5 Steps That Simplify the Sales Process

CRM leads

Creating efficiencies in your business is important because it helps keep your company moving forward. It’s all about the bottom line: How can you best serve your customers?

One way for sales and customer service teams to greatly improve your processes is to utilize a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

To discover simple ways that your sales team can ease their process, check out these five best practices.

1. Qualify Your Leads

While most companies qualify leads in some way, they might not be using the most productive method. Whether you’re cold-calling, sending email campaigns, meeting contacts at a tradeshow, reaching out to people on LinkedIn, or having a great conversation with someone at a coffee shop, each category should be qualified differently. And your CRM system should reflect this.

For instance, your CRM system can break down leads into marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL). Having separate categories can determine how you follow up.

Say you go to a tradeshow and chat with attendees who are good contacts for you, but aren’t ready to buy your product yet. You could qualify them as MQLs. Then you can put them into a drip email campaign that sends them more information about how your company’s products and services can help them.

If the conversations seemed closer to signing on the dotted line, those people would be SQLs. But you wouldn’t just want to send additional information that will keep your company fresh in their minds. Instead, you’d want your sales team to follow up with calls and seal the deal.

Storing lead information inside your CRM system lets you track how successful your campaigns are, how long certain events effect the time it takes to close deals, and how you can more accurately choose your next steps.

2. Focus on What You Can Control

Simple, but so challenging.

Let’s say your prospect’s name is Bob. You can hope Bob signs until you’re blue in the face, but you can’t actually read his mind or force him to do it. However, you can focus on how many times you talk to him. How are you nurturing him as you guide him along the buyer’s journey?

You can also control how much information you upload into your CRM system, and keep your data fresh.

3. Create CRM Best Practice for Follow-ups

Sales managers can look at their CRM systems, and see the success rates of different team members. For instance, a manager can see the sales rep for the northeast followed up with each prospect twice by phone and three times via email. And she had a higher closing rate than her counterpart in the southwest, who only utilized email.

Look at your whole team and create a best practices guide for follow-ups that’s catered to them.

Note: You’re going to have more impact if you hold training sessions, rather than just creating the guide. Then reassess as needed, and make sure your best practices stay current.

4. Analyze Current and Past Customers

Think about who your best customers are, both past and present. If they were strong at one point, why aren’t they still around? Did they change their business needs, so they no longer need your product or service? Did you increase your prices, and they can no longer afford what you have to offer?

Using your CRM system to pull reports is the best way to access accurate information. You might have a customer who only buys online, and you don’t have much interaction with them. But he’s very profitable.  On the flipside, another customer always sends you candy for the holidays, and you love talking to her. But she’s not as profitable.

Regardless, if you directly pull reports from your CRM, it gives you a more accurate perspective about your customers. So you can look at how often your sales team calls them, and how many marketing emails they receive. All your relevant data is in one place.

5. Incentivize

Sales teams work hard to meet their quotas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to push them further. If you want to utilize your CRM system to its maximum potential, then you’ll do things like have CRM-focused sales meetings, and watch sales trends. However, to get a full picture of what’s happening, you need to get your sales team to upload data into the CRM system.

Wondering how to motivate your employees? Try a CRM gamification engine, such as Splash for Sugar®. Then they’ll want to push themselves further and accomplish your goals.

Gamification provides a powerful toolkit for any company looking to incentivize great results, even the most monotonous and repetitive tasks. So you can challenge workers with leaderboard-driven contests, and they can unlock “badges” after completing tasks. They can also earn “coins” or “points,” which are redeemable for both real-world and virtual prizes.

Need any assistance with your CRM project? Let’s get started.

Filed Under:CRM