CRM platforms were created to help businesses manage the complete customer lifecycle, from marketing, through sales to support. Unfortunately, while marketing and support workflows have evolved into stand alone platforms like Marketo and Zendesk, not much has changed for sales. Reps are still trying to work directly out of legacy CRMs that were not built around the core needs of salespeople.
Your reps deserve a dedicated sales solution designed to meet their specific needs and make their everyday tasks easier, more productive and increasingly successful. However, we all know sales doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and a sales platform that isolates sales from the rest of the business is just as troublesome as a CRM that lumps everyone’s needs together.
At the end of the day, your sales platform shouldn’t try to be something that it’s not, but it also needs to effectively connect your sales team with additional tools and information that can make them better at their jobs. We’re taking a look at three key sales platform integrations that ensure sales reps are getting what they need without overloading them with unnecessary features and functionality.
If you’ve been a part of any sales or marketing organization, you know how many arguments can erupt between these two camps simply around what happened to a particular lead. Your sales team doesn’t need the ability to send marketing emails or create landing pages, but insight into information like lead source or which campaigns prospects belong to is key to strategic and contextual selling.
Your sales platform should have an integration with one or more of the top marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot or Marketo. And if this integration happens to be a full two-way sync, that’s even better. This kind of integration ensures consistency between sales and marketing data for better prospect and customer experiences across the board. Here are just a few ways that integrating your sales solution and marketing automation platform can help drive sales productivity and performance:
- Most marketing automation platforms give each lead an engagement score, or rank them based on the level of interaction they have with emails, landing pages, etc. Knowing this score is a major indicator of how hot a lead is.
- Did your prospect open that newsletter that was sent out this morning? Did she click one of the links 5 minutes ago? This level of near real-time insight enables reps to reach out and strike up a conversation when you’re top of mind.
- Marketers are able to customize the fields that are required when prospects fill out marketing forms. Upfront access to information like whether a lead has a current project or if she is currently using a competitive solution is pure sales gold.
For more tips on how to achieve better sales and marketing alignment, check out this blog post.
Have you ever called to upsell a customer only to be greeted by an angry voice on the other end of the line? Your contact currently has an open ticket with support and has been trying to get her issue resolved for a week. How dare you try to upsell her when the solution she’s already paying for doesn’t even work! Ouch.
Unfortunately, these are the types of situations that occur when sales and support teams have limited visibility into customer conversations – it’s nearly impossible to provide award-winning experiences. What’s more, putting your sales team in a position where it must constantly ping support for information and updates about its customers zaps productivity for both teams.
Ensuring that key information like open and closed tickets is made visible to your reps in your sales platform enhances team agility as well as helps reps enter conversations with greater context. Spot an open ticket? Now probably isn’t the time for an upsell. Did an issue just get resolved in an efficient and timely manner? Grow your relationship by giving the customer a quick call just to check in. Smooth sailing? Time to pitch that new add-on!
Email & Calendar
Think about the process that the average rep must go through just to set a single meeting:
- Send email requesting prospect availability
- Track whether email is opened and clicked
- Book meeting on prospect and rep calendar
- Mark meeting as set within CRM
That’s four – four! – different tools that a rep must use just to book one meeting: email service, email tracking software, calendar application and CRM. Your reps probably have a goal as to how many meetings they must set every day or week; think of how much time is wasted switching back and forth and connecting the dots between these solutions. No wonder 59% of sales reps believe that they’re required to use too many sales tools.
Imagine if your reps could send emails, track clicks and opens and book meetings all within a single platform. When your sales platform integrates with your email and calendar provider, like Gmail or Microsoft, you can. The best part? When communication happens inside your sales platform, all messages are automatically logged in the context of your contact, so you never have to spend time reconciling CRM notes with your inbox ever again.
Marketing automation, support platforms and email and calendar – your sales platform shouldn’t try to BE these things, but it should integrate with them in a way that leads to enhanced sales productivity and performance. For more tips on what you should be looking for when it comes to choosing the right sales solution for your business, download the free white paper: 7 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Sales Software.