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6 reasons why companies need a CRM

Plus: the role of CRM automation.

May 08, 2019 by Jessica Munday

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Sales teams should be selling, not entering data into a CRM. Data entry is tedious and often doesn’t play to a sales professional’s strengths. Unfortunately, a survey by Salesforce found that most sales reps spend just 34% of their time selling and the rest on low-value tasks like data entry and quote generation — a lose-lose situation all around. And yet, companies need reliable data inside their CRM systems, whether that’s Salesforce or something else.

What’s the answer? It’s CRM automation. Here’s why a CRM and a good automation strategy are so critical.

1. Full view of the pipeline

You may not realize it, but sales managers have a lot of their plate. They’re being pressured from the C level to drive revenue and turn a profit. This is a tall order when the pipeline is disorganized, with multiple reps working various accounts at ever-changing stages in the funnel.

Without good pipeline visibility, sales forecasts are inaccurate, data is dirty and the team is working on potentially risky opportunities. A CRM system is a game-changer because your managers can watch every deal as it moves through the pipeline and lead the team accordingly.

They can also see what activities lead to conversions, which your management and operations teams can lean on when creating a deal-closing process.

2. Sales reports and forecasts

There are several sales tools and systems that integrate with your CRM system and use its data to create sales reports and forecasts. It’s crucial these reports are built on accurate data since they influence major company decisions, like spending budgets and plans for company growth.

According to Salesforce, CRM systems improve forecast accuracy by 42 percent. Your small updates have a big impact on the operations of your organization — your entire team needs to work in alignment with the “big picture” goals of your company.

3. Sales coaching and training

Sales coaching can increase revenue by up to 20 percent and CRM analytics indicate to managers which areas your team could improve. This is revealed by how quickly prospects move through or fall out of the sales funnel via accurate CRM data entries.

This insight impacts what your management (or sales ops) team cover during training by turning conversion rates into corporate assets. For example, if a number of reps have trouble with technical qualifications, this can be polished during the next sales coaching session. Feedback from your CRM data is used to reduce sales mistakes and sharpen your skills.

4. Customer data hub

Before CRM systems, sales reps had Rolodexes with hundreds of contacts, phone numbers and addresses; taking diligent notes or using an excel spreadsheet to track prospects in the sales cycle. And all that information is completely lost or hard to find when a rep packs up for a new job and another rep has to take over the account.

CRMs are a centralized location where it’s easy to find a prospect’s contact information and past interactions. Now all the information needed to sell to a prospect is in one location.

5. Customer needs and experience

American businesses lose $62 billion dollars every year due to a poor customer experience. Since all customer information is located in one place, sales reps can better understand customer needs and provide a positive experience.

Reps can look back on past interactions and adjust the dialogue accordingly; making follow-up interactions personable and relevant to each prospect. That data also shows you cross and upsell opportunities.

6. Smooth handoffs

A survey by Accenture found that 89 percent of customers get frustrated repeating themselves to multiple representatives. Information about a prospect can easily be lost between SDR and AE if there isn’t a streamlined hand-off strategy.

With the CRM holding all customer interactions throughout the team, communication appears seamless and there’s little to no disconnect in customer conversations with the opening and closing reps.

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CRM automation to the rescue

CRM automation tools can help you gain back the time you spend in your CRM with little to no effort on your end. They can save you hours each week so you can get back to selling.

Let’s say you spend an hour each day on updates. How much more could you do if you got that hour back through CRM automation? That’s two more meetings or four more calls each day. Imagine what that would do for your quota over the course of a year!

Just because it’s a pain to update your CRM it doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Be the trendsetter in your organization and start using a CRM automation tool. Ask your sales operations team or sales managers to look into CRM automation tools that integrate with your current tools and process.

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