Companies today manage three times more customer data than they did five years ago, according to the 2020 Customer experience trends report. In many ways, this greater access to data is a blessing. With more information on leads and customers, sales reps are better able to provide a personalised service.
However, too much data can be overwhelming. You have to be able to consolidate the data in a way that shows the bigger picture. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make head nor tail of the information you do have. The challenge is setting up systems to collect and manage all of the information so that you know how to use it to improve your sales experience. CRM (customer-relationship management) software is perfect for synthesising this data. With automation and organisational features, CRMs empower sales teams to work more efficiently and serve their customers more thoughtfully.
Four key benefits of CRM software
CRM benefits can have a positive impact on many aspects of your company’s operations. Automation of admin tasks enables sales reps to spend more time with customers. Automatic activity tracking makes it easier for managers to oversee and lead their reps to success. CRMs can even improve cross-team collaboration between sales reps and support agents.
1. Save time with automation
According to data from RingCentral, sales reps can spend an hour a day just navigating between sales tools and managing administrative tasks. That’s time when they could be selling. A CRM minimises this work by automating administrative tasks on a single platform.
Consider sales-activity tracking, a task that’s particularly time consuming to carry out manually. A CRM automatically records and stores reps’ phone calls, emails and texts with leads. For example, to make this data easily accessible, Zendesk has created a tool that stores this information in one place – customer essentials cards. By automatically recording interactions with leads, a CRM minimises admin work for reps – giving them more time to focus on nurturing potential customers and closing deals.
2. Gain full visibility into the performance of sales teams
For sales leaders to manage their teams properly, they need to have full visibility into their reps’ day-to-day workflow. They need to know what reps are doing and whether or not their team is on track to meet their forecast goals.
CRMs provide automatic reports for managers to monitor their team’s activities and pull insights on their overall performance. In a real-time feed, managers can view reps’ activities – including calls made, emails sent, appointments scheduled and tasks completed. To organise this information, managers can segment the data by individual reps or choose to view stats for the team as a whole.
And if reps use the mobile app for their CRM, their managers can track them by location to see which customers they’ve met and whether the deals were won or lost. This allows managers to oversee and allocate territories more effectively based on a rep's performance. With a CRM, managers no longer have to chase down reps or wait for manual activity reports to be submitted. All the information that you need to track and manage your team’s performance is automatically available at your fingertips.
3. Send personalised outreach easily
Every sales rep knows that the more personalised their outreach is, the more likely they will be to receive a response. But curating their communication manually can be a long, daunting process. Finding the information that you need to send an individualised follow up message can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
A key CRM benefit is that reps don’t have to spend hours curating emails. They can organise contacts into smart lists to send curated messages en masse. CRMs will often use auto-fill merge tags to personalise emails with a contact’s or a company’s name.
For example, you could create a smart list of all your leads who run small B2B tech companies. When you're ready to share information about your latest B2B tech product, you can share the same announcement with everyone on the list. Organise contacts via a CRM and you’ll be ready to send hyper-personalised messages in no time at all.
4. Collaborate across the entire company
Sales and Support are the two departments that interact the most with customers. It only makes sense to keep Sales and Support connected so that they can share customer insights and learn how to improve service across the board. CRMs make this cross-team collaboration seamless and effortless. For example, support agents can use a CRM to see the purchase and conversation history of customers from when they interacted with Sales. With this information, support agents don’t have to contact Sales to ask questions, allowing them to resolve tickets promptly.
Likewise, sales teams can benefit from sharing a CRM with support agents by uncovering upselling opportunities. When a support agent identifies a customer who wants to upgrade, they can use their CRM integration to pass that opportunity on to a sales rep. Our page here is a great resource for learning how to do this with Zendesk Sell + Support. Seventy per cent of customers expect sales and support teams to collaborate on their behalf. A CRM makes this cross-departmental collaboration possible, so Sales and Support are able to serve leads and customers more efficiently.
Take your customers’ experience to the next level with these CRM benefits
As a centralised system for your customer data, a CRM makes it easier for reps to nurture leads and close deals. The tool automates tasks, so reps have more time to connect with leads and customers. Beyond automation, CRMs provide reps with rich customer insights via reporting, cross-departmental collaboration and more. All of these powerful features work together to empower you to create a stronger sales experience for leads.