If you've ever attended one of those haughty-taughty networking events, as I have, and wound up sat in the corner, sweating profusely, wondering what in the world a CRM is, allow me to divulge. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy for managing your company's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. This was news to me! Just smile and nod Liv, just smile and nod. 

From a sales standpoint, CRM is actually known as 'CRM System Software' which helps a sales team manage contacts, sales and deals, as well as their work processes and productivity. Its ultimate goal is to help you sell more efficiently to the customers that are most likely to buy your product. Despite it's good intentions and cute lil' bio, plenty of sales reps see 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. Think of CRM as a pair of flippers, you might be the best nipper in the surrounding burbs, but if you're swimming against someone in flippers, they're going to reach the finish line before you. It's a fact: CRM helps close sales faster, as data accessibility for salespeople shortens sales cycles by up to 14% (if I had a mic, I'd drop it). 


So, now that your FOMO is presumably skyrocketing, let's get cracking on why implementing CRM into your 2020 Sales Strategy will have you and the rest of the team feeling extra chipper! 


1. Find the Right People 

Imagine spending your precious time fiercely reeling in new leads, only to have them not passed onto sales. Well newsflash! Without a CRM system, 79% of all your marketing leads will never be converted into sales. A CRM system makes the absolute most of all the marketing tools available to you, by connecting them to the shared CRM platform to provide both marketing and sales a complete 360 degree view of all leads and prospects, so they can pull them through the sales pipeline quicker and more efficiently. 

Don't know exactly who your people are? Check out our buyer persona  questionnaire!


2. Build Meaningful Relationships 

A CRM system allows sales reps to explore potential customers challenges and engage them with relevancy by providing a complete view of their history and interaction with your company. By finding out what matters to them, you can recommend appropriate products or promotions at the right place, and at the right time! Getting on your customer's level, builds trust and mutual success, with Salesforce reporting that "Forty-six percent of sales leaders say deeper customer relationships are a key objective for sustaining success.”


3. Reduce Costs 

While new customers are essential for continual growth, they're not necessarily easy - or cheap - to come by. But don't fret, you can offset the new customer acquisition costs by selling to your existing customer base.

Thinking back to my five years as a barista, I found that selling products to existing vs. new customers followed this formula. Explaining how delicious our new Extra-Probiotic, Blueberry Kombucha drink is (blurgh!) to Old George who planted a cold, wet kiss on my face every week, was usually met with a desperate grab for the straws. However, practicing this same routine on a customer new to the area, was met with a starkly different response, more like a desperate dash for the door.

While not as dramatic, it's the same for online sales! Gaining greater visibility into the up-sell, cross-sell and renewal opportunities in your customer portfolio will skyrocket your repeatable sales due to the trust you've already earned - after all, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5%–20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60%–70%. 


4. Increase Employee Productivity 

Adopting a CRM system frees up your team's time from carrying out process-heavy tasks like hunting around for contact info or data entry and gives them more time to to connect and develop meaningful relationships with customers, and truly affect business growth. Clearly automation isn't the toothy, one-eyed, three-armed robot horror we're lead to believe! 


5. Provide Better Customer Service 

When everyone in the team has full access to a customer's history with them, they can better personalise messages and solutions, with resources and information they know the receiver would value. Smoother interactions will make your people extra happy and build trust to encourage their repeat business! 

With your head now wrapped around how a CRM strategy will buff and shine your Sales pipeline, get implementing! - and vastly improve the lives of your salespeople.