What Every Sales Manager Should Know about CRM

sales managers and crm knowledgeAs a Sales Manager for a reputed organization, you might be using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for a while now. It is a known fact that forming and managing customer relationships is a key element for success. A CRM solution like Salesforce could help you not just with forming the initial connect with the customer, but also with maintaining that rapport. It stores all the required information including customer information and lead tracking data, and can help with creating and managing sales campaigns too.

A deeper knowledge of your CRM solution could be the key to accomplishing a strong bond with your customer. For a Sales Manager, these important facts about your CRM solution could help you reach your best performance:

Understand the main impacts of your CRM: You can use the CRM data to the advantage of the organization, as it provides you all that you need to identify and reach your target audience. Know your best customers and understand their likes and dislikes better so that you can connect them to the product they need. It also helps you to use your time more efficiently by influencing many facets, including improving leads, forecasting sales and streamlining workflows in general. This means that by strategic use of the CRM, you would contribute to a significant improvement in business. This is also an advantage from the customer point of view, as you would be connecting them to the product or solution that is a good fit for them. 

View, extract and interpret the data: Users would be able to view a large quantum of data using a CRM like Salesforce. To make the best use of this information from a sales perspective, a basic viewing and interpretation is not enough. You would need to understand the nuances of the data, and learn how to extract it from CRM into other tools like reports and spreadsheets so that you could manipulate it further. It is through using tools like Microsoft Excel and queries on SQL databases that you could use the CRM data to improve the customer experience.

Use CRM effectively with other existing solutions: The functions of a CRM system are very specific, and it is not meant to be a replacement for other productivity tools. You would need to use it in combination with other e-mail and social media connects such as Microsoft Outlook or Facebook, for example. It is also important that all the information that you send out through different channels put across a harmonious view to your customers. According to a report, only 16% of Chief Marketing Officers in large organizations felt that they have integrated different channels of data to a “large extent”. That means that a majority of organizations might be dealing with data silos and not using the available information efficiently.

Learn how to remain engaged with customers: Once you have understood the main applications of your CRM, your learning doesn’t stop there. A continuous engagement with the changing data is essential to understand the evolving needs of the customer. For example, you would start understanding which of your sales strategies work, and which probably do not have much impact and need change. While the basic functions of your CRM remain the same, your interpretation of the data it provides might need to change with the times. With experience, you could learn to anticipate the next big change in customer expectations!

Act as the bridge to your support team: Even the best software does have some breakdowns occasionally, either due to usage issues or other malfunctions. Form a connection with the support team, so that you have a direct route to them in case of any issues. Don’t be surprised if your colleagues notice that your technical outages seem to get solved more easily, and you become the go-to person for reaching the support team!

Remember that success is not instantaneous: Your training program to use and understand the CRM might not take too long, but it takes a significant amount of time to see consistent results for business. Understanding the data, coming up with an appropriate targeting campaign and a possible realigning of goals depending on initial results are some of the steps that must be mastered along the way. It is only after this that you could put a working strategy in place and expect it to show results.

Learning about your CRM solution helps you personalize and understand your customer better, which in turn provides you better targeting strategies. Once you have worked out your game plan with these tips in mind, your boss is sure to notice your effective use of the CRM!

Author : Aparna George Date : 30 Jan 2015