A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution is a must for businesses today, but its success depends entirely on how it is used. When maximizing the use of your CRM, you facilitate the communication process, improve customer service, and increase internal teams’ productivity.

In an era where customer experience is usually a determining factor for growing a successful business, good use of your CRM is a competitive advantage. Customers are the priority and keeping them happy is the key to success. They want a service that not only meets but exceeds their expectations.

That said, efforts put into your CRM solution should not be overlooked.

3 New Ways to Use Your CRM

2021 will be, just as 2020 was, a year of adaptation and challenges to overcome. The global pandemic is changing the way we work by relying more on remote work. Fortunately, the use of technology makes it possible to stay connected and access customer information from anywhere and at any time using a CRM software. Hence the importance of maximizing its use!

Here are new ways to use your CRM to take full advantage of its potential:

  1. Automating repetitive tasks
  2. Connecting internal cross-functional teams for a more efficient customer experience
  3. Tracking deeper customer insights

Automating Repetitive Tasks

More and more companies use significant technological advances such as artificial intelligence and process automation. The automation of repetitive tasks allows CRM users to save precious time and concentrate their efforts on more valuable activities for the company.

Here are examples of automation that allow sales teams to save unnecessary efforts:

  • Weekly reporting: Creates an accurate and consistent reporting cadence
  • Meeting scheduling: An otherwise manual process that could save reps dozens of hours each year
  • Proposal reminders: Gently help you push a sale through to the finish line

Teams are thus much more efficient, motivated, and productive, resulting in faster business development. In 2018, duties like data entry and paperwork filled so many hours that reps only spent one third of their time actually selling (Salesforce).

Salesforce’s most recent State of Sales Report shows that top performers tend to further automate repetitive tasks like:

  • Logging sales data and customer notes
  • Managing administrative tasks
  • Generating quotes and proposals
  • Prioritizing leads and opportunities
  • Determining what action to take on accounts

Connecting Departments for Better Customer Experience

In a customer-centric era, departmental silos must be broken. 59% of customers say it generally feels like they’re communicating with separate departments, not one company (Salesforce).

You’ve probably already experienced this situation: you call a company’s customer service department, but no agent can answer your questions, your call gets transferred back and forth and you can just feel an inferno brewing inside your head.

Customers can feel the effects of poor internal communication. These silos and the lack of synergy between teams creates a lot of frustration, wasted time and therefore, unpleasant customer experience. In 2021, good customized and automated business processes must be put in place.

Star Trek crew looking at each other cluelessly.

The best sales operations teams not only fill the gaps in the sales processes, but those across the various departments, including marketing and customer service. Knowing that 78% of customers expect consistent interactions between departments (Salesforce), it’s important to put some effort into it. Maximizing the use of your CRM software and knowing how to take advantage of its full potential breaks the silo mentality thanks to a 360° and shared vision of customers.

Tracking Deeper Customer Insights

As mentioned above, customers expect the best possible service in 2021 – competition is fierce. One way to stay competitive is to know and understand your customers by having as much information about them as possible on hand. This is what we call “insight selling”.

Several sources of information are available to everyone (national, local, industry and international news) and most sales representatives use them to guide their sales. To push the process of “insight selling” even further, high performers monitor their customers more closely. A major advantage is to be aware of customer staffing changes, the appointment of a new manager, for example. Top performers teams tend to closely track deeper customer insights. They are also 4.5 times more likely to be on the lookout for customer staffing changes:

(Source: Fourth edition of the State of Sales Report by Salesforce)

Conclusion 

To remain successful in a competitive market, it is important to maximize the use of your CRM software in 2021.

A good CRM allows you to:

  • Automate repetitive tasks for increased productivity.
  • Centralize customer data to avoid creating miscommunication, gaps between departments and unnecessary frustration.
  • Access important customer information to understand and even anticipate their needs.

Check out the fourth edition of the State of Sales Report by Salesforce for more data-driven insights to help businesses transform how they drive customer success. 

Sources

State of Sales Report, Salesforce, 2020

State of the Connected Customer Report, Salesforce, 2019

Do You Really Need Sales Automation?, Salesforce