Everyone knows the dilemma: sales agents refuse to rely on CRM. Even though it is a customer relationship management tool that can be crucial for the company's success. We show you the advantages of using CRM efficiently and how you can exploit them directly in your company.
The seven steps of a business process
To understand the need for using a CRM system, it is reasonable to show what a customer's business process looks like. The first step is to establish contact with potential leads. Then, you need to perform a lead qualification, i.e., it becomes clear for you whether the contact will become a customer or not – a process that can be quick or take quite a long time. During this process, there are several strategies to convince customers to conclude the sale. Then, you need to analyze and clarify the customer's real needs. Although the analysis can be partially automated, this stage is where the sales department comes in and must be active and contact the leads. If there is interest, you can present the product or service and if necessary, you can also send a commercial proposal. After having negotiated, the process can conclude, in the best case, with the closing of the contract, and you will have won a new customer.
Challenges when using CRM systems
With the commercial process, sales reps have to fulfill several tasks, such as establishing and maintaining contact and preparing commercial offers, among others. Therefore, usually, a lead is not followed up according to its need or, at worst, it is forgotten to be contacted. But how best to perform all tasks? The answer: through CRM systems. Even if there are many solutions on the market, the sales department is often quite critical in this regard. Not only because the benefits for sales are often not tangible but also because of the opposition to working with CRM systems in particular. The problem: sales reps would rather avoid the annoying work of data maintenance, system management, and the lack of automation. They often feel that they have to adapt their business processes to the system and not the other way around. Even a study by Oracle & Beagle Research Group confirms the lack of user acceptance of CRM systems:
“66% of sales agents would rather clean the bathroom than manually update their CRM system.”
Frequently we hear: "I have it all in my head, I don't need a system for that". It may work for one salesperson or another to "keep it all in his or her head". However, if only one person knows the process concerning the lead, it can cause problems if the salesperson is on vacation or gets sick. At best, the information is entered in a contact Excel list or, at worst, on paper notes –professional and up-to-date lead nurturing is far from it. Consequently, it is reasonable to implement a CRM system to counteract this type of problem but it also needs to be used effectively.
The human factor is one of the most important aspects of a successful CRM system. And human beings, being creatures of habit, tend to resist using new things. Consequently, it is essential to point out the benefits of a CRM implementationand to emphasize that the work will be easier and faster.
A great advantage of a CRM system is to allow teamwork between different departments. Sales, marketing, and customer service can access all the customer data. It is also possible to immediately see at which step of the process the lead to effectively manage the pipeline. In the best-case scenario, you can even set up triggers to improve processes based on the customer's behavior. Automation and productivity improvement –which are often underestimated – are therefore also essential. Regular processes, such as sending commercial offers, can be easily automated using email templates and, as a result, much more time and work can be saved. In addition, thanks to the shared database, it is possible to establish a long-term customer relationship by providing a better customer experience. In the end, managers will also benefit from increased revenue.
Three practical tips
To prove the advantages of implementing a CRM system, here are some concrete examples. The resulting reduction in administrative workload also helps you win over key sales staff to use the system.
Did you know that you can create email templates for recurring processes? A good example is templates for standardized commercial offers or an email to request someone to call you back. Once you have created the template, you can simply refer to it and save yourself the hassle of typing the same message a thousand times. Email templates have long since stopped looking like they were written by a machine. Instead, they have become dynamic and authentic as they use personalization options, such as a custom greeting.
If you want to go a step further, the key is to automate workflows. Here you can not only send email templates but also define the next step in advance at a certain time, for example, if you still haven't received a reply to your email after a week. Your customer will then receive another automated and personalized email as a reminder of your first email.
Before you start taking advantage of contact data, you may be wondering how does the contact data get directly into the CRM system and how is it kept up to date? With snapADDY DataQuality, you can easily transfer email signature data and thus create new contacts in the CRM system or keep existing contacts up to date. In addition, since DataQuality is directly connected to the business social networks LinkedIn and Xing, you can update contact data automatically based on the information contained in the networks and transfer it directly to the CRM.
Do you want to know how you can incorporate these examples into your CRM system? Our sales expert Stephan Katzenberger shows you how to implement our suggestions using the Hubspot CRM system in our webinar video:
Would you also like to make data maintenance in your CRM system more efficient? Then snapADDY DataQuality is the right solution for you.
Carina Hoßfeld works in marketing at snapADDY GmbH since 2020 and is finishing her master's degree in the same subject. She completed further training in commerce and a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has also gained experience in project organization and marketing in other companies.