Most companies that I have come in contact with in my working life, utilise some type of CRM system in to their sales process - I have even seen some rudimentary Excel based systems that actually worked quite well.
Firstly let's establish a specific definition of the purpose of a worthwhile Client Relationship Management system.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels -- or points of contact between the customer and the company -- which could include the company's website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers' personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
One common thread that I have observed though my experience, is that sales teams use the CRM system moreso once a sale has been made. But, I now see things slowly changing out there.
Marketers are now using CRM systems much earlier into the buyer's journey to gain understanding of where their prospects are hanging out and what they are searching for. This data is vital in qualifying whether web traffic are actual prospects for your products and services or not.
Once your sales team have seen the way that a good modern CRM system works they will it as a tool to maximise their sales results and improve their conversion rates dramatically.
Imagine only talking to customers that want your product or services?
Imagine customers that want to purchase now and not delay?
Imagine having insights into what your client's needs and wants are prior to connecting with them?
There are many modern CRM systems available today that can capture such information when combined with marketing automation software. Here at Search & Be Found we have used several CRMs over the years with many different businesses, from varying industry sectors and one of our favourites is the Hubspot CRM. It is packed with features and best of all, you can start using it for free - yes there is a genuinely free version (Hubspot know you will like it and want more). You can check it out here for yourself Hubspot Free CRM.
I have written this blog post as a virtual 'next step' from a previous post I have written that is titled 'Why buying stuff has changed, and why selling stuff should too' and thought you might like to have a read.
Have a look at the Hubspot CRM and introduce your sales team to a new perspective on their pipeline and how to manage for an improved conversion rate.