January 19, 2017

10 Ways Your Sales Effort Can Benefit From a CRM

If the ultimate goal of your business is to earn revenue and grow, looking for ways to improve both your business processes and sales efforts should be a constant effort. As we’ve detailed in this space, a CRM can help you in accomplishing both.

At the same time, simply stating that ‘Customer Relationship Management software will benefit your business’ is vague. So allow us to go one step further, with ten very specific reasons your sales efforts can benefit from a CRM, based on an awesome infographic by Cloudswave.  After reviewing this list, hopefully you will have a better idea of the types of tangible benefits CRM can provide to your small or medium-sized business.

10 Reasons Why CRM Systems Are Popular in Sales

In this infographic, Cloudswave cites numerous studies in coming up with data-based reasons to implement a CRM system. These statistics are particularly compelling in understanding the benefits of this software solution:

  1. When asked why they use a CRM, 61% of sales distributors responded that it allows for key access to customer information and data.
  2. In addition, 75% of sales managers say that using a CRM helps to drive and increase sales.
  3. On average, a CRM provides a $5.60 return for every $1.00 spent, an ROI of more than 50%.
  4. A CRM helps nurture leads that are not ready to become customers yet, but 75% of companies have no lead nurturing process in place.  This means that simply nurturing your leads can often catapult your company above your competitors.
  5. Customers of companies who use CRMs to engage with them spend between 20% and 40% more compared with those customers who only experience manual sales outreach.
  6. That’s because CRMs generate a positive customer experience — and as it turns out, 70% of customers with positive brand experiences will refer your product or service to their peers.
  7. Your sales representatives love the software because it helps them reach their goals: CRMs increase revenue per sales rep by 41%.
  8. Similarly, sales conversion rates for your sales efforts will rise by up to 300%.
  9. Customer retention also matters, as CRMs have led to retention rates of more than 25%.
  10. Given all of these reasons, it’s no surprise that implementing a CRM will increase your profit margin by more than 2%.

Change is difficult, so you may encounter initial resistance in your sales department to changing ‘the way we’ve always done things.’ That’s where these statistics can be so beneficial.

Not only do the above reasons provide leadership with a clear view of the potential of a CRM, but they can also help convince your individual sales representatives that after an initial transition period, they will be set up for success. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: because your sales team knows about these statistics, they will be more motivated (and more likely) to accomplish them.

Thinking Beyond Your Sales Department toward BPA

Of course, one thing that the above infographic does not highlight is the ability of CRM software to benefit your business beyond sales processes.

First, as hinted at in the above statistics, it can help your marketing team streamline and scale its communication efforts. Most CRMs now have built-in marketing automation capabilities, allowing for a lead nurturing workflow without the necessary individual touches. If your company engages in direct mail efforts, you may also be able to complete mail merges depending on the software you decide to implement.

In addition, don’t underestimate the potential impact of business process automation (BPA) through your CRM. As your small or medium-sized business grows, you will need to look for ways to scale your marketing, sales, HR, accounting, and other business processes. Sticking with manual data entry and communications will be both time and budget-intensive.

If you choose the right CRM, however, you can more easily scale these processes. Embracing BPA means increasing the efficiency and reducing the costs of executing a wide range of business functions. Your sales team will grow to love the software – but so will anyone who comes to work closely with it.

Finding the Right CRM For Your Needs

If the above picture looks too rosy for you, there might be a reason. After all, not every Customer Relationship Management software solution is created equal. Some of them, in fact, take their name literally, and will not allow you or make it easy for you to automate any processes that are not directly related to your sales efforts.

That’s why finding the right solution for your business needs is such a crucial exercise. Don’t simply pick the CRM that is cheapest or quickest to implement. Instead, outline exactly what your business needs are, and engage in a strategic search for the software solution that can solve these needs.

Sometimes, that search can take a while. You will have to sift through a number of platform that don’t keep their promises or provide minimum functionality. And initially, you may shy away from more complex solutions like Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

However, these more comprehensive solutions might be exactly what your business needs to succeed. If you are truly looking to unlock all of the potential benefits that a CRM can offer, a free or freemium software package will not do. In fact, you may end up running into problems that actually complicate your sales efforts and BPA, directly contradicting your goals.

A solution like Dynamics, on the other hand, is explicitly designed to solve your exact business needs. And don’t be alarmed by what might seem at first to be complex; instead, work with software experts who can help you through the transition and implementation. Once the final product is in place, you will begin to see a tangible effect on your business efficiency, BPA, and sales functions.