4 Practical Tips To Unlock The Value Of Your CRM
Managing relationships in the modern sales environment is hard work, especially if you don’t have the right tools for the job. Take something as simple as choosing the medium you’ll use to contact a prospect. A phone call might work, but what if your prospect prefers email, or social media, or video chat, or instant messaging, or… you get the idea. With today’s technology, every decision you make during the sales process depends on more variables than ever before.
The good news is that help is available, for salespeople who want to streamline and strengthen relationship management. Hubspot’s State of Inbound Sales 2014 report indicates that over 40 percent of sales companies use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage customer data, and that number is growing.
In the same survey, the best CRM satisfaction numbers correlate strongly with quality training and integration practices. The most common challenges are integrating the software effectively, and getting your people on board with the process. Let’s take a look at 4 practical tips to unlock the value of your CRM.
1. Develop a comprehensive training plan
Even your most tech-savvy sales reps are going to need training with sales tech, and how you train makes all the difference in your ROI. Training requires resources, but you can still get the job done on a budget. The key is being willing to invest the time necessary to train effectively. Understand that learning to use any technological tool is a process, and be willing to coach your team over the inevitable hurdles.
It’s also important to recognize that not every sales rep will be starting from the same place. Reps who are familiar with the latest technology will naturally catch on quicker, while those used to traditional methods might require extra coaching. The functionality of the CRM you choose also plays a big role. With the right system, even inexperienced reps will have an easier time learning.
2. Integrate Tech Apps With CRM
Think of your CRM system as the hub of your sales management platform. It’s the place where information converges, but there are many peripheral elements, or “spokes,” that connect to your hub. It starts with marketing. Your marketing automation, telephony system, social selling tools, and email tracking software should all be directly integrated with your CRM.
Sales chat, lead management, and online meeting systems should also be integrated. So really, just about every tech tool you use for sales and marketing can be connected to your hub. It’s also important for your sales and marketing teams to be on the same page. Integration requires a focused effort from both departments.