Sales CRM is the solution.
A customer’s journey from first contact with your business to making a purchase is, more often than not, a process with many stages. They may have made an enquiry or even an initial purchase, but if you do not proactively take care of the relationship it’s very possible that it’s the last you will hear from them.
A Sales CRM system will do three key things for your business:
- Keep a detailed record of all of your suppliers, prospects, leads and customers in one easy to use, central database.
- Through a collaborative effort this database, over time, becomes populated with detailed contact information, any previous communications or interactions, purchases made, complaints logged. It can even segment your customers by stage in the sales process.
- With a complete customer view you can use this information to communicate effectively, build trust and deliver personalised customer service that leads to sales.
How does it work?
Recording customer information
When someone in your business comes into contact with either a sales lead or a customer, they will create an account for them. The account will be updated with contact information, details of interactions and any other information that could be useful to your business in the future. They may not be a particularly warm lead at the moment, but you can change that.
As the system is visible to and can be edited by anyone in the business (with authorisation), any subsequent information or contact that anybody has is also added to this account e.g. meetings arranged, purchases made, deals agreed, queries, complaints, contact preferences. Collaborating across the business in this way reduces the possibility of missed information or miscommunication and means you can make your next move armed with all the facts.
24/7 visibility and mobile access
The information you have on each account is visible, in real time, to anyone with access. In addition, if your system operates on the Cloud it can be accessed via mobile devices from anywhere. So, in addition to people stationed in the office, anyone working in the field can also view and update the system so everyone is working with the latest information.
A salesperson who understands their customer is more likely to inspire trust and secure a sale.
CRM systems bring your contact database together with your sales strategy. Gone are the days of simply keeping a list of names and numbers; today you can track your relationship from the first contact up to the present moment. Some systems even enable reminders so you can follow up on a lead in the future via emails, phone calls etc.
By understanding the customer you can tailor your sales strategy to meet their needs. With the full overview of the relationship history you can arrange meetings or telephone calls at times to suit them or even anticipate their needs with promotional offers that reflect their buying habits.
Analyse sales process
By segmenting your contacts you can view them by their stage in the sales process. This will help you identify where in the process you are losing sales and address weaknesses in the system. Maybe lots of customers are responding to an initial marketing email, but then never make another purchase. Perhaps another email a few weeks later highlighting related offers would keep the lines of communication open?
Accurate reporting and forecasting
Many CRM systems include sales reporting and forecasting functionality that lets you dig deeper into your business’ growth and look ahead to the future. Less time spent on the administration like this will free you and your team up to concentrate on building relationships and making sales.