How to Build a Data-Driven Organization with CRM
When vendors describe CRM solutions as “centralized but comprehensive”, or when they begin their long lists of benefits with “versatile” and “all-in-one”, it is not purely a marketing trick. Customer relationship management tools truly offer a myriad of amazing functionalities for just about any use.
Though real-time sales improvement is their main purpose, modern-day CRMs pack robust analytical capabilities as well. When used correctly, they provide valuable insights into customer journeys, thus helping customer success specialists develop holistic strategies based on real life and actionable data.
Here’s how to use CRM to create and implement a data-driven sales strategy.
Being on a First-Name Basis with Customers
CRM tools function as centralized repositories of customer data; their ability to collect, store and analyse needs, pain points, decisions and behaviours of ideal buyer personas or entire audience segments may be their general selling point, but it’s still just as relevant and necessary as ever before.
Audience targeting remains the basis of every successful business – without this practice, our sales strategies would hardly be effective. But getting to know your customers inside out is what allows personalization too, and being on a first-name basis with the receiving end is the key to all conversions.
Discovering Bottlenecks in Lead Movement
Databanks are only one part of CRM systems. Pipeline tracking is another sales-oriented functionality, added not only to help salespeople stay on top of their current progress, but also to encourage transparency and accountability. Pipeline analysis allows full control of individual customer journeys.
It’s how salespeople track lead movement to discover potential bottlenecks in the process and identify pipeline stages that slow down or accelerate conversions. This kind of insight can help you learn what’s working and what’s not so that you can eliminate halts and streamline the entire journey.
Staying on Top of Employee Performance
Sales reps always differ in conversion styles and techniques they use, which naturally affects their overall performance. What’s mutual to all of them is that every sales rep has a goal that he or she must meet. CRMs allow you to see how these measurable targets are set, managed and approached.
But this type of analysis doesn’t only identify overachievers and underdogs but also dives deeper into their personal sales styles. Are they unremitting or persuasive? Do they close small deals fast or work long and hard on scoring big clients? CRM will help you match their approach with the right customer.
Monitoring Personal Tasks and Workloads
Of course, if the employee analysis reveals a rep with a lot of leads and tasks, but very little conversions in their record, then this deserves the utmost attention of sales leaders. However, not every bottleneck is a rep’s fault. That’s why CRM analysis lets you work on your workload management too.
The best CRM platform is based on agile methodology, which allows you to strengthen your day-to-day operations and stay in the loop with everything that’s going on. For more information on agile solutions and their in-depth view of sales process milestones and pipeline stages, please visit this page.
Analysing Progress and Forecasting Sales
Over time, an agile customer relationship management solution establishes a documented and structured sales process, thus improving accountability by measuring individual and team quotas. Apart from employee performance review and current progress, this allows sales forecasting as well.
Whatever forecasting method you choose – opportunity stage forecasting, length of sales cycle, historical or multivariable analysis – a CRM will provide all the necessary data. You’ll know exactly what to expect and how to set smart goals that push the sales limits in a realistic and predictable way.
Following Industry and Market Trends
A successful sales forecasting strategy depends on external factors as well, which is why you need to stay in tune with your competitors, seasonality, and upcoming industry and market changes. Though CRM can’t track these factors directly, it can learn to recognize them in customer behaviour analysis.
Learning from Social Media Behaviour
Social CRMs work towards the same goal as traditional solutions, but their main focus is on social media. All the most powerful CRM solutions that can be found on the market today can be described as “social” CRMs, since they enable effortless integration with designated social media tracking tools.
The customer data that they collect from popular networks such are Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is the secret ingredient of successful business strategies, be they related to marketing, sales or support. If you already have a reliable CRM platform, talk to your vendor about its social capabilities.
Though data-driven approach to business is no longer an option, translating behavioural patterns and raw information into actionable stats and metrics is very difficult without a reliable data analysis tool. In addition to empowering your sales team, a CRM platform can also help you make sense of all this.