If you're reading this post, then you might feel a little like the kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. You've done your homework, you know that you aren't supposed to have dessert before dinner, and yet you can't help yourself ... you reached for the cookie, without realizing that if you had just done a little bit of research you could have had a cookie on top of an ice cream sundae. In other words, perhaps you have a "fake CRM" (the cookie) and have now sheepishly realized that it isn't a "real" CRM. One might say that's the way the cookie crumbles, but all food references aside, you've come to the right place if you want to a) confirm that your CRM isn't cutting it, and b) discover what you should be looking for in your CRM.
Picture this scenario
Your sales team manually inputting leads and notes into Microsoft Excel or Outlook, keeping them off the phone. Microsoft Excel excels at everything related to spreadsheets, from calculations to graphing tools. Outlook not only serves as an email communications system, but also has built-in features that help users organize tasks, meetings, and notes. So it seems like it would make sense to use these as your sales tools of choice, right?
In 2016, the use of these systems for sales-oriented tasks were more common, as 40% of salespeople reported using these means to store leads and customer data.
And now picture this scenario:
Having an automated system that tracks leads, stores customer data, creates detailed sales and marketing reports, and manages all email, phone, and meeting communications. That’s not even all of it. A system like this exists, and it’s an acronym you may have seen - CRM. CRM stands for customer relationship management and is commonly followed up with the word “system” after it. Between 2016 and now, CRM adoption by businesses has grown by 113%, with 64% of sales professionals reporting that they use CRM tools.
A strong sales development team is a great way to quickly increase revenue. These reps focus on taking unqualified leads and contacts, putting them through a qualification process and moving them through the sales funnel.
What can happen when you have a strong sales development team nurturing leads for your sales reps? Studies show these benefits:
- Nurtured leads generate almost 50% more revenue than non-nurtured leads.
- Nurtured leads generate this revenue at 33% less cost.
- Overall, companies focused on qualifying leads see an increase in revenue of at least 10% within only six to nine months.
No self-respecting sales development rep (SDR) has ever said, “I have enough business.” Even those crushing their sales goals crave more, and it would be nice if it came faster and easier than most deals do.
First of all, what is a CRM? I had a new client recently ask me that question at which point I realized; maybe it’s not as commonly understood as I thought? Not only did I write this blog but we put together an Ebook, The Beginners Guide to CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels — or points of contact between the customer and the company — which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend Hubspots inbound conference for the last 4 years. There’s no doubt that hubspot has played a pivotal role in the way we look to generate leads. The entire inbound movement has really taken off and for us and our clients, it has proven to be a great way to generate leads as you can drive prospects to your business or website as a result of your content marketing efforts. So how does it really tie into sales? For starters, check out this video intro from last week at INBOUND…
One of the most important ways to keep your sales development reps (SDRs) focused on growing their pipeline is by using a sales cadence. Now, if you are not familiar with this term it simply means a defined schedule indicating when reps should reach out to the prospects that they are pursuing. Every sales organization has a slightly different approach depending on the tactics they are using but a typical cadence may include calls, emails, social media activities, webinars, or all of the above. The important thing is that a cadence exists. Defining your sales cadence and sharing it gives sales managers and executives a certain level of comfort knowing that the SDRs are taking the necessary steps to accelerate leads through the buying process.