Companies today manage three times more customer data than they did five years ago, according to the 2020 Customer Experience Trends Report. In many ways, this greater access to data is a blessing. With more information on leads and customers, sales reps are better able to provide personalized service.
But too much data can be overwhelming. You have to be able to consolidate that data in a way that tells a bigger picture. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make heads or tails of the information you do have. The challenge is setting up systems to collect and manage all of the information so you know how to utilize it to improve your sales experience. CRM (customer relationship management) software is perfect for synthesizing this data. With automation and organization features, CRMs empower sales teams to work more efficiently and serve their customers more thoughtfully.
4 key benefits of CRM software
CRM benefits can have a positive impact on many aspects of your company’s operations. Automation of admin tasks enables sales reps to spend more time with customers. Automatic activity tracking makes it easier for managers to oversee and lead their reps to success. CRMs can even improve cross-team collaboration between sales reps and support agents.
1. Save time with automation
According to data from RingCentral, sales reps can spend an hour a day just navigating between sales tools and managing administrative tasks. That’s time they could be selling. A CRM minimizes this work by automating administrative tasks on a single platform.
Consider sales activity tracking, a task that’s particularly time-consuming to do manually. A CRM automatically records and stores reps’ phone calls, emails, and texts with leads. For example, to make this data easily accessible, Zendesk created a tool that stores this information in one single place—customer essentials cards. By automatically recording interactions with leads, a CRM minimizes admin work for reps—giving them more time to focus on nurturing potential customers and closing deals.
2. Gain full visibility of sales team performance
For sales leaders to properly manage their team, they need to have full visibility of their reps’ day-to-day workflow. They need to know what reps are doing and whether or not their team is on track to meet their forecasted goals.
CRMs provide automatic reports for managers to monitor their team’s activities and pull insights on their overall performance. In a real-time feed, managers can view reps’ activities—including calls made, emails sent, appointments scheduled, and tasks completed. To organize this information, managers can segment the data by individual reps or choose to view stats for the team as a whole.
And if reps use the mobile app for their CRM, their managers can track them by location to see which customers they’ve met with and whether those deals were won or lost. This allows managers to oversee and allocate territories more effectively based on reps’ performance. With a CRM, managers no longer have to chase down reps or wait on manual activity reports to be submitted. All the information you need to track and manage your team’s performance is automatically available at your fingertips.
3. Send personalized outreach with ease
Every sales rep knows that the more personalized their outreach is, the more likely they are to receive a response. But manually curating their communication can be a long, daunting process. Finding the information you need to send an individualized follow up can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
A key CRM benefit is that reps don’t have to spend hours curating emails. They can organize contacts into smart lists to send curated messages en masse. CRMs will often use auto-fill merge tags to personalize emails with a contact’s name or a company’s name.
For example, you could create a smart list of all your leads who run small B2B tech companies. When you're ready to share info about your latest B2B tech product, you can share the same announcement with everyone on the list. Organize contacts through a CRM and you’ll be set to send hyper-personalized communication in no time at all.
4. Collaborate across the entire company
Sales and support are the two departments that interact most with customers. It only makes sense to keep sales and support connected so they can share customer insights and learn how to improve service across the board. CRMs make this cross-team collaboration seamless and effortless. For example, support agents can use a CRM to see the purchase and conversation history of customers from when they interacted with sales. With this information, support agents don’t have to contact sales to ask questions, so they can resolve tickets promptly.
Likewise, sales teams can benefit from sharing a CRM with support agents by uncovering upsells. When a support agent identifies a customer who wants to upgrade, they can use their CRM integration to pass that opportunity to a sales rep. Our page here is a great resource for learning how to do this with Zendesk Sell + Support. Seventy percent of customers expect sales and support teams to collaborate on their behalf. A CRM makes this cross-department collaboration possible, so sales and support are able to better serve leads and customers.
Take your customers’ experience to the next level with these CRM benefits
As a centralized system for your customer data, a CRM makes it easier for reps to nurture leads and close deals. The tool automates tasks, so reps have more time to connect with leads and customers. Beyond automation, CRMs provide reps with rich customer insights through reporting, cross-department collaboration, and more. All of these powerful features work together to empower you to create a stronger sales experience for leads.