As a sales rep, you want to be seen as a pro and to gain customers' trust… but how exactly do you do that? Well, it's all about how well you manage and keep track of your relationships with customers also known as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Maybe you still use spreadsheets? Or perhaps you have a colour coded sticky note system, stuck around the perimeter of your desktop? As colourful and fun that idea seems - what happens when the sticky notes lose its stickiness and falls out of place? Before inducing any more anxiety into the thought, there is a much easier solution that helps you store customer data neatly, and so you can whip it out in a flash. Not to mention, it makes you look like you have the best memory ever. That solution my friend, is a Customer Relationship Management software.
You’ve most likely heard of it before, but just to refresh your memory, a CRM software’s ultimate goal is to help you sell more efficiently to the customers that are most likely to buy your product. Despite its good intentions and cute lil' bio, plenty of sales reps see a CRM as just another tool sent over by the office 'Karen' to make you do more work and keep tabs on you. But it's important that you know that if your sales team isn't currently using CRM, your competitors are probably killing it and you're... not. Without trying to sell to the salesman, a CRM is as essential as food and water.
This blog isn’t here to help convince you why you need one - that should be kinda obvious. But instead, the difficult part lies in deciding which software to use. Luckily, that's hopefully why you’re here, reading this blog. We’ll not only look at some of the benefits of using a CRM but help you in your decision process, when figuring out how to choose the right one.
What is a CRM?
Your customers are your business’s most valuable asset, so it makes sense to have all their information in one place. A CRM software does all of this for you. Not only does it help you organise your life a bit better than a rainbow of sticky notes stuck all over your desk, but it’ll enable you to pull facts from previous interactions customers have had with your business and fast - making you look like a pro. This can be anything from who they are, what they do and how they’ve previously interacted with your business. Not only does this free up your time for much more important tasks, but it also saves your sales team from trying to decode your sticky note filing system and they’re across how they should communicate with the customer while humanising your interactions. There’s no right or wrong time to start using a CRM - it’s more a matter of which CRM is the right one for you. Because regardless of how big your business is, it will make your sales process a helluva lot easier.
How a CRM Can Help You?
Now that you know what a CRM is, it’s time to get into the good stuff. More importantly, the potential a CRM has, and what it can do for your business. Humans don’t often like change, despite the fact that it may be good for you. For instance, you may already have a system that works for you and think that you don’t need a new one. Perhaps, you don’t want to spend extra money on a system when your current works perfectly fine. Sure, it may work well, but it might not be the best it could be, leaving you to miss out on opportunities without even knowing it.
A CRM goes much further than just having customer names and contact details. Don’t believe me? Well *cracks knuckles* let’s get into some of the major benefits of using a CRM shall we?
1. Manage your customer data
By keeping all your customer data in one centralised database, it makes it easy to manage and access. This frees up time because there’s no more searching for files or emails and streamlines your sales process. Extra long lunch break? Clocking off earlier? Nah just joking, we think that more time means more deals closed!
2. Manage communication with customers and prospects
You can manage all communication, whether it’s between team members or team members and customers. Allows for team alignment, so if you take a sickie or a holiday, someone in the team can pick up where you left off seamlessly.
3. Do sales reporting
How do you know where your business is going if you don’t know where it’s now. By creating sales reports, you can see how far your team is off their targets and review the number of closed sales. Team members can also better manage their pipelines, and keep track of their goals and performance. Better sales pipelines = better results. See, I told you it wouldn’t be a waste of money investing in a CRM.
4. Forecast sales accurately
The key to success is proper planning. You can use the CRM and the data it generates to identify trends and accurately forecast sales. This makes planning easier and let’s you make informed decisions.
5. Segment your customers
Based on specific parameters like, for example, location, age, and gender you can segment your customers. By doing this, you get a good idea of how to engage with specific customers. Ultimately, this increases your conversion rate and your revenue. A great way to do this, is through a buyer persona development workshop! Understanding who you’re selling to - makes it a whole lot easier to SELL (but you already know that).
6. Scale your sales process
With all your sales information in one place, your team can keep track of leads, prospects, and customers for any time duration. This means you can use this information to identify trends and patterns to see which sales processes are working and which aren’t. In this way you can scale your business processes as your business grows.
How To Choose the Right CRM
Trying to decide if you should buy a house or rent, if you should study medicine or marketing, or what to have for dinner tonight, are all equally hard decisions. With so many CRM softwares out there, all with their own pros, cons and pricing structures it can be just as hard to decide on the right one.
A good starting point is to ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want to invest in a CRM?
- What are the problems you’re trying to solve?
- What processes do you lack that you want to implement?
- How many people will use the CRM?
- How much customer information do you have?
- What other software do you have that could integrate with the CRM?
- What’s your budget?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have to sift through the vast array of options out there to figure out which suits your needs. Kind of complicated hey? Alternatively, if you want someone to figure it out for you, a far easier option is to hire a HubSpot development agency. As a HubSpot Agency Partner, these agencies are well equipped to evaluate your needs and recommend the best CRM for your business. Ultimately though, they will, as will many others, recommend the HubSpot CRM for your business.
So, why HubSpot and not one of the many other products available? In our opinion, and experience, it’s because HubSpot is simply one of the best CRM solutions on the market. It’s an all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform that provides you with all the tools you need to build and grow your business.
Some of its best features include:
You can easily manage your contacts and data. Also, this data is searchable and available to all your teams, from sales to marketing and IT.
Contact website activity
You can see which contacts are visiting your website and what they’re doing there, form page views to form submissions, and sales activity.
You can store information of every customer you deal with in your database and view their details and communications in one place.
You can store, track, manage, and report on the deals your sales team is working on.
Tasks and activities
You can store, track, manage, and report on the tasks and activities that make up your relationships with your customers.
You can see valuable insights of customers you’re dealing with. By being available to all your teams, can spend more time selling instead of looking for information.
It integrates flawlessly with Gmail and Outlook.
Custom support fields
You can add custom form fields to your support forms to gather the right data for your support team.
It facilitates communication at scale by allowing you to set up a shared inbox that your whole team can work from.
From your dashboard, you can see detailed metrics on sales activity and performance. You can use this data to see where you’re performing well and where you can improve.
Everyone will tell you that their CRM software is the best one on the market but ultimately - it’s completely unique to your business and your needs. Sometimes, chatting to someone and hearing their experience is the best way to go - kind of like reading star reviews on a product before purchasing. If you are serious about investing in a CRM, asking yourself what features are most desirable for you before moving on and enquiring about CRMs on the market, or alternatively chatting to a HubSpot agency can certainly give you a bit of insight to help you make a well informed decision. If you need some advice on CRM’s and how to implement them, you can read more at our blog or contact us today. Happy CRM shopping!