What is a Sales CRM and How Do You Utilize It for Your Business?

Communication is like champagne. People want the authentic stuff. From chatbots to phone calls, customers want it to feel authentic even if it is automated.

Why? Customers want to sense a trusting bond with their sales professional. They can purchase from virtually anyone these days. It’s up to you to prove to them why it should be your company.

Customer relationship management is crucial to sales and business scalability, but many companies, both large and small, suffer with it. The right sales CRM can help you do that if it’s personable and real.

In fact, studies show that CRMs increase sales productivity by 34% — growing sales by 29% in the process!

In some cases, you may find some team members reluctant to join the CRM movement. Have no fear. We at Map My Customers have heard it all before. And now, we’re here to show you just how easy it is to overcome any objections.

Soon enough, everyone on the team will discover the power, efficiency and positive results of a CRM.

The Essential Value of a Sales CRM

Countless businesses hold this sentiment true, and you should too: CRM is an essential tool for any company.

But, you may not be sold just yet. That’s OK, we get it. You can do the work on your own with a few spreadsheets, right? Of course, you can.

Yet, picture this: Do you enjoy canvassing dozens of Google Docs or Excel sheets, keyword searching information from six months or longer back? Or, would you rather have the information just a few clicks away?

Going further, how do you like to manage all your to-dos? In lots of different TextEdit docs and reminder apps? Or, would you rather have a centralized system to remind you? Maybe you’re worried that a CRM would add more to your work day and already have a ton on your deck as it is.

But know this: With a CRM at your disposal, you have a dedicated assistant to each customer all the time.

Your entire customer relationship is logged in one easy to find location. Now, you can recall the information you input at any time.

Your sales CRM is the log of all the information you gathered on a client as the relationship progresses. Call notes, customer needs, appointments and much more are added over time.

This proves beneficial before even your first email. All your talking points are right in front of you. Just choose the applicable information and start the conversation. You’ll soon see that it benefits well-beyond the first outreach.

“Every dollar spent on CRM implementation returns as much as $8.71 in sales revenue”
- Nelson Research | Tweet this!

Before you begin, it’s important to understand which sales CRM is right for your team. It’s also important to know how you should utilize it for your team’s workflow.

The execution is key. The proper beginning leads to an enthused group ready to explore their newest and most significant efficiency tool. Make the right choices.

How To Choose The Right CRM

Let’s get down to three essential points to map your CRM experience. Consider them relatively easy riddles, but don’t be hasty. Be sure to choose your course wisely. Your answers all must be right to fully succeed.

Considering The Size Of Your CRM

Let’s start with the obvious. You have to select the CRM that is the right size for your business. One size doesn’t fit all companies when it comes to your customer and sales management. You wouldn’t wear size 10 shoes as if you’re 7.5. Similarly, you don’t need a size 10 CRM when you need a 7.5 may do just fine.

Source: Tisski

In general, you have two options for your CRM housing:

  1. On-Premise CRM

An on-premise CRM is a dated, in-house solution. It keeps your sales CRM information contained at your actual business location. The on-premise option declined over the years due to expensive prices that require additional IT management. Worst of all, if the system goes down, your team loses access to the sales system until it can be restored.

That’s a big productivity red flag if we’ve ever heard one before. Outside of large-scale, high-earning companies, this isn’t a solution anymore. And even those companies have jumped to the cloud as tech evolution continues.

2. On-Demand/Subscription

Today, on-demand and subscription CRMs are today’s dominant choice. This option provides lower costs, better data security and takes up no office space. It’s almost the ideal employee…if it were a person. The functionality and security of the cloud pushed on-site solutions to the point of extinction. Much like the dinosaurs, the end has come from the cloud(s).

Some larger companies still opt for an on-site CRM. But to keep it clear: you should choose the cloud. A cloud solution will be your choice 99% of the time.

This is especially true for startups and teams looking to scale operations. Choosing the cloud keeps overhead costs down.

Utilizing a CRM for Your Team’s Optimal Efficiency

So, you’ve chosen your sales CRM system, good. Now, it’s time to use it in the most efficient way possible. CRM arrangements differ from business to business. Factors including goals and how the business operates will shape your setup. When considering your CRM, explore and heavily consider the following areas:

Source: Worktec

1. Task Management

For many of us, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. While that applies to hunger, it also can to managing work. Task management seems like a process that should be easy enough to handle ourselves. That thinking is how we end up with half-eaten plates and a backlog of work.

The assumption flies out the window once we actually get to work. Unfortunately, it’s when we also realize we’re in for a long day. That’s why a CRM is a sales team’s best digital friend. Sorry, Siri.

A CRM syncs to a salesperson’s calendar to keep all customer needs in order. It can track everything from custom field data to call notes to compiling robust reports. Essentially, it gives you a dedicated assistant for many of your everyday tasks — allowing you and your team to focus on closing deals.

Your team needs to decide which tasks need management. Determine which CRM best suits your needs. Discover how to customize the CRM to your needs for the best experience. If your CRM can’t meet your task management goals, move on. Don’t settle when you need solutions.

2. Customer Cataloging

Coming out of networking events can feel like juggling fruit. You’re sure to have a ton in your hands. Storing and later recalling all this information is sure to be a hassle. As more piles on, you’re bound to drop some key details.

Some rely on their memory to do the trick. Some use a spreadsheet. Both aren’t the way to go. And good luck trying to remember everything by the end of the day.

Instead, cataloging information is a breeze with a sales CRM. Managing clients and company information with a CRM eliminates the need for those Excel sheets and piles of business cards you don’t want to keep track of. Best of all, you won’t lose any information!

With a CRM, you can easily create a new contact. Input their details during a conversation or a quick step outside and you’re set. In just moments, you’ve logged crucial details that could results in financial gains for your business.

3. Sales Funnel Management

A sales funnel is important to your business. Managing it should not be part of your workflow. Instead, we say to turn it to your CRM.

With eight customizable stages, a sales CRM is flexible enough for any team to modify it to their desires. Linked with customer cataloging, sales teams can seamlessly update where a prospect stands in the sales while updating each contact’s file as well.

By adding reminders for calls and follow-ups, your CRM gives you a one-stop solution for tracking the sales journey of your targets and clients. Now, just focus on getting your clients to the bottom of your funnel!

4. Email Automation

You’ve done all the research. You have all the information needed to make an incredible pitch. Now, you want that email read at the right time. With a CRM, your sales team can craft the email anytime and have it sent at the ideal time of the day.

The ease of use doesn’t stop there. Once your messages are sent, track when it is opened and even create automated follow-up messages to automate the sales process when possible without losing any of the personal charm you’re presenting.

All you have to do is enter the copy and you’re finished. Couldn’t get much simpler than that, right?

“You can only reach your sales potential by sending the right offer to the right person at the right time.”
-Pawel Sala, Smart Insights | Tweet this!

The above suggestions are just the beginning. In fact, they barely scratch the surface of the power a CRM’s capabilities. Lead generation, business card scanning and more can also streamline your work. Thus, allowing you to excel at what they do best.

Get your CRM in motion and discover just how much you can automate and customize. You just might be surprised at what it’s capable of achieving.

Inspiring Your Team To Want to Use a CRM

In some cases, team members won’t want to make the CRM switch. It’s understandable, each person has their preferences. No worries, it is quite easy to overcome any reservations.

It’s up to you to drive home the change. Show them the ease of use and power of a sales CRM. From there, it’s about familiarity. Make the team feel like they’ve used the CRM for years. Here is how you achieve that effect.

Source: Accent Technologies

1. Keep It Simple

Your sales CRM is your teammate. It’s there to aide your team — not challenge them. Many companies make this mistake. They implement a system that is too complex for what the business is striving for. Instead, meet the needs of your team.

Listen to them and act in their best interests. Confirm that their needs align with what you had in mind for your CRM. You may find that what seemed like an obvious need for the team is actually insignificant.

Remember, the CRM is not about reinventing the wheel. It’s just about making the workflow more efficient. Instead of being complex for the sake of complexity, focus on the needs of your team. Often, a simplified system is what will pique interest in the group. Give them what they need, not what you want.

2. Keep It Familiar

The mere-exposure effect revealed that we prefer familiarity. Keep that in mind when choosing your CRM. Make the transition smooth by appearing familiar to the current work.

Introduce that familiarity by integrating your CRM with existing company systems. Utilize API integrations whenever possible. Import data from existing documents. Lose the new feeling and make the CRM look like an old component to the team.

Going further, highlight standout integrations. Show the team that your route planning, sales insights and much more can all be found in your CRM. Let everyone experience the all-in-one solution that a CRM can be. Soon, they’ll realize that they’re doing the same work with a better system in place.

3. Keep It Informed

They say knowledge is power. But it goes further than that. Knowledge is empowering. In the case of your sales CRM, having an informed team produces an enthused team. Hold training sessions as you build up to the transition.

Make training a repeat event during the days, weeks and months before the transition. Show the diverse platforms the CRM works on. Demonstrate how it interacts with the tablet as well as your phone.

Use training to pinpoint positive standouts on the team. This is an excellent opportunity to spot out “super users.” They could become valuable trainers and advocates for the change. Some companies choose to reward the excelling members as well.

Whatever you choose, embrace a motivated mindset during the rollout. Promote an exciting and informed change on the horizon for your team. Their support for the CRM shift makes the results much easier to attain.

Conclusion

Teams across the world now use them to makes sales and engagement easier. From its automation capabilities to the specific customization it possesses, your team will love the benefits of a more efficient workflow. Proper utilization is key.

“Ultimately, CRM is about more than technology; it is about achieving desired business outcomes through information.”
-Mark Thacker, Sales Xceleration | Tweet This

Make your CRM work for you, not the other way around. Always remember to address your team’s workflow. Going the basic route is fine if it achieves the best results. In fact, it may be your best option when easing new team members into the process.

But remember: powering your sales CRM begins with you. It’s up to you to provide your CRM with the information it needs.

Consider yourself the book and the CRM is your brain. Fill it with the right information to reach your sales goals. Doing so requires maintenance often. But trust us, the juice is worth the squeeze. In no time, you’ll discover why a CRM is beneficial to both customer rapport and sales.

Don’t worry you’re still feeling hesitant about taking the plunge with a sales CRM. Map My Customers offers you a 14-day free trial for both team and individual use. Go at your pace. Take time to discover just how beneficial adding a CRM to your process truly is.

We hope that you find this guide as useful as a CRM will be to your work. Let us know in the comments how you utilized your CRM into your team’s existing work structure and improved your sales.