CRM Benefits for Your Sales Professionals

Act! CRM for Sales ProfessionalsFor company owners and managers, an effective CRM program works wonders in helping you to measure and improve your business.

What about your sales staff? What benefit does it have for them? That is the question we will explore here. After all, if management fails to “sell” CRM to the staff, you will not get much benefit from using the CRM. To make that “internal sale,” here are the key CRM benefits for sales professionals.

1. More repeat orders and business from past customers

Asking a previous customer to buy again is much easier than attracting a new one. We all know that. However, most of us lack a systematic process to maintain relationships with past customers which means repeat sales are less likely. Adopting a CRM program makes it easier to manage customer relationships by providing you with notes, order activity and reminders to get in touch with past customers.

Tip: Use Act!’s Smart Task feature to remind you to get in touch with customers. Let’s take real estate as a quick example, Set a “time delay” on the Smart Task for 3-6 months after the sale. At that point, you will be reminded to get in contact with your customer. If they are satisfied, this is an excellent time to ask for a referral or surprise them with a gift.

2. Improve sales results on complex deals

Selling to a bank or another large company is often a long and drawn out process. I have seen cases where the buying process can take months or even more than a year. With millions of dollars in revenue at stake, staying involved is well worth the effort. Just think about how complicated the process can become! Each month, you may meet new people at your target company whom all have different interests and concerns. If you fail to keep those concerns straight, you are likely to ruffle feathers and lose the order.

Keep all your data, notes and observations in the CRM makes everything much easier in a complex sale. This same process also applies to high-value professional sales such as investment management, law and accounting. Attempting to keep all of that information clear in your head is asking for failure.

3. Spend more time with customers

Every month, your managers will probably ask you for reports and other data about your sales activities. Compiling these reports is a headache that nobody wants. You may not be able to eliminate reporting entirely, but you can cut it down substantially by using Act! once you have your desired reports in place.

Tip: If you save an hour per week from administration, that time savings will not automatically translate into higher income. To achieve that benefit, use that new time on high-value activities like prospecting for your dream clients.

4. Get better leads from the marketing department

Remember the classic sales movie “Glengarry Glen Ross?”

In the scene with Alec Baldwin’s characters, underperforming salesmen complain that “the leads are weak.” Baldwin’s character tears them apart for complaining about the leads. It may be one of the most iconic depictions of sales in pop culture. Too bad it is misleading!

In reality, the value of your leads may be weak! By keeping notes on your leads in Act!, you will be able to notice patterns. You may find that inbound leads who download a white paper are much more interested in hearing from you than any other type of lead. Once you understand that point, meet with your marketing colleagues to share your experiences, so they know what to continue.

Why do better leads matter? A higher quality lead is more likely to buy and become a long-term customer. Even better, you will reduce the pain and frustration of rejection dramatically. All of these benefits are possible by thoroughly using a CRM.

5. A full CRM keeps the sales manager away

Let’s face it: nobody likes to be nagged at the office or at home. If you are disciplined in keeping your deals up to date in the CRM, you will never hear another complaint from your manager again. That means less awkward conversations at the office for you. Isn’t that peace of mind alone worth 15 minutes a day to keep your CRM notes up to date?

Tip: If your company uses a “balanced scorecard” approach to performance reviews, check to see if consistent CRM use fits with that process.

6. You can make a better case for a pay increase

How can using your company CRM consistently help you to win a raise? Your manager may want to reward good performance. However, she needs to show a business case for that decision. Revenue numbers alone may be enough in some cases. Your request will be even more compelling if you can demonstrate that you are also keeping reliable records on your customers. Keeping those records demonstrates that you are committed to the CRM program. Showing you have a repeatable process to bring in new business – as documented by your actions in Act! – helps your manager understand that you can continue to develop stellar results.

Keep Growing: Our Two Recommended Sales Books

By the way, you do not have to stop with a CRM when it comes to helping your sales staff to improve. The following two books are industry classics for a reason – you can read them multiple times and profit each time. Each book is available in print, digital or audio format so even your field reps can access the books.

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham.

Relying on a large scale research study into effective sales practices in B2B sales, this book explains a simple process you can use to make sales over and over again. By navigating the sales conversation through the “SPIN” process, your staff will be able to make more sales. What if your team does not have enough prospects? That is where our next title comes into the picture.

The Ultimate Selling Machine by Chet Holmes.

While much of the book is aimed at company owners and managers, your sales staff can also profit from reading this book. Holmes advocates focus in the prospecting process such as creating a list of your “Dream 20” clients and then pursuing them systematically. Holmes also shows how education based marketing plays a key role in attracting prospects to your organisation.

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