What is CRM and why do I need it?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool used in business to increase sales. Often using special Sales CRM Software, the sales team can manage every contact with prospects or customers. The sales CRM process is automated as far as possible to improve the customer experience. The system also aims to increase the percentage of prospects that become long-term customers.

Touchpoints and the sales funnel

In CRM, a ‘touchpoint’ is any transaction between a third party and the company. It does not have to be the sales department. All contacts are relevant in giving the prospect or customer the optimal experience.

The sales funnel is a concept that shows how a prospective customer or client becomes aware of the company’s services. They are ‘contacts’ at this stage. The contacts are then funneled down through various stages. ‘Qualification’ is where the sales team determines whether they can supply what the ‘prospect’ wants and if they are a good customer to get on board. ‘Presentation’ is the ‘pitch’ – it may be face-to-face or an email quote with a follow-up phone-call. ‘Evaluation’ involves another touchpoint as any questions are answered and concerns dealt with. ‘Closing’ is the final deal when a prospect becomes a customer. 

There are lots of different sales funnels out there. It is important that a company defines its own stages depending on how it operates and the products and services that it offers. Many funnels include at least one extra step after ‘Closing’ – this is some form of loyalty creation. A long-term repeat customer is worth a lot more than a one-off sale.

CRM and the sales process

Having the touchpoints defined at each stage of the sales funnel means that the selling process can be automated. You still need human contact but your sales CRM software can log all contacts (even using Cookies to bring in internet search data). Contacts can be allocated to telesales staff to make an initial call. Regular emails can be scheduled to prospects that may have signed up for this service. The beauty of sales CRM is that the system keeps track of things for you. Contacts, prospects and customers don’t get lost or forgotten. A good sales CRM software system will even be able to highlight the best frequency of communication. It will also set up any key dates for follow-ups or reminders.

Teamwork and CRM

Another great thing about sales CRM is that it fosters teamwork. Everyone in the sales team can see every contact, prospect and customer. If someone is off, or out on a visit, anybody else can pick up a call and know everything about the caller. They will have contact details, the stage that they are at in the sales funnel, any issues that need to be sorted. Instead of a busy prospect getting the message that someone will get back to them soon, another member of the team can help them. They might even be able to move them on to the next stage of the funnel.

Conclusion – Why do you need sales CRM?

Increased sales is the key for any commercial company. Turning contacts into long-term customers is fundamental to business success. Sales CRM software automates the process to ensure that your expensive salesforce optimizes its efforts.

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