Want to start every quarter on the right foot? Look no further than a CRM for sales. A CRM can improve customer satisfaction and sales tracking, among other things. No matter the size of your small business, the right CRM could be the gift that keeps on giving for your sales team and your bottom line.
Sales automation has grown increasingly popular, and with its rise we’ve seen an increase in the number of businesses using CRMs to improve outcomes. And in an economy where experience reigns supreme, added automation could help you personalize your sales approach for every potential customer.
Let’s get right into it:
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Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps businesses streamline their relationships with customers. A CRM can help you manage your business, store customer data, and help you optimize your sales strategy.
When CRMs first came into being, they were used mostly as contact management tools, but now they can be used to store, analyze, and share data between team members and with contacts. CRMs are growing increasingly useful and even necessary to sales automation systems because sales automation tools require the capability to stay in contact and track contacts with customers.
The other main job of a CRM is to unite customer service, marketing, and sales needs on one platform so that everything you need for managing customer relationships is in one convenient place.
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Why use a CRM for sales today, you may ask? A CRM system with the right capabilities and features can often turn a good salesperson into a great one. Here are eight ways your sales team can use a CRM:
1. Offer a more personalized customer experience
- Do your sales reps ever lose an account because they didn’t follow up in a timely manner or call someone back when they expected a call?
- Do your sales reps have time to update everyone when there’s a discount or other opportunity for customers to purchase more for less?
- How about answering customers’ questions or providing details about a deal?
Customer service can be time-consuming and add dozens of small tasks to your sales reps’ to-do list each month, but good sales reps know that neglecting these small items can eventually topple the entire deal and relationship if customers feel neglected or don’t have their needs met.
A CRM can automatically schedule tasks like follow-ups and updates. It can send personalized, automated messages to make sure no customer misses out on important information and all customer needs are consistently met. Once you schedule automated messages and reminders, sales reps can focus their time on other parts of the sales process while the system takes care of their to-do list effortlessly.
2. Put all of your customer data in one place with a sales CRM
One of the biggest benefits of CRM is that it enables businesses to have everything—all their data, analytics, and communication—in one place. Anyone who has had to pull information from different sources and try to put it together will understand how much time, energy, and aggravation this saves.
CRMs can import data from other sources so that everything is uniform and can work together in the best possible way. There is no getting to a business’s one central truth without being able to see all the data and get an accurate picture of what’s going on in the business.
Not having a CRM could lead to a complete breakdown of your data because it is fragmented and doesn’t represent the whole. At the very least, it will distort observers’ view of the company and prevent everyone from getting a clear picture about what is happening within the brand as a whole.
Bonus tip: you can streamline customer touchpoints even further by integrating your sales CRM with your business phone! With the right cloud communications software, customer call logs sync with your CRM, so you can easily see all touchpoints with your team. For example, here’s how it looks when you pair Salesforce with RingCentral:
(RingCentral’s CRM integration also works with Salesforce’s Service Cloud, for your customer care team. You can learn more about this integration here.)
3. Expand your sales analytics
As your reps complete sales, you can use the data from your CRM to look for ways to improve. Here are just a few of the sales metrics you might track as you go:
- Time from first contact to sale
- Time at each step of the process
- Number of steps/contacts before a sale
- Source of lead
- Percentage of prospects that convert
- Percentage of prospects that convert from each source
These and other data points will give your sales teams a snapshot of how the company is doing overall and how each rep stacks up against the team as a whole. CRMs house this data and provide the analytics you need to evaluate your sales process so you can build on successes.
4. Increase your sales productivity
A CRM helps sales reps use their time in the best possible way, focusing on tasks that can’t be done automatically while the CRM and other sales automation tools take care of the rest. A CRM can cut sales reps’ time on repetitive tasks to almost zero with automated features like reminders, auto-messaging, and auto-generated call lists.
Let’s take cold calling, for example. With the right sales automation tools and a quality CRM, you could have a list of prospects to call waiting in your queue when you get to work each morning, without having to do manual LinkedIn searches or spend valuable time researching those who attended a webinar or subscribed to an email newsletter.
This task alone normally takes hours of each day, which can now be used making the calls themselves and following up on previous leads. This process can also be duplicated with other steps of the sales process like follow-ups and satisfaction surveys.
5. Close more deals with a CRM for sales
A CRM can increase a sales rep’s sales because they will be able to reach more prospects and provide all the answers, information, and follow-up they need in order to be comfortable making a purchase or signing a contract to do so. By eliminating the manual busy work from a salesperson’s to-do list, a CRM can reduce the workload on your sales team and ensure they have the time to focus on providing an excellent customer experience to prospects and leads.
The true value of your sales team lies not in paper-pushing and manual data entry, but in making human connections with your customers. Automating the sales process with a good CRM unlocks that true value more fully.
The natural result of a CRM for any motivated sales rep is to increase the number of sales they are able to make in the same amount of time they worked before the CRM came along. More productive salespeople are happier, more motivated, and more likely to help you improve the bottom line for your business consistently.
6. Reduce overall costs
By improving sales efficiency, you can reduce costs to your business. Perhaps you are looking to cut your sales staff in size a bit. A CRM and sales automation tools can help you get more done with fewer people.
On the other hand, if you want to keep your entire current sales staff, a CRM can still save you money because it helps your staff do more in less time. That means that you can increase your volume of sales without additional costs in terms of added personnel. So, your cost per deal is lower, and your revenues increase. It’s a win-win scenario.
7. Improve customer retention
Getting new customers is only part of any sales rep’s job. Keeping existing customers and turning them into repeat customers could be even more important than getting new customers. For one thing, it’s cheaper to keep the customers you have than to acquire new ones. Also, repeat customers often buy more and are easier to convert than new ones.
A CRM can improve customer retention because it can provide sentiment analysis, automated ticketing, customer support automation, and user behavior tracking. The metrics tell you what you need to do to keep each customer, and the automated customer support will help them get help faster if they do need it.
8. Make more accurate sales projections
The analytics your CRM can provide make it possible to predict or forecast future sales for a team or an individual salesperson accurately. This is useful to make income projections or to surface areas where a salesperson or team needs to work with a coach.
Are you using a CRM for your small business sales?
Almost 80% of sales teams are now experiencing the benefits of a CRM, and are probably wondering what they ever did without one.
RingCentral integrates with top-notch CRMs, like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, so you can use RingCentral capabilities directly from your CRM software. Easily click to call a customer, get automatic pop-ups with customer information for incoming calls, and get a log of all your customer contacts. Maximize your sales team productivity with RingCentral and your CRM together.
If you have any questions, our customer service will ensure that all features work as they should, so you can focus on making more sales and improving your company’s bottom line.
See our small business solutions and learn how they can work with your CRM for the benefit of your sales team.
Originally published Jan 04, 2022, updated Mar 22, 2023