What is a CRM & do I need one to increase sales?

Most likely you’ve heard of CRM (Customer/Client Relationship Management) systems or softwares, but what are they really? A CRM is a system or application designed to help you organise the various relationships you have with your clients and prospects so that you can keep your salespeople and account managers focused on doing their jobs, while making it easy for technical and finance teams to access information about clients.

Why do companies use CRMs?

The main reason a business will use a CRM is to organise large amounts of information. In today’s data driven market, every detail counts and being able to find phone numbers, emails, account details or any other variable about each client is key to getting the competitive edge.

CRMs also help to create a timeline of past interactions and transactions, making them an key asset to account managers taking over clients or managing relationships spanning months or years.

Lastly, CRMs can also serve as a foundation for automation processes from invoicing and accounting to email marketing. Allowing a window for other departments to view and analyze client data can not only help improve sales performance but also helps to improve overall operational efficiency for client centric companies.

Does my business need a CRM?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of using a CRM just because everyone else is, but the reality is that not every business needs a CRM. If you’re running a business with just a few salespeople or a low volume of clients, a CRM may end up just being overkill for you. Setting up a CRM can be a long drawn out process, because in most cases you can’t just put business on hold to give you time to transition all of your information to the CRM.

One of the biggest mistakes made by businesses that do have a CRM is they don’t commit to their CRM system. In the best case scenario that leads to double entry with the CRM and another system (usually Google Sheets/Docs or Word/Excel documents); in the worst, and more common, cases this leads to incomplete information across both systems. This leads to sales people wasting time rifling between the CRM and their spreadsheets to try find information.

There are a few key questions that you need to ask yourself before you start looking for a CRM:

  • Will having a CRM make information easier to access?
  • Will having a CRM save my team time and make them more efficient?
  • Can I allocate enough time to transition quickly and commit to my CRM?
  • Am I able to effectively train my staff to use the CRM?
  • Will a CRM make/save my company time, money, or both?

If the answer isn’t yes to all of the above then you might not be ready to start using a CRM, which is fine. However, if the answer is yes to those five questions then you’ll want to start considering What to Look for in a CRM.

Does a CRM improve sales performance?

A CRM is only ever as good as the sales team using it. The best, most organised and complete CRM can’t fix an underperforming salesperson, but what a CRM can do is make life easier for your sales team and help them maximise their potential.

A well set up CRM can help your team save time, which in turn means they can speak to more prospects, which can increase their overall potential to close a deal. By streamlining the pre and post pitch processes, and pulling data from past sales, a CRM can form an integral part of your business development strategy.

At Sales Inc. we factor in your CRM (or lack thereof) when we develop commercial strategies, and we provide insight into what can be done to get the most out of your CRM, so that in turn you can get the most out of your Salespeople.

Contact us today to discuss your sales strategy and start engineering more revenue.

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