7 Ways to Get More Out of Your CRM

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Written by Abigael Donahue

A CRM system is more than data storage. While 94% of sales leaders use their CRM for contact management, there are numerous other benefits to CRM. Are you taking advantage of every function your CRM is capable of?

With the seven ideas below, learn how you can maximize the use of your CRM as a time-saving, team-building, motivational system.

1) Jumpstart your day with a virtual to-do list.

A CRM allows you to manage your time and streamline your day. Sales reps are busy people: Prospects to call, meetings to book, and deals to close. It’s impossible — or, at the least, inconvenient — to keep track of everything you need to do using a list or glancing at your calendar throughout the day.

Instead, set up your tasks in your CRM (here’s how to do it in the free HubSpot CRM). Gather up a list of tasks that you need to crank through, label them accordingly, and then jump from one to the next without wasting time or energy on to-do lists or guesswork.

2) Stay organized with virtual notes.

Ever use sticky notes or scrap paper to jot down ideas and reminders? Ditch them in favor of your CRM.

A CRM system is not just a place for customer information. Instead, you can use your CRM to assign tasks to yourself and store notes on contact, company, and deal records. This way, all of your to-dos and thoughts will live in one place.

Time is of the essence in the sales world. Nobody has time to dig around through piles of scrap paper before running to a meeting or to find the right sticky note when on a call with a buyer. Put everything in one place to help yourself develop an organization system and natural cadence to your day.

3) Find money you’re leaving on the table.

You certainly can (and should) use a CRM system that automatically populates lead, social, and web data to gain insight into the leads you’re currently working. However, take your communication efforts a step further by also using the system to identify prospects who might need more nurturing.

Using search queries or filters within your CRM, sort prospects and customers based on the last time they were contacted. This will give you an idea of who hasn’t heard from you in a while.

Then, do some research to determine who would welcome a friendly follow-up. Perhaps a prospect’s recent social media post on a trigger event catches your eye, or maybe a customer from a few years back is now restructuring their team and could use your services again. Use this knowledge to send a quick email and perhaps set up a time to reconnect.

Running a query like this consistently will make sure you are on top of your contact database, re-engaging with contacts regularly. A potential client that you’ve overlooked the past few months could be hiding in plain sight.

4) Learn from losses and spot trends.

Losing deals can be discouraging. However, you can use your CRM to learn from those losses and find ways to win in the future.

When moving a deal into the closed/loss stage, record the reason for the loss. Then, review all the touchpoints associated with the deal in your CRM. What did your communication with the stakeholders look like? In what ways did you fall short, and how could you have done better?

Ensuring that you record and analyze the reasons behind losses will not only help you hone your selling skills but will also give you the opportunity to coordinate with other departments to prevent similar losses in the future. For example, maybe you’re losing a large number of deals to a certain competitor. Sales enablement content from Marketing on this player can arm you with the right responses to position your offering more effectively against theirs.

Additionally, pay close attention to the engagement and connect data in your CRM. Are a large percentage of your contacts failing to engage with your emails? That could be a sign that you’re not targeting the right people, or not in the right way. Also, take the time to listen to recorded calls in your CRM and reflect on the prospects’ interest levels during that initial connection. Were they truly eager to learn more … or were they dying to get off the phone? Use this information to tweak your approach.

5) Motivate with metrics.

A CRM system also plays a role in team motivation. Whether you are a sales rep yourself or managing a sales team, seeing evidence of hard work goes a long way to boost morale.

Take advantage of reporting capabilities your CRM offers in the way of measuring productivity. Keeping track of the number of calls, meetings booked, and other productivity metrics will help you or your team stay on track of the day-to-day tasks as well as reach measurable activity goals.

Pair those reports with key revenue metrics, such as open and closed deal information per rep, to spot any correlation between activity and results. When reps can see all the calls and meetings they’re booking and then glance at their closed and open deals, they get a boost of confidence and clearly see how their productivity is leading to revenue.

6) Strengthen team communication.

Rather than sending emails filled with the client, deal, or other sales-related information back and forth to teammates, have your CRM do the talking for you. Your teammates most likely have an overflowing inbox; they don’t have time to read a block of text in an email detailing recent engagements with prospects — even if it’s essential information.

Instead, send your coworkers or direct reports links to different areas of your CRM such as contact, company, and deal records. That way, they can quickly jump to the record that needs their attention and efficiently skim the stored notes and recent engagements. (Pro tip: if you’re using the HubSpot CRM, use a @mention to leave a note for a colleague on a CRM record; an email will be sent right to their inbox.)

7) Increase transparency with reports.

You spend time and energy putting meaningful information in your CRM, and it’s not always easy. Of the 6,000 respondents in HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound, 23% cited entering data as their biggest challenge when operating their CRM. Instead of searching for that information (or never looking at it), take full advantage of your CRM’s reporting features to translate your data into meaningful visuals the entire team can reference.

Create reports regarding closed deals, rep activity, funnel stage, and any other metric you would like to draw attention to. With easy-to-access reports, all team members are on the same page as far as where performance is excelling versus what areas need improvement.

Some custom reports you can create using data from your HubSpot CRM and HubSpot’s Reporting Add-on:

  • Companies closed per month: Track the number of companies that became customers in a given month or over time.

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  • Productivity: Gather all your CRM engagements into one place where you can filter by rep and by date to get an idea of how much activity the team is performing, as well as how often they’re using the system.

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  • Deal funnel reports: A deal funnel report can give you an idea of how deals are moving through the stages of your pipeline — and can help you identify sticking points.

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Whether you are looking for your first CRM or are already using one for your day-to-day sales activities, with the seven tips above, you can transform your CRM from a simple database to a system where you can strengthen your sales team, grow your revenue, and build stronger client relations.

In what ways do you get the most out of your CRM system? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Go to our website:   www.ncmalliance.com

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