There has been an influx of technologies lately that all claim to help sales teams maximise their efficiency. It seems like every week, there is a new app or programme to help organise sales processes and minimise wasted time, and it can be difficult to decide which is best for your company. However, of all the technologies available, the CRM is not going anywhere in terms of maximising efficiency. The right CRM is more than just a database; it’s a central point of truth for sales teams and managers alike.
The difficulty, then, is deciding on the right CRM for your business. You may already be looking at different options, but narrowing down the platform that can provide the most value to your team is essential. We’ve broken down the vital things that should be included in a good CRM to maximise efficiency, cut administrative time, and ultimately positively impact your bottom line.
What a good CRM can do for you:
Capture leads and automate data entry
The right CRM should be able to identify prospects, and capture accurate lead information. For too long, sales teams have been swimming in spreadsheets, but a CRM provides an easy way to store information in one, easy to access place. If your CRM is connected to your website, you can also track which pages your prospects have visited, and further understand their needs. Having the information at the touch of your fingertips means that you can sell better - if you already know the issues that your lead is facing, then you can work to provide solutions in a personal, tailored way.
Help to identify issues in your process
The number one way to improve efficiency - identify the issues that are holding you back, and resolve them. Using a CRM can not only find where there are issues in your sales process, but offer a central location where your sales team can document these issues for other team members to see. Your CRM should be able to report on your sales process, and function as both a way to identify where you are performing well, and as a learning hub to improve processes in future.
Remind your team when it’s time to follow up
It’s happened to the best of us - you chat to a lead, make a mental note to follow up, and then all of a sudden you’ve missed your window and they aren’t answering your calls. Most CRMs allow you to set reminders and helpful notes which can make sure that your processes are being followed correctly and promptly.
Provide detailed, automated reports
It’s essential to make sure that you are planning ahead, and making informed decisions based on accurate data. If you have a CRM that can track your progress and KPIs in real-time, you can identify trends and develop forecasts that are based on performance data. This can also help you identify the most profitable lead generators for your team.
Automate boring administrative tasks
Sales reps only actually spend 32% of their time actually selling. From searching for information to tracking down email threads from weeks before, administrative tasks can take up a great deal of their day, and are likely the reason that your team isn’t as efficient as they could be. Ideally, with a CRM they should be able to automate much of these processes, but you’ll find that some just don’t have the tools needed to do so. Your CRM should be able to automatically store data within one central system to help your team work faster and better. If you want a CRM that can go above and beyond to cut administration time, it’s a good idea to search for one that gives you the ability to schedule meetings, and that can automatically log calls and emails in the system.
There are a variety of CRMs on the market, and deciding which is best for you can take a great deal of time and effort. Popular systems such as Salesforce are frequently used in businesses across the UK, but can also be tricky to use and difficult to adopt at first. You might also want to check out ActiveCampaign, a solid CRM with foundations in email marketing to help drive leads.
The CRM that we personally love is HubSpot, which offers all of the above in their free CRM, but also pretty impressive sales, service and marketing platforms to improve every aspect of your business. At Axon Garside we use it every single day, and think that it outperforms the competition in every aspect - but we know that not everyone has the same experience. That’s why we offer a free custom demo to get you started - you can find out exactly what you get in HubSpot, and how to make the most out of the impressive features it has to offer. Not only can you streamline your sales process, but you can also make sure that less time is taken up by repetitive tasks, and more time is taken up by doing what your team does best - selling!