CRM to boost sales: how to use it to best effect

How to increase sales with a CRM. It’s the ideal tool, but it’s often misused. Here’s how to use it.

CRM is the best tool for boosting your sales, but you still need to use it to its full potential. Here’s how.

Common CRM mistakes

CRMs are salespeople’s best tools, but they can also become their worst enemy.

The problem is that they are often developed by non-salespeople, managers and IT specialists who know nothing about the realities on the ground, and who want to turn them into comprehensive marketing analysis tools that become gas factories.

The main CRM errors and complaints voiced by sellers are :

  • I spend more time entering data than selling it
  • For a 30-second call, I have to spend 5 minutes entering the data, I have to go into categories and then sub-categories
  • I’d be quicker and more efficient with a paper or Excel sheet.
  • The system was designed by marketing
  • Sellers were not involved in the creation of the CRM
  • It’s as complicated as SAP!
  • I make mistakes all the time and get reprimanded by management, the system is not user-friendly.
  • My sales manager keeps asking me about my figures and correcting me: I can’t sell!
  • There are so many criteria to choose from, it’s confusing.
  • When I’m on a customer tour, I have to go home in the evening to enter the data.
  • Access not from a smartphone
  • It’s not adapted to our company, we can’t modify it
  • Or, on the contrary, our company has made it even more complicated than it was in the first place.

Sales managers’ main criticisms

  • Salespeople don’t fill in their CRM correctly
  • Since they have trouble understanding, no one enters the data in the same way.
  • I have to spend 80% of my sales meetings explaining how it works.
  • The system has cost so much that we have no training budget for the next few years.

Not only are the systems complicated, but the best-known ones cost a fortune, and are designed for management who want statistics rather than for the salespeople themselves.

Most directions also add in-house features that make it more complicated and more expensive.

A good CRM to boost sales

To increase sales, the system has to be simple and easy to use for technical sales staff, focusing on the most important functions, not trying to cover all the details for perfect analyses, keeping the tool simple.

To help you choose your CRM, here are the key functions:

  • Customer file management: the company’s goodwill
    • Customer files with all basic information, contact details, telephone number, e-mail address
    • Key contacts: decision-makers, influencers, users
    • Contact history
    • Products and services sold: this gives us a better idea of what the customer is interested in, and what complementary products we should offer.
    • Customer category to prioritize calls and customer care
    • Follow-up date to call the customer back at the right time, i.e. at the end of the itching cycle or when the customer has expressed a wish to be called back.
    • Objective and action plan for next contact
  • Dynamic prospect management
    • Prospect file with contact details
    • Prospecting history
    • Follow-up date
    • Action plan
  • Lists of potential prospects
    • Lists to give to sales reps when they’ve finished their lists
    • These lists are often separated into :
      • Former customers to call back
      • New customers
      • Sorted by region and category
  • Supplier list to centralize all contacts
  • Standard proposal matrices to save sales reps time and ensure consistent, high-quality offers
  • Standard invoices to simplify and speed up sales work
  • Automated statistics to assess sales rep effectiveness, customer profitability, priorities and develop marketing strategy
  • A synchronized mailbox. The advantage over personal e-mail is that it can be accessed by all members of the sales team, making it possible to replace the employee if he or she is absent.
  • A marketing option enabling all sales and marketing staff to publish on key social networks for a comprehensive approach to web marketing.

Version gratuite

Essayez ActionClient Gratuitement!

Salespeople’s use of CRM

As the Americans say: ” garbage in, garbage out “. In this case, nothing good will come out of it if nothing good is put into it. So I’m going to show you how to use a CRM to increase sales.

Sellers must :

  • Fill in the CRM for every contact, which even means every time you talk to the customer.
  • Start their day by opening the tool to find out their priorities for the day
  • Follow the priorities indicated, but be flexible enough not to do it mechanically.
  • Take a quick look at the history before calling or meeting customers. The sales representative needs to prepare, but quickly, so as not to waste too much time.
  • Make a qualitative sale to include the right information, ideally by applying sales techniques and SOS discovery:
    • Customer situation
    • Customer objectives
    • Solutions we should offer
  • Take particular care to include all information in the sales follow-up stage.

How sales managers use CRM

Paradoxically, the danger is that the sales manager will use the CRM too much, annoying his sales staff with requests that interrupt the work of his sales team.

He must use CRM to :

For the benefit of all sales managers, let’s remember that numbers have never increased sales, it’s sales coaching that does, and the optimal solution is to use CRM for this.

How CRM optimizes the sales equation

Remember the sales equation: number of contacts x closing rate x average sales = total sales.

  • More contacts thanks to better sales organization
  • Improved closing rate thanks to better knowledge of customer files by the sales technician
  • Higher average sales thanks to customer choice.

The main CRMs

Here are the main CRMs, the ones we see most frequently in companies.

  • ActionClient, the best CRM for small businesses and the self-employed.
  • Salesforce, the most widespread, also known as Sales Cloud, adopted by large organizations, is powerful, but complex. Representatives don’t think it’s all good.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 is more of a Microsoft enterprise software package. It’s even more powerful and complex than its predecessor. A management solution rather than sales-oriented software.
  • Hubspot, more for SMEs.
  • Sugarcrm: for complicated sales processes
  • Axonaut: a French solution integrating CRM and ERP

The benefits of CRM

  • Increased sales
  • Higher-quality sales
  • Improved customer service
  • Easier distance selling
  • Omni-channel approach
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • Centralized, up-to-date database
  • Better communication with customers and prospects
  • Automatically generated reports and statistics
  • Analysis for a better strategic approach
  • Action planning
  • Optimized management of salespeople’s time

In conclusion

The customer base is the core value of companies today, and CRM is an essential tool for selling a product or service, provided it remains simple and easy to use.

A salesperson’s job is to sell, not to crunch numbers.

I prefer a salesman with results and few figures to one who justifies his failures with his figures!

Take an online sales training course

Jean-Pierre Mercier

Version gratuite

Essayez ActionClient Gratuitement!

More from our blog