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Why is CRM a sales rep’s best friend?

A lot has been said about the benefits of CRM technology.  Everybody knows that CRM is a great business tool. Being a repository of all contact, sales, service, and marketing information, CRM helps businesses build strong relationships with their customers.

 

We also know that CRM allows companies to better qualify leads, accurately target segmented audiences, timely follow up on sales opportunities, prioritize sales activities, as well as contact and service existing customers on time.

And there is plenty of data to support the merits of CRM:

  • CRM ROI equates to $5 for every $1 spent (Baseline)
  • 65% sales quota increase when CRM is adopted (Innopple Technologies)
  • CRM can increase revenue streams by as much as 41% and improve customer retention rates by as much as 27% (Trackvia)
  • CRM nurtured leads spend 47% more (Annuitas Group)
  • CRM can improve conversions by 300% (Cloudswave)
  • 47% of companies improve customer service with CRM (Capterra)
  • 74% of businesses improve customer relationships with CRM (Software Advice)

Yet, despite all of these impressive stats, there are still sceptics out there who aren’t entirely convinced.

Rumor has it that salespeople in particular don’t like working with a CRM system and view it as a burden, a time-stealer and yet another way for management to control them.

While over 90% of companies with 10+ employees have a CRM, a mindboggling 22% of salespeople never heard of CRM!

This only proves that some more explanation is required.  

Why do salespeople dislike CRM?

In order for a CRM system to work, it must contain good quality data about all interactions between a business and a prospect or a customer, including phone calls, emails, chats, meetings, marketing communication, and sales.

In other words, if there’s no data or poor data in CRM, the system will simply fail.

If all this information is routinely logged into the CRM system, a company can enjoy an all-encompassing picture of its relationship with customers and prospects in one centralized place, but – most importantly – increase customer retention and loyalty. 

This means that salespeople have to input all their activities and processes into the system.

Clearly they don’t like it! It simply takes a lot of time. Instead of getting busy closing a deal, they have to spend time logging in phone calls, conversations, meetings, setting up sales stages, scheduling follow-ups, pulling reports, etc.

So, how do you make your sales reps see the good behind CRM?

Like with everything else, the greatest motivation is when a person clearly understands how he or she can benefit from something. You have to explain what’s in it for THEM?

In other words – if there’s gain, there’s less pain.

Salespeople and technology – a blossoming friendship

Although there may be still some lingering skepticism among salespeople with regards to CRM. Saying that they hate it is an exaggeration.

That’s no longer the case.

On the contrary – technology, in all its shapes and forms, is gradually becoming a sales reps’ best friend.

In fact, according to Capterra, nearly 80% of CRM users work in sales, outnumbering the main CRM fans – the marketing department.

Already back in 2016 LinkedIn “State of Sales” research stated: “Sales professionals spend the most time using social selling tools and CRM — and believe both deliver the highest value.”  

And since technology evolves at a supersonic speed these days, it’s safe to say that by 2019 salespeople have confidently embraced digital technology.

For example, apart from actively using social selling, email tracking tools, productivity apps, and sales intelligence, 34.6% of salespeople think that a CRM system is a very impactful sales technology, according to the same LinkedIn report.

The research further shows that sales professionals spend more of their time using CRM: 33% spend 3-5 hours per week using CRM tools, and 24% spend more than 10 hours per week! Not to mention that a whopping 82% of top salespeople think that CRM tools are “critical” to their ability to close deals.

 

But despite the fact that CRM has been confidently winning the hearts of sales professionals around the world, there’s still some convincing to be done for those last remaining sales veterans, who still prefer spreadsheets, notepads and Post-it notes.

So, if you’re one of the last remaining CRM sceptics, buckle up.

Why salespeople need CRM?

Here are just a few key reasons why salespeople need a CRM system in their lives.

  1. Improved contact management

Modern CRM systems are not only reliable and safe places to digitally store all customer-related information, but also have a number of automated data login features that allow salespeople to update their contact details quicker. For example, CRM systems today can automatically log in sales calls and their duration – generating a metric most sales managers crave for.

  1. Better time management

Contrary to the popular belief that CRM is a time stealer, it actually helps salespeople spend more time with customers. The trick is that CRM helps sales reps set up a step-by-step plan of action, reminds what to do and when, as well as what activities need to be prioritized. When all actions are carefully planned, a sales person can concentrate on the actual selling.

  1. Learn from previous mistakes

Since a CRM system contains information on all sales lost and won, salespeople can go back and analyze their previous sales and see what may have gone wrong. Maybe there were not enough or too many activities of a certain type? Maybe you didn’t follow up on time or sent an incorrect quote to a customer? The answers to what can be improved are in the system!

  1. Always be ready and fully informed

Whether it’s time for yet another sales call, a meeting or an ad hoc sales pitch, CRM is a reliable cheat-sheet. A few clicks and salespeople know what a customer or prospect was interested in, what they talked about, what marketing subscriptions they opted for, what purchases they made, what customer service requests they logged, how their company is doing financially, etc., not to mention such essential information as their position, correct name and contact details.

  1. Sales process as a GPS system

Sales is a process, which you need to learn how to navigate. CRM comes with a set of automated sales steps that prompt what needs to be done at each stage. Whether it’s a meeting, a follow-up call, or an email or if an activity is overdue, CRM will make sure that a sales rep knows about it. Working as a GPS system, CRM navigates salespeople and helps them always be in-the-know and reach their destination faster.

  1. Easy activity reports and forecasting

Generating weekly or monthly activity reports for managers becomes especially easy with CRM. Just a few clicks and comprehensive accounts of what you’ve been working on and achieved are at your fingertips. CRM also helps salespeople analyze data on lead generation, pipeline value, lost sales opportunities, time spent on certain activities – all to identify potential problems that may impact the bottom line.

  1. Work from anywhere

We live in a mobile world, and CRM is no exception. Did you know that 65% of sales reps who use mobile CRM achieve their sales quotas? When sales reps are in the field, they can use CRM apps on their mobile devices to quickly access important data, such as a customer’s details and purchase history, what’s available in stock, price lists and even check financial data on a company they try to sell to. They can also add a new contact while on the go or let their team mates or managers know what’s the latest on a sale.

  1. Better segmentation of data

CRM is a torch that prevents salespeople from wondering in the dark around a large database. No more sifting through long lists of contacts and guessing who your target is. With CRM you can choose certain criteria and narrow down your search. Making selections of contacts, companies or types of sales allows sales reps to talk to the right people at the right time, and know exactly who may be up for up-selling or cross-selling.

CRM nowadays comes in many shapes and sizes. There are sales-dedicated solutions that are very affordable and increasingly more secure. Cloud-based CRM systems, some of which are free, others available at a pay-as-you-go basis, allow you to work from anywhere, have better-organized schedules, waste fewer hours on admin tasks and research, spend more time selling and – eventually – seal more deals.

So, if your CRM-related skepticism started to dissolve, it’s time to give Salesforce CRM a try by signing up for a free demonstration


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