Technology February 22, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,778 Reads share

How Sales Teams Can Embrace CRM For Better Results

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Would you rather add a few minutes to your day or lose a few clients? It’s a no-brainer but an unfortunate reality for sales teams in busy offices. Salespeople are naturally always-on-the-go types. They’re too busy networking to go for elevenses and might see the office CRM system as a distraction from their schedule. But it’s time sales teams realised the advantages of CRM systems and how instead of hindering them, it could in fact help them win more business.

The first step to helping sales teams realise this is to show them how to get more out of daily CRM processes.

By following these tips, in just five minutes, salespeople can be confident that they’ve contributed to the CRM and that their efforts will drive results. Here’s how:

Typically, suggest the sales team to start their day by following these simple processes:

  • Set up the CRM so that every morning, before your coffee, before you check your e-mails, you get the CRM to remind you about 5 people you should contact. Whether they’re potential leads, leads, people that need chasing – whoever, get them set
  • Try and make calls as early as possible – but not too early. People like that ‘breathing space’ time to settle in at their desk. Midday is a no-go, as is any time after 3:00pm. Get in early and put yourself at the front of their mind
  • Once you’ve made your calls, set the next action and reminder date on the CRM and forget about them. Don’t worry, the CRM will remind you in time and leave you free to get on with other tasks
  • Answer e-mails and link them with the connecting CRM record. Again, by setting the reminder you make sure you’re keeping track while giving yourself flexibility to get on with other work

During the day, even if you’re away from the CRM system and/or unable to access it on your laptop/mobile, make sure you:

  • If you’re out and about networking and meet someone you think could be a lead, either email or call the office so that they can update the CRM record
  • If you meet a new person, pass their business card; any notes and the next action and reminder date to either your PA or other members of the sales team. Get them to add the contact to the CRM and again, set a reminder.

Ten fail-safe ways to squeeze your CRM dry

# 1. Ensure top-level executives lead by example

If you don’t use the CRM system yourself; it’s harder to convince others to get on board. Understanding the system and promoting it yourself is far more likely to get your departments eager to use it. It’s up to senior managers to embrace CRM first and enthuse about it, as Destination CRM correctly point out.

# 2. Train your sales team well

If your staff don’t feel comfortable using the CRM system, quite simply, they won’t. Older members of the team might still prefer to use paper or a spreadsheet and avoid the ‘complicated’ system but persevere – it may take some people longer than others to pick up but rarely is a system so complex that people feel excluded.

# 3. Don’t throw them in at the deep end

It’s all too easy to implement a new system quickly and forget that people need time to adapt. Introduce the change gradually – a good starting point is to have the sales team starting entering their sales contacts. Once they’ve mastered this, get them tracking sales then generating reports. Do it over and over until it becomes routine and natural.

# 4. Be consistent with your data

CRM systems like regularity and it’s far easier to manage and track your own progress this way too. Having agreed-upon protocols for how names and addresses are handled will make for a smooth, efficient process.

# 5. Don’t fill your CRM system with ‘filler data’

Remember, your CRM system is only as good as the data is holds. Ensure you routinely remove e-mail addresses that are no longer in use or contacts that you have exhausted. Keeping the system up-to-date is paramount.

# 6. Integrate your marketing and CRM system

It’s simple to connect your marketing and your CRM system – simply feed your web form lead information (e-mails) directly into the CRM system. You can even set up your CRM system to send an auto-response to your leads to really get the ball rolling

# 7. Look a little closer to home for add-ons before investing elsewhere

Pre-made features and apps will save you money since you won’t need to look to external sources which will cost you time and money. Many CRM systems these days have an array of features and apps that will be compatible with your software and infrastructure

# 8. Set up Google Alerts to sync to your CRM system

Google alerts can be set up to notify you when it detects your customers as a keyword. This enables you to keep track of what your customer’s movements

# 9. Ensure you have a simple way to migrate data before investing in a new CRM

If you’re planning on switching CRM systems, ensure you have an easy way to transfer your data. It sounds obvious but can often be overlooked in the excitement of new features and affordability. No one in your team needs this headache so get it sorted!

# 10. Reward staff who influence CRM success

Ensure employees who consistently use the CRM system to drive business forward are praised and rewarded to show others the importance of the system.

Do you have any suggestions on using your CRM system?

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Images:  “Hand drawing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) chart

Gareth Cartman

Gareth Cartman

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