What would you say is the front force that drives any business ahead? The revenue? The sales! And that is precisely why you need a sales CRM too.
However, before we start with the nitty-gritty of this topic, let us understand a CRM platform first.
If there is only one thing that all businesses would agree on is that they constantly look for ways to increase their sales. You need a model where you get more customers. Not only is getting more customers a goal, but also retaining your older buyers is!
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The essential power driving any business is the sales it gets, but your customer is the decisive power behind your numbers. So, to help them make easier purchase decisions and be satisfied with your products, you need some precise measurements.
You need to know what your customer likes, when he likes it, and why. You need to know how and how much to deliver the preferable. All this requires a CRM program.
Customer Relationship Management software helps you maintain your relationships with leads and clients via helping you understand them better and putting your insights into execution.
There are various brands dealing with CRM software. Over a thousand companies provide such products! However, when it comes to your business, you can’t just trust any.
Thus, in this article, we help you understand what to look for in a Sales CRM tool.
Let’s start with the basics and discuss what is sales CRM first.
Essentially, it is a CRM platform dedicated to sales, over everything else.
Anything that your sales reps may need from maintain communication to saving time can all be done using a good Sales CRM tool.
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Following are some of the most important requirements of a business:
A sales CRM tool will help you do all that. How? To know that, click here.
However, we shall look at that later. First, let us see why do we need a Sales CRM platform to begin with.
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Right are those who believe time is money! Your sales team may be indulging in repetitive yet crucial tasks such as data entry or setting manual reports.
You can’t do without a good CRM database or reliable analytics, however, these are also two of the various things which kill your time. A CRM tool would help you save time on such repetitive tasks using automation.
We know you need reports on your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Bounce rate, and so many other things. You would also like to keep a track of how each individual has been doing with regard to goal success.
An intuitive Sales CRM will help you monitor each move of your sales reps and further provide you details on how their performance has been going.
A business isn’t just one deal at a time, nor would you want your business to go that single-client focused. You need as many as you can get.
However, with more clients come more duties! You want to give each client a crème de la crème treatment. So, does that mean you sit around making new pipeline for each deal? Or perhaps, you have to manually send reminders and mails? No! These are things your sales CRM should be able to handle without difficulties.
Now, although we are discussing the need for a Sales CRM tool, let us be honest: Sales isn’t the only thing a company needs help with. Your marketing guys, pre-sales guys, and post-sales guys- they all need a special platform. Moreover, you need a special platform to keep all your business together.
Luckily, contrary to its name, a sales CRM software isn’t just limited to helping your sales reps. How? We shall get there in detail later on in the article.
You have various meetings in your typical work day, so do your sales reps! Not just meetings with leads and client, you are in for team meetings, demos, follow-up calls, and what not!
So, do we really trust our alarms to go off at the right time?
Firstly, that would require you to spend a little extra money or time on setting those alarms, a robust CRM software would save you both and keep you punctual to the T.
Sales reps are competitive people, as much as they depend on group work, they also strive to be the best among their colleagues. Sales Gamification tools help you set KPAs and relevant metrics to gauge the performance of your sales reps.
A Sales CRM tool would help you set the criteria and would also naturally send relevant notifications to your employees when they cross a target or when someone else wins the contest.
This would also help you track bonuses, rewards, and special incentives.
In today’s market, you can not expect your clients to stay loyal to you unless you give them a reason to. You may think a good product is reason enough, however, put yourself in the shoes of your clients.
They have paid for the product. That’s nothing special. You already know how the market is overstocked with “good products”, thus, you need to provide your customer with something others don’t, which can be impeccable communication.
A good sales CRM tool would help you stay in touch with your clients not just before sales but also post the sale happens. How? Just keep reading and you’ll know!
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Not only do you need to stay in the recollection of your clients, but you constantly need to be in touch with your leads too. Just because a lead seems disinterested in your product right now doesn’t mean they would never change their minds.
With a constant touch, you may very well be able to milk the most out of your lead database. However, for that, you first need a database! This is also where good Sales CRM systems would help.
Now, all the functions mentioned above would find separate tools such as sales automation tools or sales reporting tools, however, paying for each category of tools could end with severe budgeting issues.
Furthermore, don’t you think it’s a lot of research and time wasted if you have to buy individual products, when you can just buy a good Sales CRM tool capable of executing all these functions!
Plus, having a singular reporting platform for all your work and teams would actually save a lot of time, which could otherwise be ruined with misunderstanding, gaps, and confusion.
So, this is why you need a good sales CRM tool, however, now that you know what you can do with it, let us see how you would be able to do it.
Here’s a video that explains why you should use a customer relationship management (CRM) system for your business:
Depending upon who uses what, the features of that “what” change.
Wait, that got a little complicated!
Let us simplify that.
Let us take the example of a regular CRM tool. A business owner would use that CRM tool for purposes such as tracking employees, deals, and payments. However, a salesman in your team would need it to follow-up with clients, store data, update stages, etc.
Thus, depending upon the enduser and their utility of the product, the usage changes.
So let us first see how you, the employer, can use a Sales CRM:
The biggest advantage of going for one of the best Sales CRM tools would be that you get a clear presentation of what is expected of whom.
Furthermore, you would be able to define roles, targets, deadlines, and specifically configure various employees with their job roles on the platform. You know a business needs order, and without too much intervention, your CRM would do the management for you.
Not only do you get to define goals, you can furthermore define a process. For instance, you could use the deal pipeline feature to draw elaborate stages you want your reps to know when they go about deal conversion, using a drag and drop editor.
As you would learn how your Sales CRM helps your sales reps, you would realize that a lot of their work gets reduced because of the automation features the CRM brings.
This also means that you would not have to hire more people and your CRM would ensure the most optimum resource usage. Good businessmen know that it’s not about how much you make, but how much you save!
With your pipelines and targets set, you want the infrastructure that helps you keep an eye over the progress.
You can use custom fields and reports to analyze how your business has been doing. Furthermore, you can even create alerts to set benchmarks and thresholds for your sales reps.
Moreover, your CRM software would generate automated reminders upon crossing those benchmarks or when certain goals aren’t met.
This shall not only help you see who is doing what but also help your employees stay motivated to work better.
You want more and more people to know about your business, and for that, you have campaigns running.
However, not everyone who comments or replies may catch your attention. It would catch the attention of an intuitive robust tool still! A good Sales CRM would naturally configure your leads from social media campaigns and email marketing campaigns into your system.
This means your sales reps get new targets and prospects without much time spent in data entry.
Furthermore, a smart CRM would even help you filter those leads out as per whose buying habits and interest levels seem fit for your product.
You need to get an unbiased objective idea of your business no matter where you are.
Just relying on your sub-ordinates wouldn’t help!
However, we know you can’t stay glued to your desktop, you have meetings too!
You should always be able to access your deals and your sales reps on the go. For this, you need a smart Sales CRM software that comes with a mobile app. This way, you can see all that is happening on your mobile app dashboard in just a few clicking taps.
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Since we have already seen how does a Sales CRM tool helps the entrepreneur, that leaves only the end user.
The end users of a Sales CRM tool are your sales people. It is your sales people who can derive the most benefits from a Sales CRM tool.
Let us see the various examples of how your sales reps can make the most of a Sales CRM tool.
To sell a product to someone, you would first need to convince them why they need your product.
Essentially, you aren’t selling a brand or the brand’s product, but you are selling a story. What makes a great story?
An understanding of emotions!
You need to provide your leads what they seek.
To do so, you would need to conduct market research. A good Sales CRM tool would be able to help you with that. You not only get secure storage for your data but you also get a system that will help you filter this data.
You can make different classified groups within your leads. For instance, those who have shown interest can be one group. The leads that have run cold over time and are less likely to buy, may not be important right away but they can be profitable in the future someday, can be another group.
Your database should comprise their contact and demographic details. While you may think it’s not enough to understand your lead, your sales CRM, if a good tool, would provide you more helpful knowledge.
Your sales CRM will study how a lead behaves in the market with respect to its shopping patterns. Using this study, you can further plan on how to approach different leads engrossingly.
Most sales reps, to be specific, 47% of sales reps find it really difficult to segment prospects.
A prospect is a lead that is more likely to buy your product than others, perhaps they have shown a higher inclination plus they justify the buying capacity needed to buy your product.
These are the leads you actively want to seek because they will be easier to convert. Your sales CRM holds the data needed for this job!
It will not just help you make different segments for your leads, it will also help you understand who is more likely to purchase your product.
Based on this, your sales CRM will also suggest which leads should you pursue more actively.
You may have different reps for different stages of a deal, or perhaps, you may have to transfer a lead between your sales reps.
However, in both the processes, you would need the data you have registered with a lead to be moved to your next sales rep. This is important to ensure your lead gets an omnichannel experience, where there is no redundancy or gap.
You need a place where all your sales reps can update the database and that helps the next person who takes over the matters. Sales reps can make use of easy updates and datasheets to update their logs with a client on a CRM tool. However, for that, you need to pick a software that is easy to use and does not look boring!
You don’t just wanna purchase a software, you want to make sure your people use it too.
Sales people have their sales quota, and they need to be on time always! Your deadlines aren’t just about meeting your numbers but also meeting your leads, giving your clients follow-up calls, scheduling demos, and pursuing cold leads also.
This requires brilliant time management.
Your Sales CRM tools would help you there, by sending you automated follow-ups and reminders when you have appointments.
This is particularly helpful when it comes to sending emails when a deal moves from one stage to another.
Let’s say, a lead has just moved from the interest stage to the inquiry stage, you want to address this and let your prospect know that you would reply shortly.
Similarly, when a lead becomes a client, you may need to send an on-boarding mail. You would need to send payment receipts. From time to time, there would be newsletters and discounts.
Now, you may dedicate a few marketing resources to draft beautiful emails, however, that is a waste of time. With Sales CRM software, there is even an option of sending bulk yet personalized emails and text messages.
You can even choose from their available templates or customize your template.
You can mail over 100 people in a single click without coming off as a spam.
That is a lot of effort saved, which should be utilized towards more productive tasks.
With the help of a CRM software, you can track the approaching deadlines for your assignments and your dashboard will always reflect your tasks at the moment.
This way you do not have to do entries for what needs to be done, you just have to update your status.
A good CRM system would become your centralized storage for all data.
Your leads and clients and interactions you have with them can be updated here. This reduces the need for manual data entry plus cuts human error from the chase.
Good sales people know that customer satisfaction is the only prime factor when sustainability becomes your foremost priority.
You need happy customers because it becomes easier to up-sell and cross-sell to them.
For this purpose, you need software that would help you stay in touch with your clients and further alleviate their pain points along the customer map.
Using automation and smooth communication features provided y a good Sales CRM, one should be able to enhance the customer experience and further the customer satisfaction of their business.
Now, every good salesman knows that a client is only happy with your service if they renew their service agreement with you.
If they are bouncing off, not only have you lost a client, you have also gone in a loss because sales rep knows acquiring a new client is far more costlier than retaining your older client pool.
To ensure your clients don’t unsubscribe from your brand, you want to keep them happy. You could do so by conducting regular follow-ups and providing good customer service.
Both of these areas would emerge healthy in your organization with a good Sales CRM tool doing the post-sales functions for your business.
Your marketing guys may be running a campaign, your company may be exhausting their budget to get more leads in.
Maybe they get some leads, but none of them convert!
That could put your selling acumen to doubt.
So, what if there are no visible results and without playing the blame game, we just need to know where does the present technique lack!
One of the best things about digital marketing is that you can gauge visible results. Using reporting tools, one can see how many people have clicked on the mail, opened the link, gone to your website, put things in your shopping cart, etc which can greatly help you shape your future marketing and content strategies.
Now that you know what a Sales CRM is and how does it help a business owner as well as a salesperson, let us dive into the best Sales CRM software to pick from:
If you need a software that would give you everything (yes, marketing automation, sales automation, and customer support – everything from A to Z), then your first bet needs to be EngageBay.
Affordable, intuitive, and highly nuanced, this all-in-one solution comes with a free Sales CRM too.
You can always start out with the free version and eventually decide to go for the paid options to make avail of their high quality premium services. Plans start at $14 per month.
An undisputed market leader, HubSpot too has a free CRM to offer. However, to make the most of this software, you would need to use the higher paid options. HubSpot pricing may be steep for those with a larger team.
HubSpot claims to provide all the solutions you may need starting from lead collection to client satisfaction.
When you want to consider Sales CRM tools, ActiveCampaign may not be the best option considering how it’s more useful as a marketing automation software.
However, its affordable pricing and smooth email marketing facility makes it a great choice for companies with solid dependency on marketing teams.
If you need something that helps get your sales guys and marketing guys on the same page, you would definitely like this platform.
They have it right in the name – they are focused on “Sales”. Great for quick invoice generation, lead nurturing, and sales tracking!
This software does everything you need for the “execution” part of your strategies.
Although their workflow management and automation could be improved, it does well as a CRM tool.
It’s hard to imagine a Sales CRM that has a weak pipeline front. You need unique yet simple, dynamic yet fast pipelines for deal management.
This ease has been the core of what inspired Pipedrive. They make project management and workflow management look super easy.
Prices start at $15 per user.
There are various types of CRMs, and if your focus is on sales more than any other thing, a Sales CRM tool is just right for you. These kinds of tools especially cater to client and lead management while also providing you with specs that help you automate your regular jobs and provide you interesting insights needed by your team for strategizing.
Not only that, a Sales CRM software could even help you strategies on making deal pipelines and marketing funnels simpler towards higher business growth.
Getting the right sales tool for your business could do you a huge favour. Of course, in a pool of a thousand CRMs available today, choosing the right one becomes difficult. However, sales being your priority, you should choose a system that allows your sales reps maximum features and the smallest learning curve.
For any help with the selection process, you could let us know in the comment section below.