By Zen Newman, Marketing Analyst at PipelineDeals
What is a CRM?
Sales is a profession with many fads, techniques, and methods. Over the years, most of them turn out to lack staying power or prove not as impactful on the industry as they were once touted to be. Others, though, from the emergence of consultative selling practices to sales automation are here to stay. With the emergence of abundant computing power and big data, the customer relationship management (CRM) system is influencing the way sales teams around the world organize their time and report their activity.
Before computers, sales professionals managed their day with the aid of paper calendars and rolodexes while these systems presented a way of retaining client contact information, that’s where their utility stopped. Paper records are easy to lose and are difficult to maintain consistently. While paper can be organized through filing, it can’t be easily shared or duplicated, and records stored in this way are essentially impossible to analyze.
As mobile devices became more prevalent in sales teams across the world, contacts and sales records are increasingly maintained digitally and now predominantly in the cloud. While there’re a lot of things that a modern CRM can do that a rolodex could never dream of, it’s best to think of it essentially as a digital equivalent. At its core, the CRM is about keeping track of companies and people as well as what sales opportunities might be around the corner.
Who uses one?
Do you need a CRM? If you’re still reading, the answer is probably yes. The best sales teams have plenty of good reps on their team. But they have something more too. They have tools in place to help average reps be highly effective. For more than ten years now, managers have used CRM software to oversee the activity of their reps; helping to inform their coaching, and to give them an accurate understanding of the financial performance of the team.
The best sales professionals rely heavily on their CRM. A pivotal difference between top performers and their middle of the road counterparts is the organization they bring to their daily activity. They’re able to stay at peak productivity and consistently deliver results by actively managing their sales pipeline. Doing this means understanding the ins and outs of their CRM and actively using it to manage their sales activity over the course of their day, week and quarter.
Why you need one?
If there’s one thing in this post that I hope you’ve picked up on so far is that the best sales professionals know their CRM and use it on a daily basis. For those involved in selling, their CRM is as integral a tool as GPS is to a driver. The best professionals in any line of work know their industry and understand the tools that are at their disposal. Whether you’re a sales rep, a manager or a business owner, utilizing the tools of successful sales teams will help turn your business into a sales powerhouse.