A sales team’s customer relationship manager is its lifeline. It lets them know where they are, what they need to do, and how to improve. But it’s not just for them. The CRM is for sales managers, too.
Being a sales leader isn’t easy. There are numerous things they have to think about and keep up with when leading their sales team and business.
And we haven’t even scratched the surface in previous posts.
But one thing that will help you a lot is, you guessed it, a well-built CRM.
So why aren’t all sales managers using one?
There are plenty of reasons why people don’t want to use a CRM for their business. It might be the cost, time spent getting it right, or just lack of information about what they do.
I’ve heard it all. But here are the most common reasons I hear the most and how I typically respond to them.
We don’t want another business expense.
An added expense in any business can be frustrating or worrisome, especially if you don’t know how it will benefit you.
Luckily, most CRM solutions are incredibly affordable, if not free. Especially for small businesses. Some, such as HubSpot, have versions or startup plans that are free forever.
Many others, Freshsales and ZohoCRM have plans that are less than $20 a month per user.
And almost all of them offer a free trial. That gives you time to get it set up and see if it works for your team.
Of course, as your team or business grows, the free option might not work. You’ll probably need more features or personalization than these cheaper options provide. But hopefully, that growth leads to a larger budget.
We don’t want to spend time on it.
This one is incredibly understandable.
Any new system takes time. You have to:
- to set up,
- train everybody to use it,
- and build habits where everybody utilizes it as often and efficiently as they should.
But how much time do you spend with each salesperson going over their numbers? How much time do you spend in meetings to discuss and reinforce sales processes and best practices?
With one system that everybody accesses and uses, a lot of that extra time will no longer be necessary.
You’ll be able to look in one place to see everybody’s activities, closed deals, and prospective leads. No more pulling up individual files, holding meetings to discuss performance (or lack thereof), or trusting that you hear everything you need to know.
And bonus, it saves time for everybody! Your team can spend that saved time interacting with clients and leads. And you can manage more efficiently when you’re not wrapped up in meetings all day.
Setting up a CRM software solution doesn’t take as much time as you’d think. It can go even quicker if you work with a sales consultant to map out what your sales process should include, find the right CRM solution, and figure out the best way to integrate your CRM for your business.
We’re doing fine without one.
The first question that comes to mind whenever this objection comes up is, “What does “fine” mean?”
While your sales might be steady and your clients are happy, does that mean you couldn’t be doing better?
A CRM ensures that your entire sales team does everything they should be doing to gain qualified clients and manage their sales pipeline. It keeps everybody accountable for their work.
With more consistency in the process, you’ll inevitably see more consistent sales numbers.
If a salesperson or the whole team is struggling, your CRM will let you know where the gaps are in the sales cycle. You’ll be able to figure out what’s going wrong and come up with a plan to fix it.
Without tracking everybody’s interactions, it could take months (or longer) to realize where those gaps are.
In addition to better sales numbers, you’ll also improve customer retention.
The sales process doesn’t end with fulfillment. You should have plans in place for touching in with clients, looking for upsell opportunities, responding to inquiries or issues as they arise, and maintaining the customer relationship.
Those plans also go into your CRM, where they’ll be easier to keep up with and track as they happen.
Your customers will appreciate your consistent and quick response, and it helps to maintain the trust you built early in the sales process.
And happier customers will spend more time and money with you and tell other people how great your business is.
The Importance of a CRM for Sales Managers
Having a great CRM platform makes you a better sales leader.
You’ll have more control and visibility over what is happening with your sales team. With all of the necessary data streamlined in one system, your productivity will go up. You can focus more on the big picture.
Even when things aren’t going well, your sales CRM will do a better job of showing where the problem is than any team meeting will ever achieve. When correction or improvement is necessary, you’ll be able to point to specific data to back up your case.
CRM software also allows you to automate certain tasks, such as lead assignments or follow-up emails. Again, this feature increases productivity for you and your team while making sure that leads and clients have quick response times and a better customer experience.
A CRM Benefits the Whole Business
While sales managers may get the most direct benefit from CRM software, it’s enormously valuable for everybody in the company.
A sales CRM improves communication and collaboration, especially between managers to teams and departments, such as sales and marketing.
For example, your marketing department can look at where leads come in and put more focus on that avenue, or find gaps where something has had very little traction. Then, they can work with the sales team to include more attractive verbiage in their sales conversations and avoid the things that aren’t working.
It also gives your sales team more flexibility and control over their sales process.
With all of that data on hand, they can identify where they might need improvement due to an increased loss of leads. They’ll also be able to better manage their pipeline and easily find opportunities for upsells or cross-sells.
Most importantly, you’ll know what you need to do to grow and scale the business. Quota alone doesn’t tell you whether or not you need more sales reps to handle a booming sales pipeline or more account managers to take care of an overflow of new clients.
Your CRM platform will show that, though.
It will make you, your sales team, and your business run smoother and more successfully.
Finding the Right CRM
A flexible, easy-to-use, and widely utilized CRM sales solution is a vital tool for any sales department to have.
Do some research, try a free trial (or ten!), and find what works for you. A customer relationship management system will allow you and your salespeople to:
- have better lead management,
- improve customer relationships,
- and grow your business with data-driven decisions.
If you know one could help you, but you don’t know where to start, let’s talk.
If you’ve had a terrible experience or think they’re pointless and just another expense or timewaster, I’d love to have that conversation with you.
As both a salesperson and a consultant, I’ve seen the good and the bad with CRMs. When you don’t know how to make it work for you, it won’t.
But when you find the best CRM for sales managers and salespeople and utilize it to its full potential, the benefits will be evident very quickly.