CRM (customer relationship management) systems are packed full of features that improve sales workflows and sales team effectiveness. For example, CRMs can help you automate the sales process, better support (and therefore, renew or upsell) your clients, and integrate your organizational processes across different departments.
Below, we detail 5 of the most important CRM features for sales teams. This is a must-read list if you are building a business case for investing in CRM technology!
1: CRMs Use Cloud-Based Contact Management
Contact management helps you store prospect contact information in a searchable database. The cloud can appear confusing, but in reality, it’s pretty simple. The cloud enables you to save tools and files remotely and access them from wherever you are. And for contact management, this allows you to store prospect information remotely and have access to it wherever and whenever it’s needed.
The benefits of this using cloud-based contact management are:
- Having access to your data in real-time from almost anywhere. This, of course, enables sales teams to sell more strategically. This benefit is even more critical now that many teams have shifted to working remotely.
- Integration of customer social data. Sales, marketing, and service teams can analyze social posts and conversations, allowing them to understand customer sentiment and immediately troubleshoot issues that customers are talking about on social media.
2: CRMs Improve Lead Management
Lead Management is the process of identifying and tracking prospects to convert them into customers/clients. Lead management is best achieved via lead scoring. Lead scoring helps you understand where your prospects are at within your customer journey.
Lead management makes your sales process more effective by:
- Telling you when to serve what content, and who to serve it to.
- Automatically determining when a prospect is ready to be handed over from marketing to sales. Only prospects who have shown interest in your solutions or products will be passed to your sales team. Sales reps will spend less time interacting with prospects that are not in the correct buying stage and instead focus their energy on the leads that are most likely to convert.
3: CRMs Automate Various Sales Activities
Workflow automation does exactly what it sounds like it will do. It allows you to automate repetitive tasks within your CRM system.
Sales teams can take advantage of CRM systems to automate manual processes such as:
- Logging sales rep outreach
- Entering data about prospects
- Sending follow-up emails
- Scoring leads based on their interactions with marketing materials
Most CRMs have automation functionality within them. Plus, there are many other automation tools that sales reps can download and use to make their lives easier — like calendar booking, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and call center tracking.
Automating your reps’ workflows can improve conversion rates, speed up the sales process, and reduce costs associated with the sales cycle.
4: CRMs Have Sales Forecasting Tools
Forecasting tools use historical sales data to help sales teams visualize future sales and future revenue figures. Some CRM systems use your prior data to create maps of trends and patterns that give you a clear understanding of how the future of your sales might look.
Forecasting allows the sales team to improve in the following areas:
- Setting accurate sales quotas. When sales leaders can predict and set future sales goals with more accuracy, their reps are more likely to hit their sales quotas.
- Supply chain integration. Forecasting allows you to see into your supply chain to avoid costly mistakes like promising delivery times you can’t make or selling products that are no longer in stock.
5: CRMs Automate Sales Pipeline Management
A sales pipeline helps you visualize what stage your customers are at in their current sales process. This information helps reps strategically understand how they should interact with each prospect, depending on which stage they are in. Sales pipelines can be automated to guide your prospects through the sales cycle.
Pipeline management helps sales teams:
- Track sales rep performance. Having a high-level overview of your sales pipeline will tell you if your reps are on track to reaching their sales targets for a given time period.
- Discover and rectify any bottlenecks within your current sales structure. This is important to continually evaluate what areas of the sales cycle need the most attention and can help you make quick fixes where necessary.
CRM softwares come with a wealth of functions and features to make the sales process more streamlined and effective, which ultimately helps your reps close more deals.
Need help deciding which CRM system is the best for your sales team? Speak with one of our CRM experts today!