One of the clear advantages of a CRM system is access to centrally located customer data.
In fact, 74% of CRM users say their CRM system offers improved access to customer data.
At first, salespeople can be resistant to CRM implementation because it seems like a lot of work, and could be disruptive to their current processes. However, having instant access to historical sales data like contact details, past orders, and buying patterns, means that key intelligence from your pipeline will always be available to your team.
This key intelligence is important because as well as improving customer experience, it allows your sales team to follow up on leads quickly and with all the relevant information.
Here are three ways in which you can use your CRM data to improve your sales pipeline:
1. Lead nurturing
Your CRM keeps a record of interactions that will inform communication with current and potential prospects. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost so the opportunity to follow up is crucial to success.
Some form of lead scoring criteria is usually needed to allow salespeople the opportunity to prioritize leads depending on how likely they are to close. As the saying goes, time is money, and in sales there’s often a lot of time wasted chasing unqualified opportunities.
Look for a CRM that will help to simplify the process of prioritizing leads, particularly through automation, to gain control of your sales pipeline.
2. Accurate sales forecasting
Not all CRM systems offer the same functionality, so liaising with vendors about your specific needs is a vital part of the CRM selection process.
When selecting your CRM, choose a system that comes with good analytics and reporting options that can help you to predict sales growth, show conversion rates, and get a handle on the prospect’s journey through the sales pipeline.
Data from your CRM is more likely to make your sales forecast accurate and reliable. This is vital if you want to motivate your sales team to reach optimistic but achievable targets. Your CRM can increase a salesperson’s productivity, make sales processes more efficient, and should contribute to the continued growth of your company.
3. Smarter working with integration
CRM integrations can go a long way to assist a busy sales team by helping them focus on the right thing at the right time. For instance, mail, calendar, and marketing integrations can automate previously complex tasks, eradicating the need for manual data entry across multiple platforms.
Remember that a CRM which can operate well on mobile devices is an advantage. Given that sales reps with mobile access to their CRM are 24% more likely to achieve their annual sales quota, remote access to CRM data is key.
For salespeople, having data from their CRM at their fingertips when they’re on-the-go means they can follow up on time-sensitive leads and avoid any missed opportunities. The long and the short of it? Having access to sales data in real time is very valuable.
Lauren Stafford works as a Digital Publishing Specialist at Discover CRM, a platform which gathers together the latest thinking, news, and research about CRM software.
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