Skip the Spreadsheets: 5 Reasons to Invest in a CRM
By Radhika Mohan Singh Roy, Agile CRM
The process of getting sales leads, along with filing them and following up with them, is a tedious and often unorganized process.
This is especially true now that the average small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has added more channels to their lead generation efforts, such as social media, forms for content marketing and more. Take the following leads as examples:
1) Mr. Jake Manson, CEO, Excalibur Software Solutions Ltd. Interested in Enterprise Application package, call scheduled on 26th Jan at 1:30 p.m.
2) Ms. Paloma Balmer, COO, Comcolst Ventures Ltd. Interested in Enterprise Application package, meeting scheduled on 27th Jan at 5 p.m.
3) Mr. Aaron Sorkin, CFO, Swingwing Holiday Partners Ltd. Interested in Accounting Package, online demo scheduled on 27th Jan 8 p.m.
Thus goes a typical spreadsheet of marketing and sales professionals from SMBs. Then there is a stream of leads followed by a note on their status along with remarks. The elementary thing here is to maintain a spreadsheet to manage the relationship with potential customers, but that should be the last way to do business in today’s tech-savvy business environment.
Here are the five reasons why your SMB should shun the spreadsheet, and invest in a CRM.
1) Sales & Marketing on one platform
It’s a gargantuan task for sales and marketing teams to work on different platforms and yield phenomenal results. Most of the time, they have to work hand-in-hand. So, the integration can only be possible through the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution, or else, the sales team will have no information on the activities on leads and campaigns administered til date, and similarly, the marketing team will have to struggle to garner the sales know-how and information on leads.
With the use of a productive CRM suite, tagging it with marketing software like HubSpot or Marketo may work wonders, or companies can probe further and adopt an all-in-one CRM that integrates CRM, sales and marketing automation in one platform. This helps them to work seamlessly to nurture leads all through the sales cycle.
2) Gauging the performance
The conventional ways of gauging the performance of sales reps is out of date. Use of many spreadsheets and skimming a lot of reports is an arduous task. Even if you do all this, you can know the number of deals they are closing but it’s difficult to know where they are stuck in the Sales process. Also, how do you build a competitive environment among your Sales professionals to achieve more Sales and reward them accordingly?
Many CRMs are offering the function of sales gamification that’s getting more applause as it’s an interesting way to motivate and churn out the best from your sales team.
A CRM saves you from all that heavy number crunching and combining different sets of data that go into understanding and making some sense out of spreadsheets. So, migrating to a CRM enables you for a quick measurement of your sales performance.
3) Sales Reps gain more efficiency
A centralized sales data saves your team from going through the whole inbox hunting for information on leads, and also avoid those bulky spreadsheets to profile a lead. This can be achieved only through CRM adoption, and you can see a dramatic increase in the efficiency of sales personnel.
A common login ensures that you can access multiple layers of data, run a quick search, pull out a lead and can track the entire process that went into nurturing the lead. The entire chain of relationship of the lead with the company can be established with the use of CRM, which is otherwise a cumbersome process to go through.
This leaves the sales reps with loads of time, which they can put it to some other constructive use.
4) Plugins and integrations
Another striking feature of CRM adoption is seamless integration of leading third-party service providers, emails, accounting packages, billing and invoice generation software, payroll management tools, telephony and messaging, Web forms, landing pages and many more.
If you are looking at making and recording calls from CRM, there are tools that enable you to do so. Gone are the days of noting the phone numbers from the database and calling them using a land-phone.
You can use social plugins (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc.) and integrations for email, content management systems, e-commerce and more.
5) Enhanced Customer Service
CRM is not just a storehouse of your leads and prospects; it also has the data of existing customers. The customer support can give a better service with an optimal use of CRM. They can use it for troubleshooting and 360-degree profiling of the customer. This will definitely reduce the call time and the support team can serve more customers. An improved service means customers need not go through a volley of questions whenever he/she calls the support.
A customer’s entire relationship history can be obtained from the CRM when your employees put the relevant information there. The discussions, support requests and other relevant actions and notes can be logged into the CRM for retrieving later. This helps the companies to identify unprofitable and nagging customers, and determine product enhancements.
All these five reasons cumulatively work on decreasing your costs and increasing the productivity of the staff. A recent survey stated that for every $1 spent on adoption of CRM, companies get a revenue of $5.6.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started with CRM.
Radhika Mohan Singh Roy is a senior product evangelist with Agile CRM. He has earlier been the manager for communities & social media at Simplilearn. He is a Masters' degree holder in English and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. He has previously also worked with Google, Apple Computers and Bank of America.