09 May How a CRM helps your sales funnel
The goal of every business is to turn a lead into a sale. While getting the lead is one thing, the road towards making it into a sale is long and very complicated. That’s where the right customer relationship management tool (CRM) comes in.
What is a CRM?
In a nutshell, a CRM system is a tool that helps a business manage all their customer interactions effectively and easily. It is, however, more than just a customer service software. It is also a management software that contains relevant customer information, orders, and sales activities.
CRM platforms also come with detailed reporting capabilities. This feature is essential for a business to determine how their business is doing, and to see any sales goals and performance reports.
A popular example of a powerful CRM platform would be Zendesk. With well over 170,000 users worldwide, Zendesk has all the tools every business needs to maximize their customer relationships.
Some benefits of having a CRM platform
But is it essential to have a CRM system to boost your sales? Why should you look at investing in the right customer relationship management software?
- Easy to integrate
The first tangible benefit of having a software handle all your customer interactions is that it makes everything easier. Not having to juggle different channels is a godsend! Because if there’s anything worse for a business, it’s losing a lead because of a missed interaction.
- Storage of pertinent customer information
The success of every business lies in their ability to communicate with their customers and to develop effective sales relationships with them. A CRM is a tool designed to empower your team to build said relationships while making the customer journey easy and efficient. Everything from easily capturing and saving vital customer information, to seeing their past interactions helps in achieving this goal.
- Scalability and Customizability
As a software, the right CRM should be customizable enough to accommodate the needs of every business. Each company has unique support needs and customer inquiries. The
- Automation features
To have the ability to edit how tickets are filtered, for example, is a huge benefit and goes a long way in making things easier for your team. It also maximizes company resources when the right tickets go to the right team.
- Sales and Marketing
From a sales and marketing standpoint, the ability to stay connected to your customers in an easy and engaging way is very important. With a customer relationship management software, you’re able to fully see your customers’ behaviors and their buying tendencies. This enables you to employ the right marketing tools to lead them to a sale.
Understanding the dynamics of a sale is key to reaching success in your business. A sales funnel is a term used to describe the journey of a customer from being a lead to a sale. It gives a clear picture of what customers are thinking and how you can assist them in reaching the end of their sales journey.
A proper sales funnel should be adaptable to the needs of each customer, but overall the steps should be same.
Four stages of a sales funnel
- Awareness — this is when the initial interest is made. You achieve this through various marketing campaigns like print advertising, social media posts, referrals, and even through personal interactions.
- Interest — the second stage is when a prospective customer shows a possibility for a purchase. This is an integral step, and should be of high priority. As a business, this is when you should market yourself to stand out from the competition. This is the stage where your landing page, your customer service, and all your sales materials should shine.
- Decision — when a customer reaches this stage in the funnel, they are already equipped with the right sales materials and are very close to making a purchase. Ease them in with webinars, trainings, and sales orientations.
- Action — the last stage of the sales funnel is when a sale is made. At this point, a prospect is convinced they have made the right decision and are ready to do business. Money changes hands, and a product is delivered.
Customer Service Journey
It should be noted that one factor that is present throughout the sales journey is and always will be customer service. It should be present from the very beginning of the sales funnel, which is when a customer becomes aware of a product. Most marketing campaigns offer a method for inquiry, which leads them to be in contact with a sales rep or a customer service team.
With the right CRM platform, a business is able to leverage their customer service solutions so that they are always reachable and available for assistance. This initial contact is then nurtured and allows for the lead to go to the next stage in the sales funnel.
Nurtured relationships lead to more sales
One beautiful thing sales is that it is open-ended. One transaction can easily lead to another, be it through repeat sales or through referrals by word of mouth. And what is the best way to maintain these sales relationships? That’s right: a proper CRM platform.
Because when a business already has a customer profile in the CRM, they are able to predict any future purchase tendencies they might have. They can run the proper marketing campaigns, and even reach out to said customer given that they already have their contact information.
Moreover, with a successful sales relationship comes the possibility of referrals. Be it through traditional word-of-mouth referrals or otherwise, when a customer has a great customer experience they are likely to share that to their network. This opens up more leads, and hopefully more sales.
Should you look at investing in the right customer relationship management software? Most definitely. If your goal is to organically increase your sales in the long run, having the right platform to hold customer interactions and nurture sales relationships is key. Especially from existing clients.
In this report from Marketing Metrics, it states that businesses have “60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%….It’s easier to retain customers than get new ones.”
Having a CRM lets you identify trends you might otherwise miss, and helps convert existing leads easily and more efficiently. From a sales perspective, there’s nothing worse than a missed lead!