2020 has been a difficult year for most businesses and the thought of making sales and reaching targets in the new year has left many feeling anxious about the future. But the future of sales is not as lackluster as you may think, and it comes down to understanding the consumer, reaching your target audience at the right time and making the right technological investments. In fact, we believe that the opportunities are plentiful, especially for businesses that understand the requirements of customers in the COVID-19 / New Normal era that we live in.
We live in the digital age, and with that comes an array of technologies, and when it comes to sales in 2021, technology and automation is the ultimate investment and business asset.
Technology meets Sales for 2021
Technology is an integral part of sales strategic planning and businesses are beginning to understand just how beneficial it can be for business growth. In 2021, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the way forward as it has the ability to drastically alter the way a business functions and has the potential to impact sales, marketing and business growth significantly.
What is CRM and how can it increase sales as we head into the New Normal?
CRM software, as the name suggests, is designed to manage a company’s interactions with customers and potential customers. When implemented strategically, a CRM will streamline marketing and sales processes, build customer relationships, improve customer service, increase sales, and increase profitability. Essentially, the goal of a CRM is to improve all business relationships, which in turn, improves the bottom line. At Nexa, we typically work with the 2 leading CRM platforms that are available today, HubSpot and Salesforce.
How do they work?
Artificial Intelligence: CRMs are AI driven tools that automate tasks such as marketing campaigns, email marketing, lead nurturing, and data collection. This allows time for sales representatives to spend more time on selling, and less time engaging in manual, repetitive tasks.
Analytics and Metrics: CRMs provide in-depth insight into sales data, which allows for greater predictions and planning, including when to contact a lead, and the best way to engage with them as they move through the buyer's journey. With such intelligent data collection and tracking, you are also able to see the success rate of your sales team, as they complete tasks and move toward making sales.
Sales Tools: Because of its AI and automation capabilities, a CRM allows for better marketing and sales collaboration, alignment and customer/potential customer messaging, which drives sales and improves customer service.
The Benefits of CRM software for 2021:
Right now, finding customers willing to spend money is not easy, and once you do find customers (or potential customers), it is more important than ever to maintain strong relationships with them. CRM software allows you the opportunity to centalise, optimise and completely streamline communication between your business and your clients or potential clients, ensuring you stay front of mind during this uncertain time.
Below, we outline 5 CRM benefits that will help you win at sales in 2021
1) Greater Customer Satisfaction
As a sales team works with more leads and customers, it becomes difficult to streamline and centralise communication with both existing and potential customers. This is because conversations become suffocated with email after email, and scattered spreadsheets and lost hand written notes lead to human error and inconsistent interactions. This kind of erratic and stressful communication inevitably leads to customer loss and in turn, great financial loss.
A CRM stores all your customer and potential customer data in a single place, which makes for an immensely powerful communication tool. Not only will your sales team be able to access a contacts full name and contact information, they will are able to find beneficial facts about a lead such as where they are in the buyer's journey, how they came across your business, what product or service they are interested in, and even their career position and birthday.
For a sales team, having this information is vital as it helps them assess a lead's needs and wants, and assist them in tailoring and personalising communications.
A CRM will also keep track of all activities, projects, live chat messages, sales, invoices, emails and customer service requests that a contact has ever been a part of. Essentially, a CRM allows your sales team to better understand a contact and what they want and need from the business.
2. Greater Segmentation
No marketing or sales team wants to engage with the wrong audience, and a CRM allows for greater audience targeting and segmentation. With a powerful CRM, you can break down contact data into specific categories and criteria. This allows your sales and marketing team to run specific customer campaigns designed for a particular audience - when you know who you are speaking to, you can consciously personalise and tailor your message, and your sales pitch.
A strong CRM software helps a sales team know who is truly interested in the business, who is still making a decision and who is completely cold. This makes the sales process much easier for your team, saving them time and improving your bottom line.
3. Greater Customer Retention
Apart from being a great way to find and nurture potential leads, a CRM is also a powerful tool for keeping your existing clients happy. A CRM also works for customer retention as it helps you keep your promise to your clients by reminding your sales team about appointments or when to follow up on emails.
However, the real advantage here is that a CRM can prompt a sales team to reach out to customers who have not been contacted in a while, ensuring you continue the conversation and stay top of mind at all times. And here is the best part: a CRM will help you implement and orchestrate your marketing activities through automation. The software will send our personalised email campaigns, customer survey emails, or post purchase emails - at the right time!
4. Greater Understanding of Needs
Any sales team is more confident when they know what to expect from a lead or current client. It is so much easier to sell or up-sell when you are able to fully track a contact's buying habits. One of the primary benefits of investing in a CRM is that it can help your sales team sell more and sell quicker, because they have access to a customers interaction history and the entire customer journey, which allows them the ability to anticipate and prepare for a customer's needs.
Think about it like this: if a sales representative knows a contact’s purchase history, that is: what they purchased and when, and even how they became a customer (where they found your business), your sales rep and marketing team can be proactive and come up with better offers and present this offer to a client at the right time.
5. Greater and Faster Communication
The last thing your sales team should do is keep a potential or current customer waiting, and replying to a query quickly is a sign of true professionalism and establishes trust. You can save your customers time by using a CRM, as it offers a set of customisable, ready to use email templates, proposals, documents, invitations, quotes, etc. This saves your team time and ensures your customers get a response as soon as possible.
Another important benefit of a CRM is that it helps your team draft messages, and schedules their dispatch days, weeks and even months in advance!
Customer Relationships as a Sales Priority in 2021
Your leads and customers are more than a simple sales opportunity. You may have the best services and products on offer in 2021, but you will not sell a thing if you do not provide the best customer service. Building strong relationships with the consumer should be your greatest priority as you head into the new year - because without this, your sales are sure to take a knock.
If you are looking for a CRM to help your business, Nexa is here to help. We'll work with you to understand the needs of your business, your goals, objectives and pain-points.
With this information, we'll recommend the best solution and software implementation for your business, while working with your sales and marketing teams to ensure that they are able to use the systems effectively to produce positive results for your business. Talk to us today.