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CRM systems are the lifeblood of sales organizations today and marketing automation is increasingly used to deliver value to marketing teams. Still, as both departments reap the benefits of automation and analytics insight, greater value can be achieved if they both work together to use the information CRM provides to better fine-tune their processes and optimally support one another’s work. Here are four ways your sales and marketing teams can get on the same page, and then get to the next level using CRM insights.
If marketing and sales are living in separate systems, there’s a good chance that neither side has a complete or accurate view of the lead-conversion process or, on a more granular level, the individual transactions related to a particular lead. By integrating your CRM system with your marketing automation platform, you can provide both sides with the real-time intelligence they need to qualify better leads and close more sales. If marketing has access to CRM social monitoring, its teams can gain valuable insight into real-time dynamics that will shape future campaigns, special offers, and discounts. On a broader scale, both sales and marketing can jointly track their progress on key metrics throughout the month, proactively responding and collaborating as necessary if certain indicators are below where they should be.
If marketing has access to key sales data and vice versa, both sides can provide the personalized, informed service that they need to do their jobs most effectively. Today’s customers expect to have seamless, meaningful interactions with their brands of choice no matter what business unit they happen to engage with. Any sales rep will want to be fully armed with as much information on an incoming lead before engaging with that lead; now, he or she can initiate that conversation knowing that the lead has already attended a webinar, chatted with the business on social media, downloaded several white papers, and phoned in to ask some preliminary questions. All that intelligence will be there for review on demand.
If the marketing team is firing on all cylinders with a fully tuned marketing automation system, it may be delivering large batches of new leads to salespeople, who need them to be at a certain stage before beginning their work. In other words, what marketing considers a fully qualified lead may not be the same as what sales considers a fully qualified lead. By providing marketing with access to key reporting on sales trends in the CRM system, both teams can gain insight into which types of leads tend to convert most often and, in the process, refine the lead scoring process so that it hums more efficiently between the two departments.
All this can happen dynamically, as well: when salespeople close a lead, they can flag it as such in the CRM system. Then, if that system is integrated with the marketing automation software, marketing can go in and analyze the conversion path, gleaning a better understanding of what marketing activities led to the sale. Marketing can fine-tune its strategy, delivering more sophisticated campaigns and better-qualified leads for future sales.
Some businesses are not just integrating their CRM and marketing automation systems, and then encouraging their sales and marketing teams to collaborate; they’re taking the next step of hiring a sales-enablement manager to assume responsibility for more effective ongoing collaboration between the two units. This type of liaison, using data provided by both systems, can intelligently guide the sales team in which materials, marketing collateral, or other resources will be most effective in servicing leads, thereby improving the prospects of closing deals. In turn, the sales-enablement manager can assist the marketing side in optimizing its processes to support sales goals and needs.
As you’ve seen, improving collaboration between marketing and sales is a continual process that relies not only on effective data integration and management but also dedicated partnerships within the business. Are you working on synchronizing your two teams’ efforts for better efficiency using CRM insights? If so, what challenges and opportunities have you identified so far? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments section below.
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Selling is the art of dealing with people and must have high standards. Those standards should be created and followed consistently during the full sales cycle. A consistent sales process provides the company best practices in sales. When management evaluates the performance of the sales professionals, they will have that opinion based on the set of rules created for the companies’ sales cycle.
Customer Relations Management System has an important role in setting and implementing a sales process. CRM will help design an effective process. Your sales team can implement it consistently. Sales managers can track the sales efforts of all employees in sales department.
Sales management should establish metrics to judge the performance of the sales professionals. Some of the most common metrics are reach, leads generated, revenue pipeline, revenue.
Increase in revenue is a fundamental metric, but it's a fairly crude one. It represents the outcome of the total sales process. You need a set of metrics that will give you a finer insight into your sales process.
A good metric is easy to measure, relevant and definite. Easy to measure metrics should be quantitative, and preferably expressed in firm numbers. Vague metrics are almost as bad as no metrics at all. Irrelevant metrics can actually do damage. Sales professionals will try to maximize their performance on these metrics. If the metrics are not going to change the success of the sales team, then business may be wasting their time and money.
Be wary of metrics that measure inputs, such as the number of calls made, rather than results. Substituting effort for accomplishment gives a distorted picture of the sales process.
Customer Relations Management System provides lots of relevant and valuable information that helps you set up correct marketing and sales metrics. Once the metrics are chosen, the next step is designing your sales process.
A Sales process is designed to keep the focus on the results rather than focusing on the not important steps. Every sub-stage should contribute directly to the sales process and leave your sales team with the maximum amount of control on how to accomplish that sub-stage.
In creating the sales process apply some of the ideas from top performing sales employees, know your competitors ‘tactics and styles and the industry in general and work them into your company’s sales process. In finding best practices it's important to separate personal idiosyncrasies from general tactics. All sales people, especially the really good ones, develop a unique style that grows out of their personalities. Some of what they do will be genuine best practices that can be used by others. But part of it will be a natural outgrowth of their personalities and won't translate to other members of your sales force.
Following up with a prospect at certain stages of the sales process is an example of something that can transfer as a best practice.
Finally, once you've codified your sales process follow up and make sure it is applied consistently. Make sure everyone understands that this is the way to conduct sales at your company and don't allow significant deviation. You may well find you'll have to adjust the process as you go along. That's fine. Just make sure you make any changes consistently and for the right reasons.
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There are Customer
Relations Management features that sales management loves, and there are
features that your sales management team appreciate.
Sales management team benefits most from lead tracking and
effort activity monitoring; keeping the focus on the pulse of the sales
pipeline is the key. Sales employees have a slightly different perspective.
The important part of Customer Relations Management features
for sales people is that how CRM can make them faster, better and smarter so I
can get more clients with less work.
Your organizations sales representatives may end up spending
too much time googling prospects, organizations and entering data in Customer
Relations Management System. Some sales people may spend sixty percent of their
time doing non-sales activities.
While there are many important CRM characteristics, here are
five that are particularly important for the actual agent closing a sale.
Among the Customer Relations Management features that help
sales reps get more sales with less effort is automation.
Automating all of the daily routine marketing activities
allows the Customer Relations Management system to work for you, freeing up
time to focus on more strategic activities. It enhances the processes, saves
time, effort and money and lets you focus on the most valuable asset of your
organization—your customers. A Customer Relations Management system without
robust automation cannot be called a sales-friendly CRM.
Automation is a key component to managing customer contacts and
the prospects information and conversations required by modern sales professionals.
The salespeople need sales intelligence automation to enrich leads with people
and company insights. Your sales team knows how and who to reach out to. Then
they need some type of templated email tracking system to help them automate
the process of reaching out and tracking responses.
Intelligent automation will help sales employees bring context
requires good analytics integrated into Customer Relations Management software.
Consumer behaviour has changed significantly due to
professional networks, social media and easy access to product and company information.
The only way sales professionals can meet these new trends is to have a system
that can gather information about the buyer and provide intelligent insights in
what needs to be done to sell to them.
A Customer Relations Management system will help sales teams
sell effectively is one that knows how to collect customer data and provide
insights for your business without much in the way of manual intervention.
In order to make the sales process easier is guiding agents
in the right direction and reducing wasted effort. A good sales-oriented Customer
Relations Management system will guide sales professionals through an
organization’s sales process and recommend the right and qualified prospects to
pursue and the recommended next steps.
The process will guide a user through the necessary steps to
achieve desired result, freeing a sales representative time for more gainful activities.
Helping sales team refresh on the details of a prospective
sale is one of the critical functions of Customer Relations Management software.
Data and communications need to be pulled together in one view to avoid sales
people having to search different sections of the CRM system to find different
pieces of information. The system should be easy for sales people to use.
Pipeline management should be easily accessible. A good Customer
Relations will remind your sales people where they are in the process of a
sale, their progress toward giving proposals and keep the documentation in CRM
software. Ideally this pipeline management will be visual.
They should be able to see at a glance where each
opportunity is in the pipeline, what the value of their pipeline is, and what actions
need to be taken to move opportunities forward.
CRM is not just useful for sales management but also your
organization needs CRM in marketing and customer service department.
For many companies sales is both at the core of business and
at the center of their Customer Relations Management system. A CRM system will
help sales agents make more sales.
Your company’s operations are unique to your own specific business and therefore your sales workflow is based on factors such as your overall technology infrastructure and your target audience and customers. But many customer relationship management solutions in the market use the same workflow for each company and don’t have unique and flexible workflow capabilities.
Modern Customer Relations Management solutions such as Sage CRM use customization and personalization features to allow sales marketing teams to put the most useful features front and center, create interfaces that enhance productivity and end up with a CRM perfectly fitted to your needs. Here are areas your sales team can customize CRM software.
Each sales team employee has their own way of taking a lead through the sales process. Instead of forcing the entire sales employees and management team to go through an identical workflow, they can personalize their Customer Relations Management on an account-specific level to have workflows representing their personal sales styles. You can provide an overall workflow template as the basis for your sales and management team allow them to adjust it or give your team the capability to handle it from scratch. A highly experienced and sophisticated sales team appreciates the freedom to use what works best for closing sales.
Ideally, all sales processes that don't require a person should be automated. Their primary job task should focus on using that time to reach out to prospects and existing clients to create more sales. Process automation includes into a personalized workflow, so each sales team member has repetitive tasks handled by the Customer Relations Management. As new business processes get added to the company, you can create process automation to manage the workload.
Sales team managers and other sales team employees don't need access to the same information. Poorly optimized Customer Relations Management solutions provide collections of information on the entire team which may be unnecessary for every team member. Information overload makes it difficult to find relevant data, which can decrease sales and agility. Role-specific information assigns sales team members a role and customizes the available information. Your sales managers get a top-down view of sales performance, while each team member can focus on particular prospects.
Your sales representative is on site giving presentations to prospects, attending to trade shows and on the road or airplanes on a regular basis. Mobile Customer Relations Management features are starting to show up in many solutions, but not all mobile app access is created equally. The information your sales team& management needs to know on mobile is enormously different from the information on a workstation. Customizing mobile CRM functionality lets you ensure your field teams are getting what they need without loading them down with a lot of useless features and data.
An unintuitive CRM interface makes it difficult to use the solution productively. Instead of dealing with an interface that gets in the way of daily tasks or requires many clicks to get to needed functions for employees’ tasks, you can customize the user interface of CRM. Some customization options are slight, such as changing the interface colors, but some CRM solutions empower you to change virtually every aspect of the interface.
Customer Relations Management solutions shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all solution. Customization and personalization let your sales team take total control over their CRM use so they can improve productivity, get the information they need and untether from their workstations.
CRM software offers an impressive way to nurture and generate sales leads through the sales cycle, but by combining Customer Relations Management systems with content marketing, you can make a significant increase to shorten your sales cycle. A report from DemandGen found that businesses that have successfully deployed lead-nurturing programs showed an “average 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads and found dramatic improvements to key conversion stages in the sales process.”
Using sales analytics based on Customer Relations Management system, marketers have the information to accurately create and deliver stage-based content that will help move prospects from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. Here’s how you can power CRM to drive the sales cycle with content marketing.
Content mapping is the process of charting which content should be provided at each stage of the sales process. There will be variances on this buying cycle based on each individual business model, but generally, the sales cycle can be broken down into three phases:
• Awareness: Awareness that they have a need to be satisfied.
• Evaluation: Are your services and products the best fit for my needs?
• Purchase: Take action to purchase
The specific type of information your prospect seeks will continually change as each step of the sales cycle is reached. The key to increasing sales is to provide consistent, stage-based content for your prospects from one phase of the cycle to the next.
Through the each stage of the sales process, Customer Relations Management systems track and store all communications and information in an accessible central data file, providing a complete data history of how the prospects interact with your business. Because of the detailed information Customer Relations Management systems capture, including time stamps, you now have the ability to track how past customers interacted with your content as they moved from prospect to buyer. By examining the pages visited, the white papers downloaded, the emails opened, the offers clicked and the order in which the pages were read, a logical buying behaviour will materialize and give you insights. This give will give you a complete historical snapshot of a buyer’s content consumption, which will probably look something like the below: Awareness, Evaluation, and Purchase.
A prospect is looking for information at the early stages of the sales cycle. The prospect is looking for potential solutions to a problem. A need has been identified, and the prospect is looking for potential solutions to a problem. Education is the primary goal of the content marketing at this stage. This may not be the right time for pricing, but it is the time to show the prospect your insights and knowledge of the specific industry’s needs. Webinars, blog posts, offers for white papers, and articles that show industry surveys are important at this time.
As the leads you have generated interact with your content you have provided during the awareness stage, the prospect’s hunger for more information will change. Finally the prospects will enter the evaluation phase, looking for information that reveals how your solution might work best to solve their problems. This is the ideal time to use content marketing to show how your solution solves the prospect’s problem. Your marketing team can do this by showing the prospects’ proof of how you had solved these problems for other customers. This content could take the form of customer case studies, video testimonials, and even competitive analysis fact sheets.
The leads’ decision to purchase your products and services reflect the power of your content marketing program. Not only have you successfully engaged the prospect with your depth of understanding about their problem, but you have also presented proof that your organization offers the ideal solution. During this final phase, prospects are likely to respond to coupons, free trials, and evaluating pricing sheets.
Customer Relations Management systems help you ensure you have done all you can to educate your clients, moving them on a journey from awareness to completed sale. CRM provides the ability to send personalized content to your leads and clients that matches each phase of the sales process; you have a powerful method to nurture your needs systematically with content marketing. Using Customer Relations Management to fuel your content marketing program allows you to ensure that your content marketing assets are aligned with the appropriate phase of your sales funnel so that you can provide prospects with the information they need and ultimately drive more sales.
CRM Systems is a full-service professional service provider of end-to-end ERP and CRM solutions for the SMB business market.
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CRM Systems serves all of the United States and Canada with particular emphasis on the south-western USA, Ontario and western Canada.
Goudy Bookletter 1911