Client Relationship Management systems (CRMs) have become the backbone of sales teams everywhere. From simple excel spreadsheets to integrated applications that connect thousands of sales agents to the same information, it’s unlikely that we’ll be abandoning CRM anytime soon. However, many companies aren’t using their CRMs to their full potential, which means they’re leaking money, and they’re leaving deals on the table. To ensure that you’re not doing either, make it a priority to follow these steps to optimize and organize your CRM to increase sales. You’ll be pleased to find that it’s much easier than organzing, say, your closet...
Step 1: Define your buyer personas and your funnel
Whether you're working on your own or in a team, it’s imperative that you set clear expectations about who you’re selling to and how your sales funnel will work. To define your buyer personas, you’ll need to begin researching your existing customers. Based on your findings you can then draft a descriptions of your ideal customer. Be sure to identify their needs, pain points, and objections. Once you've mapped this out, define your funnel and what happens at each stage. Consider how potential customers interact with your company from the first touch, to the closing.
Once you have a roadmap set, you can knock a few easy and mundane tasks off your to-do list like removing duplicates. This is especially important if you have multiple SDRs prospecting or if you have a CRM that manages inbound leads as well. Work within your platform or hire a freelancer from a site like Upwork to clean your data. This will ensure that you’re not reaching out twice to the same person or reaching out with the wrong message at the wrong time.
For this, you’ll need to develop a scoring system that assigns scores to actions that potential customers take. The number of points given for an interaction also need to be weighted for importance to quickly differentiate activities that show little interest in your product to those that show a lot of interest. For example, within your scoring system, you can give one point for a social media interaction while signing up for a content offer would garner five points. When you score your leads, you can quickly see who is very interested in your product and reach out as soon as possible. On the other hand, you can keep an eye on leads who are getting warmer and warmer, and you can dedicate time to nurture them.
It’s hard to find someone who’s willing to give up their entire life story right after they first meet you, so keep this in mind when you gather data. Balance is essential in this step: you don’t want to ask for too little information because you can’t make informed decisions with it, but you also don't want to ask too much right off the bat. The best way to gather lots of information about your potential customers is to build rapport and ask little by little. At first, just ask for what’s necessary (Name, email), then move on to more information like phone number and company name and so on until you have a wealth of data. When you collect information slowly, you’re more likely to get what you want without making people feel uncomfortable. Make sure to organize this into appropriate sections and columns in your CRM.
According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016, 60% of sales teams in North America are spending more than 30 minutes a day doing administrative tasks on their CRM. That’s time that you could be using to build relationships, learn a new skill or check in with leads. Take another look at your CRM package and start using the automations available. Possible automations include automated email sequences (or workflows) that are set up ahead of time to nurture leads or automated scoring that includes or removes contacts from appropriate lists depending on their actions. You can automate qualifying calls too. When you tap into the power of machine learning, you’ll be better organized to sell your service better.
Last but not least, everyone in the sales process should be well versed on the above steps. Since you’re working with others, they need to understand the importance of keeping your CRM clean and up to date. Provide training sessions and one-on-one help to teach them the ins and outs of the CRM and consider providing ongoing support in the form of a CRM master (a colleague who knows the platform very well and can help others). You’ll be helping them do their job better, and if they know how to use the system, they’ll surely figure out how to hack it to do even more.
In sales, you’re only as good as your systems so if you need to clean your CRM, put a plan in place starting today. When broken down, it’s a few simple steps to a clean and fully functional CRM that will increase your sales. Remember to define your funnel and buyer personas first, then remove duplicates and score your contacts. After that, you’ll want to set up multiple points to slowly gather more information, set automations and most importantly, train your salespeople to follow the newly implemented systems. Do you have any other tips for a clean CRM? Or do you have a CRM that you recommend above others? Let us know in the comments below!