Every sales rep operates differently. Some use a to-do list that’s written with a paper and pen, some use their Outlook to put in tasks and reminders, other people use their calendar on their phone and some even use spreadsheets to track their prospects. While everyone works differently and some of these options may work well for your reps now, it’s probably time to consider a more central way to manage sales activities, opportunities and leads. Whether your sales team is getting your leads via networking and cold calls or you’re spending money on advertising and marketing to bring leads in – all of your leads have an acquisition cost to your organization. Whether that is the cost of an individual’s salary that’s spending time to get the lead via outbound efforts or the costs of marketing efforts of an inbound firm, every lead has a cost. In order to make the most of your leads, it’s important that you have a CRM system to keep track of every lead in your funnel. There are many benefits of CRM tool for sales, avoiding those dreaded sales update interrogations is a big one. Here are three questions from your executives that you can easily answer (or avoid completely) by implementing CRM software:
1. Did you close XYZ Company yet?
- Everyone knows that the sales process isn’t short (except for your executive team). It takes time to close prospects. The education curve, countless phone conferences, meetings and sometimes even a few different proposals have to happen to before you can have that final conversation. In the meantime, those with a CRM can track sales activities, meetings, phone calls, and fill in statuses, all for the executive team to easily pull from a streamlined report in your CRM system.
2. So, how many prospects have you brought in this month?
- It’s an innocent enough question. For an old school executive. If your sales team is still responsible for bringing in leads (haven’t you considered going inbound??) then you probably hear this fairly frequently. From networking events to straight up door knocking – your sales team can track all activities and new contacts in their CRM software and avoid the weekly “what are you doing for the company” grill from your executive team. With a little education, perhaps you can turn them inbound, but in the meantime, tracking all your efforts in your CRM software will hold your sales team accountable and keep executives at bay.
3. What’s your conversion rate?
- Goooood question. It’s rare that any sales manager or company knows the rate at which they convert leads to customers – but this metric is one of the most important for your organization. It tells your executive team what their cost per lead is and gives you even more ammo for marketing the inbound argument. CRM tools like Salesforce give you the opportunity to measure your lead to customer conversion rate and give your sales team bragging rights, or the opportunity to suggest room for improvement.
Let’s face it. Sales is rough. You’ve been there. Even though the dynamic is changing as marketing becomes more and more accountable for bringing in leads, the executive team relies on your team to bring in revenue. The more accountability your team has, the less likely you are to be hounded by your executive team with dozens of questions about your sales process and conversion rate. Take some time to explore the benefits of a CRM for your organization and you’ll worry less about questions from your executive team and focus more on your sales team’s success.