No-one wanted the downturn but it’s here.

With a downturn comes a need to make your sales team more efficient. If you are not using a Customer Relationship Management system, perhaps the change in economic climate is the excuse you need to start.

What is a CRM?

It’s a record keeping system for every customer and potential customer. There are three things it does in particular that make it a valuable tool for any business that has a long sales cycle, meaning not walk in retail. Examples include Salesforce and Hubspot.

  1. You can profile your customers

CRMs you edit and create fields so that whatever key data points are important to your sales cycle can be tracked. For example, in some businesses you may want to track who the ages of the customer’s children. Why? You can tell when they’ll be under pressure to make certain purchases.

These profiles are very valuable. If a sales agent is off sick, other team members can step in, see the customer history and continue to service the client.

  1. Building a sales pipeline

The R in CRM stands to relationship. Where are you in your relationship with them? Are they just sniffing around or are they really serious about buying?

CRMS let you put customers onto pipelines. Pipelines let you track if they’re moving forward with a purchase or not. If not, then your sales agents can be reassigned to other customers.

  1. Track effectiveness

How much bang do you really get for your marketing buck? With CRMs you can tie activities such as e-mail blasts to a customer record. If they’re clicking or responding to e-mails you can associate that with their customer profile.

If you’re still doing sales reports on separate Excel spreadsheets or call reports on bits of paper – stop! Get a CRM going! Even if you’re start up, doing things in individual silos is the hard way. The CRM will take you time, money and effort.  There’s no reason not to use one.