Before evaluating the right CRM solution for sales force automation, it is important that you realise that only a productive sales force can improve your company’s profitability. The right CRM solutions can ensure an increase in the velocity of a company’s sales cycle and at the same time it can also help ensure that all sales bottle necks are eliminated. At the same time, the right solution can also help improve the efficiency of your sales team.
Today, every sales force team has to face new challenges including higher degree of competition and more dynamic deals as well as customers with high number of demands. Sales force automation plays a pivotal role in achieving success and the right CRM solution can do much to:
- Streamline sales cycles.
- Drive much higher close rates.
- Improve customer service.
1.Managing Sales Territory
Tracking sales territory and lead routing are the bulwarks on which to build efficiency into a sales organization. Instead of using the conventional spread sheet and obsolete software it makes more sense to use a good CRM lead management to allow you to better manage leads as well as prospects from the time of initial capture till the sale is closed. CRM solutions can do this with higher efficiency and greater integrity.
- Automation of lead processing and better management of sales territory eliminates drilling for individual records and helps to save time and money as well as energy.
- Leads can be assigned on the basis of proper business rules which you have already set. This will eliminate conflict over ownership of sales territory and leads.
- Instantaneous email notifications can help the sales rep to follow up with their customers quickly and in doing so will improve service quality and ensure higher number of closed deals.
2. Managing opportunity and tracking competitors
For a company to achieve success it must manage and also take advantage of every sales opportunity that comes its way. CRM solutions can provide the company with a number of benefits including:
- Taking advantage of greater number of sales opportunities and maximizing Return on Investment by showing your company every opportunity and not having to rely solely on aggregate lists.
- Tracking competitors helps you learn which deals have been lost and which were won. This kind of intelligence will help in educating the sales force.
- Sales reps can find out about discounts and pricing rules that are specific to customers.
- Better response to a sales enquiry and better chance of driving return sales and making customers stay loyal to you.
- Keep track of progress of each customer transaction from time of first contact to the time the sales is closed.
A good CRM solution can also give your sales team more teeth by providing them with tools to help make more accurate forecasts. This allows the sales force to make:
- Calculation based forecasts based on an opportunity or quote or on existing orders.
- Override forecasting is possible where the sales force can make their own predictions.
- Booking as well as recurring revenue forecasting.
Forecasting allows the sales force to make their sales much more predictable. All that is required is to fine tune the forecasting methods to ensure that these are more accurate and relevant.
4. Managing Orders
Managing orders with the help of a CRM solution can help in streamlining the entire fulfillment procedure and it will also cut down on paperwork which in turn will give the sales force more time in which to concentrate on selling. At the same time, it also helps the customer receive their order in a timely manner which then boosts customer satisfaction and makes them more loyal to you over the long term.
A good CRM solution must be built around the customer and the orders and must take into account:
- Customer intelligence
A good CRM solution will also allow the sales force to work their deals via a pipeline right up to the time that the sale is affected. This means that you can also get to view booked orders in the forecast and this will improve reliability and predictability as well as accuracy. The sales force will also be in a better position to turn an estimate into an order and all this can be done with a single click of the mouse button without involving any great amount of paperwork.
A good order management system will give your organization a means to access similar and latest order information. A representative from the support department will get to see the status of an order and the sales reps will know when it is time to give a follow-up call. Customers on the other hand will get to check the status of their order in a real time environment via your website or through your Customer Centre.
5. Upselling and cross selling
The tougher the competition is the more likely it is that this competition can erode your customer’s loyalty and your company’s bottom line. This is why you need to choose a CRM solution that can show you the history of your past customer orders which can then be mined to help you improve your prospects.
Sales force automation systems helps managers to analyse past sales information they can understand the customer’s demographics and order history as well as other major metrics. This can help in creating campaigns that are customer specific and highly targeted and this in turn can lead to improved revenue.
Reference: High Impact CRM – Roop Khanna