Addressing Inside Sales Challenges with CRM Software
Posted by Erica Bell on August 26, 2013 in Sales 2.0 [ 1 Comment ]
A business won’t be successful if it isn’t able to keep its new and current customers happy. However, there are obstacles every office and sales team face. When a business is able to address these issues effectively, it will find greater success in terms of employee satisfaction and profits. The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) recently conducted a survey which found that two of the biggest challenges inside sales teams currently face are busy work, such as form completion and data entry, and a lack of high-quantity, high-quality leads. A CRM (customer relationship management) software solution can help you address these two common inside sales challenges; here’s how.
Locating High-Quality Leads
Not every lead you receive will be ready to make a purchase right away. Depending on your current lead generation strategies, your prospects may even more often be at the top of your sales funnel when you receive their information than not. This, however, does not mean the lead isn’t of high quality. A better lead scoring and nurturing system integrated with, or built within, your CRM system can help you move leads down the funnel. When nurturing leads, consider how your CRM can help.
- Automation of lead scoring and nurturing. An automated process will save your inside sales time. If this were a manual process, as it often is for businesses under-utilizing the available functionality of their CRM software. Depending on your lead source and the type of information requested, you can segment your leads and automate the next step for each individual so your business is delivering relevant, valuable information – whatever it may be – right away to keep the lead moving down the funnel.
- Marketing-sales alignment and integration. Large organizations and small organizations alike often use more than one or two systems and/or platforms between their sales and marketing teams. With CRM software, you can keep everything in one place so marketing and sales teams can more effectively communicate about where a lead is, what they need, and what it will take in terms of nurturing to close the sale.
Battling the Busywork
Data entry, such as logging calls and drafting emails, can be a big burden on your inside sales team, especially if the majority of the process is manual. CRM software can make these processes more efficient. Process automation reduces the amount of busywork your sales team is responsible for by automating follow up reminders, dormant account outreach, and email follow-ups.
- Appointment setting. Many CRM solutions integrate with common sales calendars such as Outlook and iCal. Your CRM solution should help you set future appointments and calls with clients with a few mouse clicks. In many cases, a salesperson can condense all the actions they would need to take into a single action and save the appointment with just one or two clicks of a mouse.
- Dormant account outreach. As mentioned above, not all leads your sales team receive will be ready to make a purchase right away. An effective CRM solution will automate follow-ups to accounts or clients that weren’t ready or haven’t taken action with your business in some time. Follow-up emails can be a major time consuming action for sales teams, but CRM software can increase the productivity of your sales team by taking care of these emails for them.
If you find your CRM software isn’t making these responsibilities more manageable for your inside sales team, you may need to do a CRM audit to see where your technology isn’t being utilized or where improvement is needed. If you aren’t using CRM software, but find your inside sales team is battling these same issues, it may be time to research and evaluate your options.
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