The following is a guest post by Lauren Stafford, Digital Publishing Specialist at Discover CRM, a platform that gathers together the latest thinking, news and research about CRM software.
Why should you invest in a CRM? The immediate advantages are obvious. For example, 74% of CRM users say their CRM system offers improved access to customer data. But access to centralized data and the ability to keep track of customer relationships is only the tip of the iceberg.
When it comes to sales pipeline management, your CRM can be a huge contributor to the future growth of your business. Here are 4 ways to take charge of your sales pipeline with the help of your CRM.
Encourage more efficient processes
For salespeople, a CRM that assists them in prioritizing tasks and qualifying leads is a valuable tool. The average ROI for CRM is about $8.71 for each dollar spent, which means the decision to implement a system, or invest in a new one better suited to your needs, is often a good one. But this ROI depends on successful user-adoption. It’s important to emphasize to your sales team that any short term discomfort getting acclimated to this new system will result in longer term benefit.
How can a CRM make the lives of salespeople easier? Automation and integration options should allow you to streamline administrative tasks that would have once taken considerably longer to complete. This means your salespeople are more able to focus on what they do best: selling! CRM implementation is an opportunity to revise and improve these strategies so your company has a better chance of reaching ambitious targets. Once your CRM is up and running, you can begin to take control of your approach to selling.
Make lead nurturing easier
On average, nurtured leads demonstrate a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads, which means that following up on leads and maintaining good relationships with potential prospects is at the heart of closing deals. Many companies aren’t managing their sales pipeline as well as they could be, so prospects (and therefore potential sales) are getting lost along the way.
In sales, part of ensuring your prospects trust you is taking the time to tailor your outreach so it feels personal rather than cold or generic. Impersonal communication is often a result of a stretched department with salespeople who are struggling to find the time to conduct the appropriate research. Your CRM should enable your sales team to focus on building meaningful relationships with prospects at all stages of your sales pipeline.
Mobile access for time-sensitive prospecting
Considering that 65% of sales reps who work at companies that have adopted a mobile CRM have achieved their sales quotas as opposed to just 22% of reps from non-mobile CRM enabled companies, when selecting your CRM you should factor in the importance of mobile sales into your sales pipeline management strategy.
The flexibility that mobile functionality offers can make a difference. Nowadays salespeople need to be able to prospect on-the-go and react quickly with all the relevant information at their fingertips. Furthermore, it can improve conversation between colleagues internally, which means vital information and updates can be circulated quickly between key stakeholders.
Improve forecast accuracy
Last but definitely not least is sales forecasting! To predict accurate sales growth, your CRM should offer you good reporting and analytics options that help you measure how many sales are being closed and at what rate. Sales forecasting is essential if you are to understand cash flow and plan for the future.
As well as making your salespeople’s day-to-day tasks easier to manage, data from your CRM can inform decisions when it comes to setting aspirational but realistic targets for your sales team. Targets can be revised according to emerging trends and then adjusted accordingly if need be. This is likely to make for a much more focused, motivated and productive sales team.
Looking for the right CRM to help manage your sales pipeline? Download this free CRM Buyer’s Kit to help you in your search!