Defining CRM  

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a business process by which companies manage their  relationships and contacts. Although the term CRM has customers in it, CRM does not limit itself to just  customers. In fact, CRM aims to manage whenever an individual is in contact with the company. To explain, Individuals may be one of the following: 

Mail Subscribers  

Sales Leads  

Sales Opportunities  

Customers  

Advocates  

Employees  

As a field, CRM defines the guidelines for interaction between companies and customers. Also, it provides  the necessary organization and tracking tools required. These tools help a company to:  Procure leads  

Cultivate leads  

Develop new relations  

Improve/Refine existing relations  

Retain customers for longer periods  

Expand sales  

Make customers feel valued  

Provide satisfactory customer service  

Structure company processes efficiently  

Essentially, with a CRM, it becomes impossible to ignore a customer. CRM allows you to deal with  leads in a systematic way. This minimizes neglect of any particular lead. CRM tells you when to contact your leads, what you should say, and how to say it. 

Additionally, CRM also had internal benefits. With a CRM, sales teams can track their activities, goals, and targets. Managers can monitor various sales teams performance at a glance. 

CorporateStack understands that buying a CRM software can be difficult to do. In this post, we try to  explain what could be the best option for your company. However, you may still have additional questions.  We encourage our customers to contact us with any questions. Email us at info@corporatestack.com


Benefits of CRM 

Before we discuss the benefits of a CRM, we need to differentiate between CRM Tools, and CRM  Strategy.  

CRM Strategy: Processes that the company uses in order to structure and standardize the way CRM  technology is used. 

CRM Tools: Software where CRM related information is primarily stored. Depending on the software,  various features may be available for companies to use.  

To utilize CRM in the best way, you need to choose a software that encourages a strategy through the use  of its tools. Furthermore, most CRMs are built with a customer driven strategy in mind. CRM shouldn’t be viewed as  something additional that needs to be done. Rather, CRM is a tool that helps to break the barriers between the different teams in your company. 


Establishing a CRM Strategy  

We provide a simple four step process for any company to use when defining their CRM strategy. Before  the process can be applied, it is recommended to take a broad look at the various departments within the  company. 

It is also recommended to evaluate the different technologies used. After the preliminary  evaluation, the process can be applied. This simple process will help you understand CRM better. Also, it will  help you lay a foundation for the CRM Strategy to be applied. 

Step 1: Identify your Company Internal Challenges  

Here, an internal look must be taken at the company. You must identify the process(es) of how a customer  is able to purchase a product from your company.For example, what are the steps they must go through to buy a  product? Is it just a simple one click order from your website? Or do they have to coordinate with multiple  people? These are the questions that should be asked during this step. 

Similarly, you also need to identify the problem your employees have. Employees may wish to contact  customers, but they may not have the appropriate information. Also, employees may not have the correct tools or access to contact customers. These challenges need to be identified and listed. 

Step 2: Map the Customer Journey  

Here, a detailed process of how the customer interacts with your company must be documented. Begin  with how a prospect finds the company. This may be through the web, mailing lists, adverts, etc. 

Next, you need to find out how the customer interacts with your company. For example, do they first visit your website? Next, how do they consume or buy your content? Essentially, in this step, you need to map your  sales process. 

It is essential that your sales process and customer journey work together. This will accomplish two things; firstly, to make the sale process simple. Secondly, easily guide your customer where they  need to go.  

Step 3: Define your metrics  

Identify and define a list of benchmarks that you want to achieve. These targets should be based on current  sales targets. Then identify the sales activities that will improve these benchmarks. KPIs can also be taken  into consideration here. 

Step 4: Business Milestones  

Make sure to mark any important business milestones that may be taking place in the next year. Also take notes on things that may result in technical problems so that can be avoided.

What are the factors to consider when creating a CRM strategy? 

Several factors need to be taken into account when developing your CRM strategy. These are listed below:  

Vision: Plan the process of how CRM integration would work with different sections of the company  Culture: Ensure that the organization has the methods needed to use a sales process that is customer driven. 

Journey: The steps the customer takes when they want to purchase your products. Create a clear and  well-documented version of this journey by mapping it. 

Education: Create documentation and training videos for all teams interacting with the products Communication: Plan the way the documentation and videos can be shared 

Leadership: Define the various roles in the transition. Clearly define the leadership, and the  responsibilities of each team member. 

Value: Devise a plan for creating awareness within the company for the CRM.      Technology: The benefits and technology of the CRM need to be explained. 

Implementation: Document a structured plan of the new organizational processes and their  implementation.  

Success: Create measurement standards by which the strategy will be assessed. Assign KPIs.  

CRM is all about data and communication. If these elements are correctly implemented in your plan, CRM  will be an effective tool for  your company. 

CRM aims to enhance the customer journey, while empowering the various  teams in your organization. Focusing the CRM strategy for your customers increases sales, and allows sales  teams to be better.  

Enhancing sales through CRM Tech  

One of the most important goals of any CRM technology is to enhance sales processes. CRM technology  can do this by automating several processes. Rather than redoing menial tasks such as outreach, follow-up  and qualification, CRM can automate them. CRM can provide notifications for various alerts, based on the  users preferences. This ensures that a customer is never ignored. 

Additionally, CRM can automatically monitor and keep tabs on your sales funnel. The biggest part of the  sales funnel can be known in a glance. CRM allows you to contact customers and receive feedback on your  communications with them. You can also easily integrate customer interviews and surveys within the system.  This can help improve customer satisfaction by identifying gaps in your support communication. 


Connecting CRM Tech & Business 

An in-depth look at the CRM technologies and features you should be investing in. How do the features  affect your business and what features are suitable for your business? There are several reasons why  businesses should be investing in CRM technology. These reasons are how CRM directly affect the sales  process and are explained below:  

Human Error  

As an organization, even if you hire the best people in the world, they are still humans. Humans are prone to  error, and they make mistakes. They can forget key appointments, or maybe get the time wrong. Even if  written notes are kept, they aren’t reliable. They may be misplaced.  

CRM does not forget. It does not make mistakes. It is not prone to errors. Instead of relying on memory,  rely on the CRM system to help you remember. Everything from appointments to personal likes about a  customer can be stored in a CRM system. As a result, sales processes become efficient and targets can be  met easily. Not to mention the fact that you end up collecting various data about your customers that will  be kept for future use. 

Monitor crucial details  

There are two scenarios possible if you do not currently have a CRM system in place. Either you are not  monitoring sales metrics at all. Or you are monitoring sales metrics in an ineffective way, such as Excel  sheets. 

CRM can automatically monitor all aspects of your sales in an effective, organized way. Depending on the  package purchased, it may even graphically visualize various metrics. Additionally, since all the data is in a  single centralized location, it becomes easy to view how different elements interact with each other. 

Securing and Storing Data  

CRM platforms generally make it much easier to store data. Data stored in an Excel sheet is prone to  become corrupted or lost. These data can even be stolen easily. In this case, a CRM platform would be much  better. 

CRM platforms are generally very secure. Many CRM vendors, including CorporateStack, are GDFR  compliant. Essentially, this means that you don’t need to worry about your data at all. Everything is much  more secure than if you were storing it on your personal computer. Normally, two storage solutions are  offered by some CRM providers. In-House Storage, and Cloud Storage. Both have their own benefits and  drawbacks. Generally, CorporateStack recommends choosing Cloud Storage for small businesses. In House storage is more suited for larger businesses with sensitive data. 

Office Collaboration 

CRM systems also generally provide a way for employees to work with each other. Since the customer data  is all in one place, it becomes easier to collaborate and share data with colleagues. If a CRM system doesn’t  exist, it becomes disorganized. Each employee can do things their own way, which leads to many duplicate  files and chaos. 

Standardizing processes and data can bring efficiency to the organization. Different departments can easily  collaborate with each other. Marketing teams can see what method is bringing in the most leads. Sales  teams can take these leads to energize their sales processes. 

Enhanced Customer Service  

Since CRM systems monitor everything, interaction between customers are recorded for future reference.  This allows team leaders to monitor how sales people are interacting with customers. This can be useful in  two ways. Firstly, it can be used to check if the sales people are making any mistakes. It can be used to  monitor and correct any errors. Secondly, it can be beneficial to use for training future employees as well.  Employees can be given real interactions with a customer and asked how they would react. 

Some CRM systems, including CorporateStack, provide insights to various customers as well. For example, if  an employee has recorded previously that this customer prefers emails rather than talking, then the system  will recommend sending an email instead. 


Other CRM Benefits 

These are not the only ways in which CRM can benefit your company. Rather, CRM has far reaching benefits that are  advantageous for the entire organization. This is largely due to the fact that CRM isn’t just a tool for  improving or measuring sales performance. It actually enhances the customer experience. 

Today, customers expect much more from businesses than in the past. Customers expect you to know  them. They expect businesses to tailor every email. Sometimes, they even expect you to know what they  need without them knowing it! Meeting these demands can be difficult for a business. With CRM, it  becomes that much easier. 

Below, we explain a few of the ways CRM helps your entire organization, not just the sales process:  

Obtain & Retain the Best Customers  

As you start marketing your products, you will capture leads more effectively. However, it is essential that  these leads be tracked and dealt with appropriately. Otherwise, they just become missed opportunities.  CRM software can help you manage and track all your leads. You can keep a history of each lead, and the  amount of engagement the lead has been through.

Additionally, if your leads do become customers, you can utilize the sales data. This data can be used to track  your largest customers. Once this subset of customers is known, you can assign a focused team of sales  people to deal with them, giving them the very best customer service possible. This ensures they always stay  happy, and keep giving you business. 

Capture strong relationships  

Sometimes, it helps to think of each customer as an individual. These customers are the people that will buy  your product. They have their own feelings, thoughts, ambitions, and challenges. Using CRM software, it can  be possible to deeper understand these customers. 

Firstly, it is possible to go through past conversations with customers and identify messages that they  connected with. Secondl, you can understand their ambitions and challenges. Thirdly, it becomes possible to  create personalized messaging that allows them to feel valued. Next, you can study what products the  customer is invested in. This will allow you to know how to create personalized messaging. It also helps  in R&D. This helps the company in creating new products. Lastly, you can set reminders so that  you can communicate with them at crucial moments. 

Better ROI for Sales  

Customer Retention is the most important aspect for sales. Acquiring new customers is much easier than  retaining customers. Selling new products to existing customers, and convincing them to upgrade can be  much harder. CRM can help you effectively target the customers that may be more prone to upgrade. 

Employee Productivity  

Since CRM can automate a large number of tasks, this takes the pressure off of employees. Employees  become empowered and are free to do tasks that can bring greater benefits to the organization. 

Satisfied Customers  

CRM streamlines the customer journey. It allows employees to have the entire customer journey to be  present in front of them while dealing with a customer. This makes sure the customer gets a fast and  effective solution to whatever query or problem they may have. Essentially, this leads to happy, satisfied  customers that will always keep buying from you.


Searching For Important CRM Features

In today’s world, it’s really true that you get what you pay for. There are several “lite” CRM tools out there.  However, these tools do not do the job well. Additionally, you never even know if they might be stealing  your data! It is important to choose a company that you trust. It can be difficult to choose the right  software which has the right features. This section will explain how to evaluate CRM software. Essentially, it  will help you choose a CRM software that you need.  

Pipeline Management  

CorporateStack CRM Dashboards

A Sales Pipeline is a graphical representation of where each prospect is in the sales cycle. It breaks down the  different customers/prospects you have into different stages. This can show you exactly where the  bottlenecks in the pipeline are. In turn, this could help you target these bottlenecks and fix them effectively. 

A sales pipeline can show you how many deals are currently ongoing with customers. They may close in a  week or a month. It can also show you what employees are close to their targets. 

Since the sales pipeline breaks down each sale (or prospective sale) by stage, it becomes easy to analyze. You  can study and optimize the different parts of the sales process to make sure the sales are carried out quickly  and efficiently. 

For example, a sales team may be unable to get closures on their prospects. Here, you could  easily judge this by a glance. Then, you can provide guidance or change strategy about how the team  approaches their clients. 

Managing Sales Pipeline

CorporateStack CRM Leads List

CorporateStack allows you to customize and manage your pipeline exactly how you prefer. It has a clean,  simplistic user interface that empowers sales reps and team leaders to exceed their targets. These are some of the features that you should look for in a pipeline management module: 

 Clarity: Each stage should be clearly defined and labelled. It should be easy to see where each sale falls  into the pipeline. This helps sales reps easily prioritize their work.  

Statistics: Clear, concise and valuable statistics should be produced from the data. It should tell you what  stage needs improvement.  

Customizability: Each corporation has different needs. To ensure that your corporation has all its needs  met, make sure the pipeline is customizable for any future changes. 

Intuitive: Sales reps will only use the software if it is easy and intuitive to use. The software should make it  easy to add new contacts, new messages, creates sales information, etc.

Email Integration  

CorporateStack CRM Email Campaign

Tracking and keeping emails can be difficult for a lot of companies. However, with CRM, it becomes that  much easier to track any emails. 

Typically, capable CRM systems contain an email integration module. This module lets users connect the  CRM platform with their email account. This support is usually standard across Gmail, Outlook or other  SMTP clients. Because of this integration, it becomes easier to send emails directly from the CRM system.  You can follow up on a specific lead or schedule meetings from directly within the system. Additionally, you  can even set up automatic emails to be sent according to various criteria.  

CorporateStack allows you to integrate any email client you prefer into the system. Any email that uses  SMTP settings is easily set-up. 

These are some of the features that you should look for in an email integration module:  

Email inbox: Convenient management tools that handle your inbox. It syncs automatically. Includes email tracking and email templates that can be used on the fly.  

Customizable templates: Easily create outreach and follow-up templates that can be inserted and  

customized straight from your CRM. 

Schedule activities: Schedule activities without leaving your inbox. Move the sales pipeline along directly. 

 Advanced tracking: Track lead activities such as clicking on email links and use those to target leads  more effectively.  

Activity Management 

CorporateStack Activity Log

Sales activities are the actions that make or break a deal. Actions are things that  need to be completed by your employees. For example, when they talk to a lead, or email them.  Sales activities are things you can control. The more effort you put in, the better the outcome. It is  a linear scale. 

These are some of the features that you should look out for in an activity management module: 

Activity scheduling: Relate activities to a contact/company and schedule them to happen on a specific day  Assign activities: Assign activities to different employees based on your requirements. Track the different  activities completed by different sales teams. 

Customize activity types: Have the ability to customize the different activities based on the organizational  requirements. Provide distinct recommended activity stages in the prebuilt version.  

Reminders: Provide clear views of activities due in the next week/month. Should send reminders and  alerts based on missed activities. Should be able to assign priorities to different activities.

Contact Management  

Contacts are a crucial part of any company. CRM systems should allow appropriate management of  contacts. You should be able to save various details about any customers. Details such as the company,  department, title, contact information are essential. Additionally, it should allow you to save directly email a  contact if required. 

Advanced CRM systems may also have the feature to directly create contacts from various sources. Leads can  directly be converted into contacts. It should also allow you to import contacts from Excel sheets. Contacts  may also be directly sourced from LinkedIn profiles. Moreover, you should be able to schedule sales  activities, assign contacts to reps and send emails directly from the contact screen. Make sure you choose a  CRM that provides you with as much contact insight as possible. 

Sales Reporting  

Sales Reporting is one of the most crucial features of any CRM software. Tracking the different aspects of a  sales journey leads to several benefits. You can critically analyze the different areas from which the company  is getting the biggest benefit. You can answer questions such as why are certain sales teams outperforming  other teams. Or, whether you will achieve the sales target set in the beginning of the year. 

Typically, a live sales dashboard should be implemented in the CRM system. This system should update  automatically based on the sales inputted into the system. Especially, quotations and deals that are won should reflect on this dashboard. 

These are the key features to look for in any sales reporting module:  

Visual Sales Representation: Sales should be represented as part of a dashboard. Should be able to filter  the sales by specific teams. Should be able to compare actual sales versus targets easily.  

Customizable Reports: You should be able to generate specific reports based on your requirements. This  means that you should be able to filter various deals out or compare different sales teams.

Categorize Reports: Ability to categorize sales into different products should be available. This will help  you analyze the products that are popular and in-demand.


Evaluating CRM Systems for your Business  

Investing in a CRM system can be a huge decision for any company. This is why CorporateStack recommends  doing your research before investing in any system. Here, we offer a simple process by which you can pre evaluate the different aspects of a CRM system. However, these should be evaluated based on your needs.  For example, if you feel that an activity management module isn’t important for you, then you should  choose appropriately. 

Once the various CRM platforms have been pre-evaluated, it is better to delve deep into each CRM system  and understand it completely. Additionally, you also need to map the various requirements your company  has to the CRM capabilities. This is done to search for the best possible fit. 

8 CRM aspects that you should consider:

Business Function: Several CRM systems are designed to support specific industries, such as construction. Also, evaluate the different CRMs based on your company size, structure and principles. For example, do you value agile and cloud-based CRM systems or is it less of a priority? 

Costs: Investing in the CRM can be relatively costly for some companies. Understand the different pricing  tiers of various CRM platforms that you are interested in. Certain CRM platforms offer a single price for  the entire system, while others charge per user. 

Data Quality: How is the customer data handled by the CRM? Does the CRM help with opportunity  prioritization? Does the CRM use advanced techniques to enrich and analyze the data directly?  

Brand: How popular is the CRM system? Do they have a good reputation with their existing clients? Do  they have a large client-base? Are online reviews of the CRM system favorable?  

Customization: Do you require flexibility in your CRM? This depends on the various organizational  processes. 

Migration: How difficult is it to migrate from the existing platform (or no platform at all), to the new  system? Does the CRM system provide various export tools to make migration easier?  

Scale: Does the CRM system provide scalability as your company grows? Is it able to handle a large  number of users with big amounts of data? 

Integration: For most companies, the CRM system isn’t the only system used. It needs to be able to  integrate with, and communicate with the other systems in the company. This may be of importance in  the future as well when buying new systems.  

The following steps will allow you to choose a CRM perfectly: 

Step 1: Create a requirements document  

Before deciding on a CRM platform, it is always a good idea to look within the company first. You need to  reverse engineer the system, and find out what the various requirements are for your company. Again, you  need to first decide the goals you wish to achieve, and how the CRM system will empower your teams.  Then, you can work the other way to choose a CRM system to fit those goals. 

We recommend starting the documentation process that summarizes the goals you set.  This should capture the essence of the entire requirement selection document. 

Once this is completed, create a detailed listing, with various bullets explaining the different requirements  and features desired. In the previous section, we mentioned various important features that should be  present in each CRM System. Using that list as a starting point, you can create a detailed requirement  document.  

According to our recommendation, these are the features you should be considering: 

Email integration 

Reporting and customizable dashboards 

Email templates and personalization 

Pipeline management 

Ease of data migration from existing sources (another CRM or Excel Sheet)  

Integrates with marketing automation platform 

Syncs with customer success platform 

Integrates with existing systems within the company  

Step 2: Cloud vs. on-Site  

CRM systems can be deployed in two different ways. Either on-premise or on the cloud. CorporateStack  recommends using the Cloud Storage option for most companies. We believe that the cloud is the future.  Both of these options have their own merits and demerits, which are explained below. 

 – Cloud CRM:  

Less need for IT initiatives and infrastructure  

Fewer server or hardware costs  

Cost is scalable depending on the size of your sales organization  

Updates are taken care of by your provider  

Setup can take a matter of hours, not weeks  

GDPR compliant out of the box  

– On-Premise CRM:  

Manage in-house  

Control over your data  

Higher price-point means dedicated IT support 

Control over customization  

Not dependent on external servers  

Please keep in mind that the option that you choose should be something that is required. Do not  choose a deployment directly. Find out what your organization needs, and choose based on that. 

Step 3: Define Your CRM budget  

Budgeting a CRM system can be a difficult aspect for many companies, especially smaller ones. Choosing a  CRM solution  that provides value is essential. Once your requirements have been mapped, the next step is to  contact various providers and find out the costs associated with the system. Investing in a CRM is definitely  a good choice as its benefits are numerous. 

Rather than simply looking at the cost of the system, also consider the savings that the system allows you to  do. You can calculate an estimated ROI of having a CRM solution for your company. This can be done by  following the simple steps below:  

Calculate the total number of hours spent by each sales team on various activities 

Trace and map out the current sales pipeline in your company  

Track all various associated activities with sales. 

Use these parameters to track the increased productivity. 

Take into account any hidden costs, such as migration and user training. 

Leverage the total cost of the CRM system against the ROI 

For example, you might only be sending 20 outreach emails a day. What would be the impact of increasing that  amount fivefold through certain CRM features? 

As an example, the current sales teams may only be sending out 15 emails per day contacting various  customers. You need to assess the impact of the CRM system when it allows sales teams to send out fivefold  more emails than before. Does it affect your sales? Are you enabling better customer acquisition, retention? 

Step 4: Create a vendor selection process 

Once your needs and budget are both mapped out, you will start to get an idea of the kind of service you  require for your company. Depending on your requirements, you will either need a:  

Self serviced SaaS Platform  

Enterprise Solution  

SMEs usually choose the former option which is in line with what we recommend. There are several  vendors out there with affordable solutions. Often, these solutions are good, implementation is easy and there is  usually a high degree of customizability. On the other hand, enterprise solutions are typically a good fit for  bigger companies. These solutions are extremely expensive and do not typically offer customizability. 

Negotiating with a CRM solution provider can be a value exchange driven conversation. This is why we recommend  that before selecting a vendor, go through the following steps to create a process that allows appropriate  selection:  

Business Goals: Clearly define the goals and revenues you wish to achieve. 

Timelines: Choose and define clear milestones for each stage of the process. Included deadlines for  various stages such as choosing a vendor, migration and training, and integration. 

Request for References: Enquire about speaking to existing customers. This will allow you to know the  problems faced, or satisfaction levels for the system. 

Competitive Insights: Find out who your competitors are using, and how they use them 

Step 5: Evaluating vendors: demos, trials and RFPs 

By now, you should be aware of the CRM landscape. The different vendors available, and the various features  they offer. However, we also recommend reading articles about various CRM software. This can be done by  googling search terms such as “Best CRM software”. Alternatively, you could find an expert in CRM  software that will guide you through the evaluation process as well. This will provide you with a good  amount of insight that cannot be obtained from articles. 

Depending on your requirements and the type of platform you are interested in, the selection process may  differ. 

For a SaaS platform:  

Request a demo: Demo the CRM system by contacting the company. A sales rep will demonstrate the  various features to you. Relate these features to your requirements.  

Digest sales material: Go through all of the material provided to you such as documentation,  specifications, price sheets and case studies. 

Trial period: Many SaaS platforms allow a trial version, so take advantage of this to see how the system  will work. 

Negotiation: Discuss timelines, any final questions and negotiate pricing 

For an Enterprise platform:  

Create a Request for Proposal (RFP): Here, you need to communicate the scale of your requirements to  potential vendors. This allows them to pitch their platforms to you. The various parts of the RFP are:  Objectives: Define your goals. How will your choice of CRM feed into these?  

Requirements: What features are absolutely essential? Which ones are desirable but not essential?  Resource allocation: Create a list of the elements that you require help with, and the ones that can be  done in-house. 

Training: Detail the size of the teams that need training, and the number of hours they should be  trained for.

Step 6: Making a decision 

Following the process detailed above allows you to make an informed decision based on the important  information that you need. Choose a system that you feel comfortable with. Additionally, make sure the  company that you are buying from works well with you. Customer support can be an important factor as  well. Take input from various employees that the system will affect. 

In any case, having this data will let you make an informed decision. Comparing various vendors with each  other, the features and support they offer will help you make an excellent decision. However, if you are still unsure, CorporateStack will help you find the right solution for all of your CRM  needs. 


Automating Sales Processes using CRM  

Most people are afraid of change. If it isn’t clearly explained to them, sales teams may not utilize the CRM  properly, or to its full potential. You need to train and explain sales reps on how to use the CRM efficiently.  This can be done by communicating the various benefits to them such as:  

Increased productivity: Sales reps can target and complete activities faster with a CRM 

More organized: Data and contacts in a single location allows for more organized structure and  collaboration.  

Time Management: Allows reps to focus on activities that make an impact, spend less time doing mundane  tasks. 

Below a few steps are outlined that will target specific activities that can be automated. This will help you  better utilize the CRM system that you purchase:  

Step1: General Sales Administration  

One of the least looked-forward to aspects of a salesperson’s job is General administration. Thankfully, CRM  technologies can streamline and even automate much of it. 

Many salespeople do not like general administration. For many of them, this is the most boring part of their  day. However, it is essential. Having a CRM can streamline and automate many of these processes. Typically, the tasks involved in general administration are: 

Reminders: Scheduling and creating reminders for various tasks that need to be completed throughout  the day. This can be done automatically by a CRM software based on when an activity is finished.

Appointments: Creating appointments for contacting customers. CRM can automatically schedule  appointments with customers based on previous contact with them. 

Data entry: Since the CRM stores all the data, prospects, contacts and sales in one place, this provides a  major relief to sales teams. 

Step 2: Email and communication 

Many of the day-to-day tasks of any employee revolves around emails. In fact, automating emails begins with  identifying the everyday emails that need to be. These may include marketing emails or even follow-up  emails. In any case, spend a bit of time studying the kind of emails taken and how long it takes to write these emails. The most common emails salespeople send on a daily basis include: 

Reminders: Emailing prospects about upcoming meetings and appointments 

Welcome: Encouraging new leads to take the next steps and set appointments 

Follow-up: Reach out to leads when a response has not been generated 

Onboarding: Getting new customers up to speed and thanking them for their business

Marketing: Sending out mass emails to prospects informing them of new products or price reductions. 

A large amount of time spent on emails is due to personalization. This can be due to how difficult it is for  the sales rep to specifically target a customer. Although you cannot automate this completely, team leaders  can create well written templates that can be followed by sales teams when emailing customers. Thus, this  ensures that customers receive warm, friendly emails that are helpful. 

Step 3: Lead Prioritization  

Although you may have hundreds of leads to go through, many of these may not prove to be good  prospects. This may be due to several reasons, ranging from budget issues to investigative customers. The  question then is, how can you correctly identify leads that are actually worth your time? This is where CRM comes in. 

CRM systems keep historical data of customers. It provides this data in a way  which is easy and friendly to analyze. Sales reps can look at this data and ask themselves a few questions  such as “Which of these leads have closed the fastest before” or “What do the leads have in common”. This  allows them to effectively target a selling point of the product. 

Certain CRM systems can even provide recommendations of leads to prioritize. Moreover, these recommendations are usually based on job titles, company sizes and behavior on the product site. This can help you easily  capture customers without having to deal with several people.


Optimizing Sales Processes, Reporting and Analytics 

Any CRM system can benefit your organization, even if you don’t utilize it to its maximum capability.  It is just a given with CRM. This is due to the data it collects. The right data is everything. Firstly, it allows you  to focus on the activities that make the biggest impact. Secondly, it allows you to tailor the way your sales  reps are interacting with your customers. Lastly, it optimizes the entire sales journey for both you and your  customers. 

Identifying appropriate data  

As mentioned above, just by using a CRM you will collect tons of data. However, it can be a challenge to  extract meaningful data from here. This is why it is important for companies to decide on the factors they  wish to consider right at the beginning. You need to define and stick to various KPIs.Most companies  usually already have defined KPIs which makes this easier. However, as time passes, these KPIs may change.  CorporateStack recommends a regular analysis of your KPIs. 

Collecting the right data with CRM becomes that much easier due to automated data collection and  reduction of manual entries. Just this fact cleans up your data significantly. Additionally, CorporateStack  recommends analyzing and cleaning your data on a regular basis. 

Crucial KPIs  

It is essential that companies identify the most important KPI they wish to target. For example, ask yourself the question “Which is the single KPI that leads to the most effective result?” Ideally, this metric should  contribute to the success of the business. 

Depending on your organizational requirements, this KPI could be  something simple such as total revenue. On the other hand, it could even be as complex as average deal  values.Once you have decided on the KPIs required, build your activities and analytical dashboards around it. This  allows sales teams to focus on this metric. 

Evaluating Sales Teams  

The reporting provided by your CRM doesn’t just show you the overall health of your sales pipeline. You’ll  also generate insights on how your entire sales team is performing. 

Several CRM systems do not just provide data on the sales pipeline. Rather, they can generate analytics  based on how well each team is performing, splitting the pipeline between various teams. Additionally, this data allows  you to segment different teams. Finally, this allows you to learn from teams that are performing better and  instructing teams that are performing poorly.

It also allows you to identify the most (and least) valuable  activities. For example, if certain sales teams are performing better, this may be due to a certain activity they  are performing more often. This can be anything ranging from capturing more leads to sending more follow up emails. 


Concluding CRM  

This post provides the entire CRM journey any company goes through. Hopefully, by reading this post,  you have a clear idea of the steps you need to take to implement a CRM system at your organization.  However, we at CorporateStack understand that this is a complex and difficult topic for many to understand. 

CorporateStack provides CRM solution in UAE, Dubai & Middle East and always listens and learns from their customers, providing them with the best functionality at  all times. In any case, if you are unclear about any part of this post or need help in CRM selection for your company, please contact us at info@corporatestack.com.  We’d love to help you out.