Data is the most vital asset for businesses of all sizes and verticals. It is a data-driven era, and you cannot survive without managing your data properly.
However, managing data is not all that easy, especially when it comes to customer data – which is probably one of the most crucial assets you have. Businesses turn to technology for the effective management of customer data, which is why an increasing number of companies are implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. But just signing or switching over to a one cannot solve all your problems. You need to organize your customer data to achieve the maximum benefits a CRM offers.
Let us, therefore, walk you through why it is crucial to organize your CRM, what to look for when organizing your CRM and how to follow the funnel.
How does organization help?
Before we move on to what to look for when organizing your CRM, it is crucial to understand how this process helps.
If you keep your data in spreadsheets, inboxes, and other shared documents, it is challenging for your team members to give you the best possible results.
When you keep your data spread across data silos, most of your team members waste their precious time searching for customer contact information. The time that they could have utilized in productive customer engagement gets wasted in searching for customer information.
When you organize your customer data in one central, sharable space, it helps all your team members in more ways than one. That is what a CRM can do for you. Benefits of organizing your customer data in one central, shareable place include the following:
- Quick and easy access to customer information.
- Improved internal collaboration.
- Enhanced accountability due to transparent reporting.
- Prevention of confusion and fewer client overlaps.
Additionally, you also have to factor in data privacy and security, more so because of such regulations like the GDPR. To meet compliance and risk management norms, it is essential to manage your data properly.
It is extremely crucial to manage your customer data in a structured manner. You, of course, can argue that you can manage your data on spreadsheets. But it is difficult to manage your customer data on a spreadsheet in a structured way.
A CRM solution helps you manage your customer data in a structured format. You know who your prospective customers are, when they turn into opportunities and when they become your customers. There is no confusion. Everyone in your team knows the status of a particular lead/opportunity/client.
What to look for when organizing
It is crucial to understand how to organize your CRM for success. Unless you organize your CRM, it is difficult to reap all its benefits. Follow these steps to optimize and organize your CRM to increase sales:
Know your buyer personas and your funnel – It is important for you and your team members to know your buyer personas and how your sales funnel works. It is crucial to know whom you are selling to and what do they want. As defined by Sam Kusinitz of HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. Also factor in your customers’ needs and pain points. The more detailed you are, the better.
After you have done this, make your funnel and define the stages of your funnel clearly. From start to finish, study how your prospective customers interact with your business.
Get rid of the duplicates – Once your buyer persona and funnel are in place, make sure you get rid of the duplicates. When you have multiple sales reps prospecting for you, or if your CRM manages inbound leads, then it is crucial to get rid of the duplicates. Make sure you get your data cleaned because there is no point in contacting the same person twice. It can reflect poorly on your organization.
Assign points to your contacts – You can create a scoring system and assign scores to your potential customers based on the actions they take. You can assign points based on the level of interest shown or the way they have interacted with your business. You can assign one point for a social media interaction and five points to those who have signed up for your newsletter. When you assign scores to your contacts, you and your team members know whom to get in touch with urgently. You can also keep a check on leads that are warming up, and give them more time so that they can convert quickly.
Gather information slowly and gradually – It is difficult for someone to open up in the first meeting, be it in person or on the phone. When you interact with your prospects, make sure to gather information from them in a gradual way. Try to understand that it is easy to gather information about your prospects if you develop a rapport with them. It is possible to attain a wealth of information about your prospects, but it can only happen in a phased manner. You should not make your customers feel uncomfortable. However, it is crucial to organize the information properly in your CRM.
Don’t forget to set up automation – Many sales reps waste a lot of time doing administrative work on the CRM. Your reps can utilize this time more productively. If you check your CRM package carefully, you will notice that you can automate many processes. For example, you can set up automated email sequences to nurture leads, or you can automate scoring that can add or remove a contact from your list based on the action they take.
Make sure your sales reps follow your systems – It is crucial to ensure that your sales workforce follows your system, and keeps the CRM system up-to-date. Schedule training sessions so that your staff becomes comfortable using the system. When your sales reps get to know how to use the CRM correctly, they will understand how helpful it is to their selling process.
Follow the funnel
The funnel is a buyer’s journey represented in stages. Not every lead who enters your funnel will end up buying from you. Only some prospects become your customers, while most will drop out at different stages.
Every organization has its own sales funnel. You need to create the stages so that you can successfully convert your leads. While some companies can have eight stages, others can finish the process in four. You have to decide on the number of stages that best suits your business for successful client conversion.
In principle, the sales funnel follows the AIDA model – attention, interest, desire, and action. The journey starts with seeking the attention of your target audience, marketing the right products, creating the desire, and finally, ends when the prospect buys from you.
Broadly, these are the four stages of a sales process, which companies can adapt to suit their requirements. Here is an example of a common sales funnel structure:
Creating awareness and interest – This is the discovery and awareness phase, where you let your audience know that you exist and that you can offer a solution to their problem. You can attract leads through newsletter sign ups and free educational content (including guides, e-books and free videos) – as well as online ads.
The consideration stage – After you bring your leads to this stage, it is time for your sales team to step in. While you can make your offer, it is always a better idea to listen to your prospects first. Once you understand their needs, you can offer them a suitable solution.
Focus on engagement – During this stage, marketing is your most profitable tool. As buyers prepare to make a decision, use what you learned during the sales call to create targeted campaigns. This is your opportunity to establish trust, promote your business as a solution provider and emphasize the benefits of working with your company.
Conversion – It is almost impossible for every lead to convert into a paying customer. But for those who convert, make sure you continue nurturing them properly for long-term retention.
A CRM solution is a multi-purpose tool that can help on many fronts. From reading customer feedback to automating marketing campaigns, CRM software can solve most of your issues quickly, in some of the following ways:
CRMs can automate prospect movement through the funnel – When you have a CRM, you don’t need to track every lead in your funnel manually. Based on their stage in the funnel, CRMs can categorize leads easily. You can set parameters for lead movement. For example, when a prospect responds to your mail, he or she can be moved to a different category in which they start getting a different set of communications.
You can manage your projects from one dashboard – With a CRM in place, your team members can get real-time updates on projects, which enhances transparency and accountability. A single dashboard can reveal what each member is doing, which makes it easier to distribute tasks and monitor performance.
It gives analytics and reporting a big boost – A CRM can help you on the analytics front by providing all the data that you need.
It can automate your email marketing – If you want to convert your leads into customers, you should focus on email marketing. However, it is a big task to manually deliver different emails to different leads when they are in different stages in the funnel. A CRM solution can automate your entire email marketing. You can set automatic sequences so that potential customers receive appropriate emails as and when they move through the funnel.
You can personalize prospect interactions – When dealing with prospective customers, it is extremely important to personalize your interactions. A good CRM solution allows you to personalize your efforts – you can give your leads what they want, when they want it.
If you are considering a CRM solution, eZnet CRM offers an intuitive, user-friendly system that is easy for employers to implement and for employees to use. eZnet CRM provides the comprehensive support, training and technical capability critical to seamless functionality and end-user acceptance. Contact us to learn more, and begin a free 30-day trial.