Most of the people belonging to the baby boomer and generation X demographics would be right at home using Rolodexes, spreadsheets and a host of other tools for sales purposes. At the time, they were adequate in helping one perform sales effectively and efficiently. But in the present times, the same tools would appear prehistoric. Gone are the days when a salesperson used things like an appointment book or post-its for work. That old phone book and Rolodex have no place in the modern office. Today, a smartphone with a cloud-CRM app is all he needs to get things done.
Using multiple sales tools and having your sales team members shuttling from one application to another to get even routine tasks done is a very tedious affair. Instead, a single CRM software can combine, and improve on, the functionalities of many sales applications and save a great deal of efforts, time and money.
Spreadsheet capabilities such as those provided by Excel are ideal, but only up to a point. But when your business is poised for rapid growth and you need to collaborate with many people, using this software can be frustrating, prone to errors and overall, not a very productive way to work. Spreadsheets are not good databases and are cumbersome to manage with many items. It is very difficult to share data and there is the risk of some data being lost. Excel files are usually built for specific purposes such as a prospecting list for a sales rep or customer list for newsletter emails. It doesn’t have a good share-ability and therefore multiple copies of the same list may be maintained by the same organization.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, are database systems designed specifically to complement the different activities needed for customer interactions, engagement, sale, support etc. Advanced tools like assigning leads and customers, sales actions, getting real-time dashboards are some examples of capabilities which can be performed in a CRM, but absent in spreadsheets. What’s more, CRMs provide consistency in the way information is captured and stored in a standard template, providing a clear picture for anyone in the future to access and contextualize the interaction.
OBSOLETE CONTACT TRACKING DEVICES
Salespeople need to have all the pertinent information at very short notices, often in time periods within the span of a phone call. In this scenario, using obsolete means of storing, say, contact information using devices like Rolodex is passé. Franklin planners, post-its and spreadsheets which take hours to update and are always at the risk of getting lost have been replaced by intelligent CRM softwares which organize, document and analyse data, thereby reducing the wasted time and optimizing prospecting time. With a mobile-CRM sales rep can save e-signed documents and contracts, prospect by text, call or email and close deals on the go.
A normal email productivity app provides basic email classification functions. Usually it does not provide the ability to assign incoming emails to individual members based on pre-set parameters. This means, the user must manually search for an email using keywords in the search bar and check the persons marked in the particular mail. A major feature absent in basic email productivity apps is the option of creating a basic user ID when you receive a mail from a new client. This translates to a rather laborious and time-consuming task of manually filling in the blanks in a client’s ID repetitively.
On the other hand, CRM tool provides a lot of advanced features. Kapture CRM system provides backend facility to sort emails into, for example, enquiry emails or service emails, by reading the keywords before even the particular mail is opened. This saves the time which would otherwise go into opening a lot of junk emails.
Another great feature a CRM solution provides which is absent in an email productivity app, is the auto-assign function. Imagine a scenario where there are two people working in a sales team. The CRM software automatically assigns any incoming emails individual salespersons based on the parameters set by the user; either location, team-wise, client-wise, or social media or digital team etc. The system does this automatically without any need for manual assigning. Of course, you can also assign emails manually. In a normal email service, there is no way of knowing which person is working on which email. But using a CRM software such as Kapture, when a task or email such as a request, enquiry etc. is assigned, all the required details like how many emails have been dealt with, how many are being worked on, which person is working on which email etc. is available in a convenient manner on the CRM dashboard. This is helpful for team leads in assigning different incoming emails to different team members and for sales teams in knowing the status of different tasks. All of this information can be presented in the form of a detailed, holistic report.
Most importantly, when a business receives an email from a new client, the CRM system will help create a basic profile with details like name, email id, contact number etc., and further emails received from the same client will get attached to these profile details. So, the next time, you can go to the profile and view the entire conversation history along with the updated client details. This is especially important when assigning a client to a colleague, so that the continuity is maintained and the conversation can pick again from where it was handed by the previous person in charge.
LEAD SCORING SOFTWARE
Lead scoring models may be useful, but if your business receives a high volume of leads, it can become quite a challenge to filter out the leads, not to mention the extra costs your business incurs on such softwares Lead scoring systems also require a thorough training for every freshly hired manager. The increasing number of data points increases the chances of entering erroneous data.
The solution? Smart CRM softwares can help in sorting the leads into different categories like hot, warm and cold as per their probabilities of closure automatically, thus helping you instantly identify those customers whom you need to prioritize over others. As seen in the picture below, in the action box, when lead progression happens, the leads become warm and eventually hot.
THIRD-PARTY EMAIL MARKETING TOOLS
Email marketing applications may be very expensive as an email marketing campaign can include templates and consultations which drive the prices up. There may be a trade-off between design and functionality as emails must be designed keeping in mind multiple email software providers. Moreover, emails sent using such tools are in real danger of ending up in the Spam folder, either as a result of settings applied by the customer or the legal definition of what constitutes spam.
On the other hand, CRM tools help provide a more personalized and more effective direct marketing contact with prospective clients. CRM email marketing strategies are much less intrusive which use customized approach for specific needs and nurturing relationships. Instead of being an unsolicited annoyance, marketing emails become valuable notifications for already-interested parties.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS TOOL
Analytics tools for campaign results give only click-based data. That is, it can only inform which leads came from which source. It does not provide tracking capabilities.
Whereas, CRM reports give the final lead conversion based data by tracking where the visitors to a site are coming from, for example, whether an individual came from a Facebook campaign, SEO, direct search, or google ads. It is also possible to find out the proportion of Facebook leads who actually bought your product in a specific time period. A CRM software such as Kapture will also provide clickable graphs by which we can see who those leads are and at which stage of the sales funnel they are in.
In a nutshell, there are many obsolete sales tools that be replaced by a single CRM software such as Kapture CRM, which makes the selling process a lot easier and much more streamlined. This in turn, can improve the efficiency of your business in a competitive environment.