Growing a startup into a successful business requires efforts and time. The more your company grows, the more process you need to put in place to align teams and departments. Some processes can be verbal, others need softwares to ensure efficiency.
Implementing new tools into a company structure can be challenging but also financially demanding. Although complicated, and often time tedious, it is important to have the right systems in place to ensure everyone can work in the best way.
Like any other department, sales requires a CRM software to track all activities. The more sales people you have, the less you can rely on spreadsheets and notes.
CRM tools allows sales managers or founders to track beyond the sales, to understand if a problem exists and fix it. Sales is not only about closing deals. Sales is about customer interactions, communication, and funnel analysis. Keeping track of these is crucial for a successful business to improve over time.
If you are reading this, probably you are already thinking about implementing a CRM software. However, it can be difficult to understand when is the right moment and why you need to do it.
1. The right moment for a CRM Software is now
You might have noticed that not all information is shared correctly among departments. Take a look at these questions:
- Has communication among teams become complicated?
- Do your team members subtly (or not) complain about information loss?
- Do you have more than one salesperson?
- Are you collecting leads from different sources?
- Has any of your sales guys left the company and leads went lost?
All this is normal and every growing company faces the same issues. These simple questions though can lead to poor results, if we do not act. You can prevent this, by having in place the right structure that help you track what you need.
Having to work on ten different spreadsheets at the same time it’s not ideal, to say the lest. You don’t want your sales team wasting time on (electronic) papers. However, managers sometimes ask to fill in yet another spreadsheet with information existing somewhere else.
Manual processes can create bottlenecks and slow down performances.
A CRM software can reduce drastically this time by automating data entry, repetitive tasks and avoiding paper printing.With the correct system in place, not only efficiency will increase but also sales. Stats show that with the right CRM, sales can grow as much as 30%.
3. Enhance Collaboration Between Departments.
Sales is the first point of contact with new clients. We often work on leads coming from different sources.
We might have a lead generation specialist; use a generic contact form on our website; have an “info@” email address; or just go to events.
Although not really relevant at first sight, we do want to understand where are the most profitable leads coming from. By comprehending this, we can:
a) Focus our efforts on best performing channels
b) Ask other departments to support our activities (events for Marketing; Website for Design/Marketing)
Efficient collaboration among different departments will help your company becoming more profitable.
4. Understanding Client Lifecycle
CRM softwares are not only relevant for sales teams. All departments dealing with customers should have a centralised database to analyse clients activities.
Account Management is an extension of the sales department, for example. It is crucial for every company to understand that every person interacting with the client is doing sales. This means that there is a need for a deep understanding and embracing of a CRM software at all levels.
By analysing communication and client lifecycle you will know how to address their needs and act upon them.
4. Increase Accountability Among Team Members
Salespeople are not so keen on taking responsibilities when a lead is lost. Sentences like “It was not my responsibility” or “I thought Bob would do it” can be common.
A CRM tool can centralise activities and provide a clear overview of responsibilities. No leads will be lost. Tracking clients interaction is crucial for sales efficiency. Although clear from a manager perspective, this can be perceived as a “pointing finger” system.
It is important to explain how everyone can profit from a clear and organised database to understand where there is room for improvement.
5. Data, Data, and Data
Data is important for every company. The problem is that we don’t often know what to do with the data collected.
We assume to know everything about our customers. We know when and how they want to buy. Yet, we might be missing tiny details that could increase sales.
A correctly setup CRM tool can help spot multiple points that we might be overlooking on a daily basis. On top of this, we can collect several data points and create customised reports for all levels within the company.
Remember that collecting data cannot give you an answer to an unclear question. Define what you want to track and then start collecting data accordingly.
Getting data on a monitor with some graphs that no one is looking at, makes no sense.
6. Pipeline Analysis And Forecast
Sales relies on pipeline analysis. Any trusted and professional salesperson works daily on his/her pipeline. Managers need to trust and act on it with the salesperson.
CRM tools provide an effective way to create clear pipeline reports to help salespersons be efficient. Having clear pipelines can also help salespeople forecast correctly activities and opportunities.
7. Selling different products
CRM softwares become handy once you have more than one product to sell to your customers. It is possible to easily control which product sells the most and to which client type or in which region. All this information can help your company profit in the long-term.
Once you add more services or product, a CRM tool can help you also in projecting correct forecast and doing retrospective analysis.
8. Growth It With Your Business
Understanding that you need a CRM software is not the end of your job. You came a long way, but there’s more to be done. You need to look at what platform is the best for your company size; what functions and reports you would gain from. There are quite a few solutions out in the market that you might want to consider. Take a look and ask your users to give you some feedback.
CRM tools are SaaS products, which means the product grows as your company does.
Implementing a CRM tool in a company can be demanding. Resources can be wasted on training hours and controlling. If your team doesn’t see the need of such a tool, you are failing at that communication. Take the time to reduce doubts and increase adoption.
What experiences you have with CRM tools? Which one would you recommend?