Plants and businesses are not too dissimilar. Plants require a steady flow of nutrients, sunlight and water for optimum growth.
Businesses demand a steady stream of income to sustain themselves overtime. When plants blossom and become too big for their environment, constant attention is required to ensure they don’t upset other plants in their surroundings and can grow in the best possible way. Similarly, as a business starts to bloom, it too will require nurturing, particularly in the form of how it manages its customer relationships. After all, sales is about the relationships and as an organisation grows, so do the relationships.
At some point, a more organised and streamlined Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) will need to be implemented. Such a migration is best not put off for too long. Equally, the gardener will undoubtedly see his own downfall in tending to his plants later rather than sooner.
Why the shift is so important
In today’s competitive market, closing a deal is considered secondary to helping a prospect. Access to data driven insights is earning marketing it’s omnipotent status and for the first time, puts it on par with sales.
After all, knowledge is power. To stay competitive, a repeatable, scalable process that works for your business and customers must be put in place to ensure the best possible ROI.
So whilst we leave the gardener to tend to his plants, let’s get to the ‘root’ of all this.
- How can a CRM empower your sales team to focus on “helping more” and why will this result in “closing more”?
- How can a CRM minimize manual data entry?
- How can a CRM increase your company’s productivity and streamline the process?
CRM to the rescue
A CRM refers to software that helps companies track interactions with their future and current customers. It helps you sell better and faster by providing the context necessary to effectively manage relationships and streamline many tasks. This makes the overall process more efficient by enabling you to put repeatable and scalable processes into place that will allow your team to remain firmly in the driving seat towards understanding what works and build deeper relationships without worrying about what might slip through the net.
Nothing slips through the net
As it is in life, persistence is a virtue in sales. Children seem to learn this tactic very early on and possess it as some sort of innate gift. As such, they are generally rewarded with what they want. Sales reps can learn a lesson or two here. It’s rare to get a prospect’s attention on the very first outreach attempt. More often than not, a sales rep will need to reach out again, and again … and again, just like the pestering child who has a way with impulse purchases. However, as the child later discovers in life, tenacity alone cannot determine the success of closing a deal.
Choosing when to reach out can be crucial and if executed poorly could result in a firm telling off. It is clear then that in a world where, “always be helping” is more important than “always be closing”, a degree of contextual insight is imperative in knowing how and when to interact with a prospect. Fortunately for sales reps, pertinent information on prospects is readily available through the help of a CRM. This allows reps to quickly establish who each prospect is, how the lead was generated, where they are active online and how they’ve engaged with you in the past.
Being able to document the various stages of your sales process and understand what is necessary to move prospects to the next stage ultimately increases the likelihood that your team’s efforts are always centred upon helping customers. Connecting with prospects at the proper intervals results in a more efficient outreach process.
While people and process usually precede systems, sales is somewhat of an exception. A comprehensive CRM bypasses the need for sales reps having to memorise which leads to follow up with and when. By storing and managing customer and prospect data, sales reps are able to set task reminders of who they should follow up with and when. This comes with the advantage of having all prior contact attempts at their fingertips. Voicemail and email messages along with other customer interactions are saved automatically through
HubSpot’s CRM so your sales reps know exactly what their next steps should be. As outreach becomes more tailored, reps become more likely to receive a response.
Prevent disastrous sales derailments
We’ve all been there. It’s 3pm on Thursday and you're organising your pipeline of deals ready to present to your boss the following day. The longer you stare at the spreadsheet, the more it begins to resemble a chaotic jumble of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Visualising your deal flow in this way can make it difficult to see how close each prospect is to closing and could result in failing to spot gaps in the funnel. Rather than trying to infer meaningful knowledge from a sea of identical rows and columns, a CRM provides better segmentation of your various audiences. This ensures that they receive the best possible nurturing campaigns to guide them through their journey.
Storing all your prospect data in one place gives your team access to information and reports that will help them spot opportunities and identify trends that might otherwise have been overlooked. This streamlined approach helps reps balance and prioritise prospecting with working active leads, resulting in a tailored customer experience.
By now I hope we’re clear that CRM does not refer to ‘Complicated Regretful Management’ system. It is designed to do quite the opposite; simplify the process and boost your productivity to help you sell faster and more efficiently. Despite this, some sales reps might be put off by having to shift to an entirely new system that they think might slow them down. However, 50% of sales time is wasted on prospecting that goes nowhere. Therefore, it’s critical to streamline reps’ non-sales tasks as much as possible to maximise active selling time.
Crucially however, a CRM is only as good as the data entered into it. Automating this process through CRM’s like HubSpot lessens the data entry burden on reps by automatically populating contact information from inbox activity and marketing automation systems. This allows your team to focus on connecting with prospects rather than doing time-consuming administrative work.
Say goodbye to tedious administrative work and hello to automated personal engagement
When it comes to marketing strategies, content marketing has recently been crowned king. At a time when trust has never been so important between buyer and seller, it is imperative that content is personalized and relevant to each and every prospect. CRM’s like Hubspot double as content repositories that automatically populate contact information by extracting data from other sources. Given how time-consuming looking for content is, this comes as a blessing for sales reps that are able to deliver the right content at the exact right moment. And it doesn’t stop there. Not only can a CRM help you track where prospects are in the sales process and what follow-ups are necessary, it can also automate email follow-ups with personalised content.
This is hugely beneficial for sales reps, who as we know, dedicate vast amounts of time following up with prospects before they close a deal. Access to information about prospects and where they are in the buyer's journey provides you with the necessary insight into developing automated nurturing campaigns that deliver the right content at the right time to the right person. All of this results in fostering deeper relationships and creating more loyal customers.
It’s time to start selling better and faster
"The secret is not to run after the butterflies... take care of your garden and they will come to you". When Mario Quintana said this he wasn’t referring to inbound marketing, but his quote illustrates how important “always be helping” is in today’s market. Every prospect expects to be acknowledged and engaged in an individualized way. Efforts centred upon trying to close every deal are squandered by their lack of contextual insight and inability to connect with prospects at the proper intervals.
In the future, the companies who work to establish relationships with their prospects in advance of when they are ready to buy will win (Dan Tyre)
With a CRM you are able to layer context onto your outreach. This streamlined process brings multiple benefits that go beyond productivity, empowering your team with the time and information they need to continuously delight your industry, prospects and customers and figure out the ROI to continually improve their efficiency.
To find out more about CRM and how it can help your business, why not drop us a line or send us a message.