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Using CRM Software in the Sales Process: 3 Tips

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Think of your sales process as the standardized and repeatable blueprint. Your entire sales team can follow the blueprint to transform a lead into an actual customer. Companies have their own sales processes tailored to their industries and their company’s strengths. Still, it’s safe to generalize that most sales processes are geared around a few basic steps. This includes generating and qualifying leads, highlighting a prospect’s business needs, defining how your company is uniquely able to meet those needs, and then actually delivering on your promises..

Obviously, there is a lot of possible activity in each of those steps. The goal of a good sales process is to ensure time and resources invested by a sales team translates into actual results. While a sales process is critical, tapping the power of a CRM solution can magnify its effectiveness. CRM can provide help at each step along the process. But there are three main areas to apply your processes in your CRM application.

Top three areas to add workflow automation to your sales processes:

1. Improve marketing to get better leads

We all know there’s often a tension between marketing and sales. Sales reps complain that marketing isn’t doing enough or not doing the right things to generate or cultivate promising leads. And marketing asks why sales reps aren’t properly using the great content they’ve labored to create. A CRM solution can make the work of marketers translate directly into improved lead generation in a variety of ways.

For example, a CRM offers lead tracking that provides marketers with real-time views of leads in the sales pipeline. They can view all activities and details related to the lead. This information is vital to the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Seeing the leads that became actual opportunities and turned into ‘closed sales’, provides marketers with a data-driven view of their efforts that are most effective.

2.  Nurture leads with communication and content

Generating quality leads is an indispensable step in any company’s sales process. But as any sales team knows, that’s just the start. It becomes the task of sales reps to both prioritize and  nurture those leads to continue down the path toward becoming actual customers. A CRM can help by providing a reminder to reps about following up with promising prospects. Even better, the right CRM can automate regular delivery of relevant content to prospects as they consider their purchase. For instance, a contact expressing interest in a particular product is tagged to receive brochures, articles and other information to influence their ultimate decision.

3.  Use customer support to improve revenue opportunities
It’s understandable that many sales reps consider their job complete when a deal is closed. But the reality is that the final step of the sales process never really ends. Delivering the products and solutions that address a new customer’s business challenges and then making sure they do the job requires consistent and determined customer support. While important to your company’s reputation, proactive customer satisfaction is also just smart business, because happy customers are likely to continue being customers and even expand what they buy from you.

Again, a CRM is extremely valuable in this ongoing step of the sales process. Because CRMs become a central clearinghouse of all the interactions you have with a company or customer, they become the place where customer service representatives go to quickly get up to speed on the solutions and products you have provided and any past problems or challenges. Armed with up-to-date information, your company can quickly resolve any problems and even identify areas where an increased partnership would be beneficial.

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