The landscape of selling as a profession has changed drastically over the past decade, but nothing has had a more profound impact on sales reps then the introduction of CRM software. Transforming the average sales rep into a superpowered, highly connected engine, your CRM is your lifeline - the way you keep track of everyone, everything, and how you can best serve them.
We've already talked about why you need a CRM, but here's a couple of quick stats in case you need a reminder.
- A CRM can increase revenue by 41% per user. (Trackvia)
- Without CRM, 79% of leads fail to convert. (Pardot)
- CRM had the most impact on customer retention (47%), customer satisfaction (47%), Revenue (45%), and upselling/cross-selling (39%). (Capterra)
The short of it is that if you're not fully utilizing your CRM for sales, you're missing out. Now I'm assuming if you're reading this, you have a CRM, but you know you've got room for growth. Let's check off a couple of quick things to make sure you're set up for success with your CRM.
You've implemented it properly.
Here at Prialto, we've mastered the art of CRM implementation, like when we implemented a custom instance of Salesforce for LendingHome which centralized the team’s Account and Contact information, inbound leads, and opportunities.
Beyond that, we also spend a lot of time inside of the actual sales operations of companies. There are some instances where we handle the majority of a business' sales operations.
You've got your priorities in order.
Josh Iverson, the owner of iMediaSalesTeam and longtime Salesforce user, meets dozens of people a month. That's why we worked with him to create a system that prioritized people and tasks so important meetings and contacts wouldn't fall through the cracks.
By having an established pipeline, you're well on your way to making your CRM work harder for you.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways your CRM can shorten your sales cycle.
1. Effective contact management
In 2014, 74% of users said their CRM system offered improved access to customer data (Ringlead); however, that statistic only matters if you're keeping your data up to date.
How do you do that? Easy. Log your call notes. Make sure every time you touch base with someone that it's recorded.
Hot Tip: Setting up an automatic BCC is a good way to ensure everything is tracked.
If entering all that data feels like it's not the best use of your time, you're right. It's not. Most of these processes are easily outsourced, so there is no reason you shouldn’t be leveraging your CRM to the fullest.
2. Moving leads along in the pipeline
Your CRM is only as active as you are. Don't forget to move those leads along!
3. Scheduling your follow up
Mastering your follow up is the single most important thing you can do to become a better closer. Your CRM is there to support you so you can stay on track to meet your sales goals and keep your clients happy.
And as we all know, the money is in the follow up.
4. Optimizing how you're currently using Salesforce
Unless you're a Salesforce expert - and there are folks who that is all they do - you're probably not using Salesforce to its full potential.
In addition to managing the way you already have Salesforce setup, Prialto also has a standardized configuration we've implemented for dozens of Members. We're happy to get you started with Salesforce - just ask!
5. Running reports
You have certain metrics you're constantly tracking. Running reports can make that simpler, faster process. We suggest running reports for:
- Leads that need to be followed up with
- Where leads currently are in your pipeline
- Who has moved along in your pipeline
- Recent closes
- Recent activity or lack thereof
There are many more possibilities here, and we recommend you customize these to get a high-level view of your sales activities.
6. Handling old or otherwise unresolved tasks
Tasks have a funny way of piling up - especially if they are tasks you don't want to do. If you can't hand it off to your virtual sales assistant, make sure you set aside time to get them off your plate.
7. Adding contacts while cross-referencing them to ensure they aren't already in Salesforce
When you set up a meeting, make sure you're double checking whether or not they have already been established as a lead. This can save you a lot of time and tell you how you should proceed in your next engagement with the person.
Hot Tip: Use Salesforce IQ? To see if a contact already exists, go to the top right-hand corner of the homepage and click the magnifying glass.
8. Enhancing prospect research
Every time you begin the prospecting process, you can easily create entries for everyone you contact. This is a simple way of tracking how your prospecting efforts are performing.
Fun fact: Sales reps can spend up to 40% of their time looking for somebody to call. (InsideSales) That's a lot of wasted time for your top producers. This is all easily delegated to a virtual sales assistant.
9. Sending mass outreach emails
Hot Tip: Need some great mass email templates? We've got you covered.
10. Handling sales updates
As you move through your pipeline, you can continue to update how the sales process is going, what your next steps are, and otherwise keep track of how you're doing. This is great for you and for your future customer, so they know you have a full appreciation for where they and their company are at.
Looking For More Salesforce And CRM Help?
Well... we're not surprised. It turns out a lot of you are still frustrated with some aspects of having to deal with a CRM period. In fact, 29% of salespeople are spending an hour or more on data entry each and every day (HubSpot) and many firms still struggle to achieve successful CRM implementation because of slow user adoption (49%). (Forrester)
We hope this article helps take away some of the pain of working with your CRM.