Sales teams are busier than ever. It’s no longer about knocking on a door, getting someone interested, and closing the deal. These days, sales often occur in small bursts of activity that lead to longer engagement with customers. The key to making this kind of sales process work is through a combination of effective CRM software and new methods for using it. With CRM software as the backbone, you can create a more modern sales process that gives your team the tools they need to improve their efforts, while also making sure everyone is working together in tandem. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when implementing using a CRM so your team can have an even better chance of success.
Plan your sales process
Before you even begin using a CRM, you need to plan out the sales process for your team. This will vary depending on your business and the unique nature of your sales cycle. Let’s start with one of the most important elements of sales: the lead. A lead is any prospective buyer who shows an interest in your product or service. You might have customers come to your website and fill out a form, or you might get leads from networking events and partnerships. If you have a sales team that is selling the products of a larger company, they might be handling cold leads. That is, they’re trying to sell their products to people who never even heard of the company.
Use ADM to create a transparent sales process
After you’ve decided on a sales process, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to follow for both your sales team and your customers. How you do this will depend on the type of CRM software you choose. If you opt for a non-visual CRM, you’ll have to keep a written record of your sales process. If you use visual CRM, however, you can create a sales process map that is easy to follow. Keep in mind that, as you create your sales process map, you should be keeping the customer in mind. You want to make it easy to understand not only what you want them to do next, but also why.
Leverage automation to shorten the sales cycle
For most sales teams, prospecting is one of the most time-consuming parts of the sales process. The good news is that for many companies, this can now be a short, manual process that generates leads that can be handed off to the rest of the sales team. This is where automation comes in. For example, you might have a marketing automation tool that can be used to generate leads from website visitors. Meanwhile, your sales team is divided into different verticals, with each person responsible for a certain set of industries or companies.
Don’t be afraid of data-based decisions
While you’re mapping out your sales process, you should keep data in mind. Keep a record of how many leads your sales team receives, how many opportunities they get, how those opportunities turn into deals, and how long each part of the sales cycle takes. Doing so will give you a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t so you can make adjustments to your process. You can also use this information to figure out which of your salespeople are the most successful and how much it’s costing you to bring on new customers. Your CRM software can also help you figure out which of your leads are most likely to convert to customers. This can help you prioritize which leads you to follow up with first, and which ones you should let go of.
Make a CRM training a priority for your team
Although communication between your sales team and customers should be easy, it’s not always natural. That’s why, when you decide to implement CRM software, you should begin with training. You should begin by teaching your sales team the basics of a CRM, including how to log and keep track of leads, create deals, and track their progress. You should also walk them through each CRM feature they need, either in person or online. As you introduce new salespeople to your CRM software, be sure to take the time to go over best practices for interacting with customers in the software, including which fields to use and how to use them. Lastly, you should also regularly review your CRM data to see how things are going. This can help you spot problems early, as well as find areas where your team should be doing better.
Modern sales teams are busy, and they have a lot of things to keep track of. Fortunately, with the right CRM software, they can keep everything organized while still staying engaged with customers. To make your sales process run smoothly, start by planning out the stages of your sales cycle, and then use ADM to create a transparent sales process. Once you have the basics in place, you can start leveraging automation to shorten the sales cycle and make data-based decisions. Finally, make CRM training a priority for your team so they can use the software effectively.