There are many ways of using the CRM system in your company. It allows you to strengthen client relations, create reports in a convenient and fast way, optimize internal communication, and so on.
All these aspects are important. They save you time, let you avoid mistakes, and frequently also protect you against stress.
However, the nature of these actions is supportive. Above all, we care about sales results. They can also be optimised with the help of the CRM system and we will focus on this aspect in this article.
Control sales results
Sales is a process consisting of several stages. The first is the search for clients. Once we have found potential buyers, we need to analyze their needs and decide whether it is the right time to continue talks. In a positive scenario, we should deepen our knowledge of the client’s needs and suggest how we can help him achieve his goals. The steps that bring us closer to finalizing a transaction are the presentation of a dedicated offer and negotiations. Together, these activities are often referred to as the sales cycle.
One of the ways to improve sales results is shortening this cycle. The aim of shortening the sales process is to increase its effectiveness, improve the quality of contact with the client and ultimately to increase the conversion of leads. The shorter the process, the more times it can be repeated over a period of time and the more sales transactions can be finalized.
For example, the marketing tools available on the Salesforce platform: Marketing Cloud and Pardot will help us during the search and engagement phase. Pardot is an ideal solution for clients who want to optimize their B2B marketing activities, such as building landing pages and forms, e-mail marketing or automating other marketing activities. Salesforce Marketing Cloud works well in both B2C and B2B, offering similar solutions to Pardot but targeted at mass clients.
Artificial intelligence implemented in Salesforce tools will streamline the process of analyzing the collected information about clients and help respond more effectively to their needs.
Thanks to Salesforce Einstein Analytics and the data stored in your CRM you will find out:
- what has happened in client relations,
- why it happened,
- what may have worked differently,
- how to use all this in the sales process.
The Salesforce Engage tool will prove to be irreplaceable during the analysis of the results of conducted sales campaigns. It will help us to observe the results of our activities on an ongoing basis, discover trends and close transactions faster.
Manage the sales team
With CRM, you can control the actions of individual retailers and entire teams. The analysis of this data will reveal errors or any kind of imperfections delaying the sales process. As a result, it is possible to prepare a better plan of the team’s activities.
If, for example, you have a problem with searching for clients (so-called prospecting), you can use CRM to expand the database by external suppliers or use one of the many tools streamlining marketing and advertising.
Data collected in Salesforce can be used, for example, to create advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google thanks to Advertising Studio. This will shorten the time of finding a client and speed up the entire sales cycle.
An example of a successful application of the Marketing Cloud platform, which includes the above-mentioned Advertising Studio, is the Amplify Credit Union financial institution. It’s been calculated that, without the support, Salesforce would have had to double its advertising expenditure. Thanks to the use of appropriately selected tools, the cost per lead has dropped by 50%.
Systematize your sales process
Looking at sales as a process, we can see both its stages as well as its repeatability.
It is not only the individual stages and their sequence that are repeated but also the activities carried out by the sellers as part of the specific stages. And with this repeatability, it’s easier to predict results and arrange actions. Sales Path in the Salsforce Sales Cloud is a great tool to support the work of retailers as it suggests actions to be taken at different stages of the business opportunity. Each stage, apart from prompts, may contain key fields, which should be filled in by the seller. This supports the integration of new people with the team and helps the best salespeople to share their knowledge.
Correlation of the work of individual salespeople, efficient communication and cooperation of the sales and marketing department will streamline the operations of your company, taking full advantage of the team’s potential. CRM systems try to support this cooperation, but it is Salesforce that closely integrates marketing tools with Sales Cloud, i.e. a product dedicated to sales. It is worth noting that these Salesforce products share the same client information and that your employees, regardless of their department, know the same about them. With a 360-degree view, marketers can provide your business with potential client data and complete the sales data with information on what clients have been converted and in which process. As a result, Salesforce provides information that allows you to better tailor the subsequent marketing activities to clients’ expectations.
Although the sales process itself is repeatable, in practice it often differs from client to client. Different clients have not only different needs but also different preferences or styles of trading. With CRM, you can create paths for each client tailored to their individual approach.
The Journey Builder in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is ideal for this. It identifies the moments that define customer experience, their behaviour and helps to cater to their preferences at each stage of the sales process. Even when these preferences change dynamically.
Prepare an ideally tailored offer
An individual approach to the client makes him feel his worth, bringing him has positive associations with our company, which significantly increases the chance that he’ll return to do business with us.
However, that’s not all: it allows us to get to know the client. Collecting information about clients in the CRM system enables to identify (or even predict) their needs and behaviours.
The benefits of such data are easily foreseeable. First of all, you can customize your offer to a specific client. Combine products, offer promotions, establish long-term cooperation.
Secondly, your salespeople can use the client’s preferred communication channels – some clients like it when they are called on the phone, others definitely prefer e-mail communication. Regardless of the communication channel, all activities should be transferred to CRM in order to build a full client history. Einstein Activity Capture can help you do this by connecting emails and events to the contacts in Salesforce.
Thirdly, you can finally anticipate and meet the needs of your customers. If someone orders grass for his garden early in the spring, it’s likely that he’ll soon be looking for a lawnmower and a year later for fertiliser.
Such dependencies are predictable in many industries and CRM systems help both to notice and take advantage of them.
Client needs were perfectly met by Adidas, which, with the support of Salesforce, sensed the trend of co-creation of the company’s offer by the clients and suggested individualizing the products and addressing them to a single client’s needs. This approach translated into a 59% global increase in e-commerce sales, worth about EUR 1 billion.
Even though people are great and have skills like abstract and creative thinking, they are not the best at everything. Even the fastest human could not win a race with a cheetah. So why should we rely on ourselves for analyzing processes and collecting data?
The CRM system is much better at it. Due to the repeatability of sales processes, analyses and forecasts, CRM systems allow you to optimize the cycle and increase the effectiveness of conducted activities, leading to the improvement of sales results.