quickly available in a single, consolidated and always and everywhere available source. Think of Salesforce.com, and if you have any doubts, read our e-book about how CRM can help your company in four key areas: sales, marketing, management and customer service.

Sales or those bringing you revenues

Sales people, the most natural addressees of such a system. Every day they meet new sales opportunities (leads!), visit potential customers, maintain their interest, send offers, do follow-ups and many other tasks. It is worth helping them. A well-configured CRM will encourage them to work better and make more effort.

Problem: Sales priorities

Imagine that your salesperson has several hundred leads from different sources. This list grows every day. Not all the leads are equally important and require immediate action. How should a salesman navigate such a huge amount of data?

Solution: Lead Scoring

In CRM, lead scoring function is a great way to do this. It is a process of automatic assignment of points to emerging and existing lead based on a predefined logic corresponding to your company's goals and needs. E.g. collecting specific information such as position, mobile phone number, location, revenues. You can also analyze the behavior of leads, e.g. reading the sent email several times, opening your website, reviewing a trade offer or downloading an ebook. For each action, the system assigns points, and your salesperson knows which ones become the most promising and thus has a clear message whom to call first. And most likely these candidates will be your customers soon.

Problem: Leads follow-up

And now imagine that these hundreds of leads live on a salesperson's computer in an excel file, in which an employee writes down interactions with the leads in order not to forget about a call or an email. Migrating all information to the worksheet is a horror: wasting time and a lot of room for error. Browsing your mailbox for correspondence is also not convenient.

Solution: A consolidated list of contacts

A CRM system can save the history of our correspondence with a single lead exactly under a specific record. We can see what and when we sent and if we got a response at all. Or imagine that a salesperson takes over the contacts from a colleague who has just left the company. Thanks to CRM, a salesperson immediately knows what has been discussed and will not call or send messages with the same questions unnecessarily upsetting the customer. And those client can really react in various ways:).

Additionally, you can set reminders and recommended actions for each activity. For example, if we have sent several offers and we don't have an answer, the system can remind the customer about it and let the salesperson know to call the customer.

Problem: Time-consuming and repetitive correspondence

Salespeople spend a lot of time sending emails. Often these are standard and very schematic messages sent in specific situations, such as obtaining a new lead, thanking for the meeting or confirming the upcoming meeting.

Solution: Dynamic correspondence patterns

CRM systems allow you to create email templates using database fields to personalize messages. Instead of writing an email each time, the salesperson presses a button and the relevant content is sent immediately to the recipient. You can also send the same email to multiple recipients in bulk. Additionally, CRM can send such emails automatically, e.g. when a new lead appears in the database. Automation processes are always defined by the user and are usually simple operations that can be planned without the need to know programming.

Problem: Optimized travelling

Your salespeople have many meetings in the field. In order to make the best use of time and not to spend too many hours in the car, planning must be efficient, but also fast. Why copy information from Excel to Google Maps, and then to the next list of travels and meetings.

Solution: Intelligent route planner

A good CRM can automatically generate the most optimal route. The salesperson only selects who and when he wants to visit, and the system will plan the optimal route. Or, even further, the system can suggest which customers our salesperson should visit in a given week, so that there are as many of them as possible and as close to the region as possible.

Another application is to order a taxi or a car in the Uber application from the CRM application on a mobile device while already at a meeting to avoid switching between different interfaces.


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