4 Things Sales Managers Need From a CRM System
Any good salesperson knows the foundation of sales is relationship building. Even as our world becomes increasingly digital, for businesses to thrive, there is still a need for strong relationships to develop between reps and prospects. A computer cannot build relationships by itself; you still need people for that. RetailDive says that 70 percent of consumers still want to interact with humans versus bots. And according to HubSpot, 58 percent of sales teams are increasing in size. With an increase in staff comes the need for experienced managers who know the value of face-to-face, personalized customer relationships.
Sales managers have a lot to deal with in their role. They are responsible for reporting to the board, managing technology needs, and of course managing people. With all of these responsibilities come a variety of pain points for sales managers, and one of the biggest is technology. Technology is increasingly integral to today’s business world, but often it seems that the tools that are supposed to help us end up making things overly complicated and not intuitive.
One of the most central and necessary technologies used by salespeople is, of course, a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It is essential to not only the sales team, but also the manager. The right CRM solution can save you time and money while helping close more deals. But it can also get in the way and end up being a hindrance to your ability to successfully manage people if it’s too difficult to use. Here are four things for mangers to look for and leverage in a CRM system as they run their sales teams.
A CRM system should aid workflow, not hinder it. If the workflow is interrupted by the CRM, it is not doing its job. There are tools available in CRM systems that are built to allow teams to function more efficiently. Find a CRM that allows you to standardize workflows throughout your entire team. There are plenty of tools and settings that can fuel efficiency of the team; they just have to utilized.
A sales team can flourish through collaboration. And a CRM system can fuel the teamwork by giving each team member a shared view of the necessary information. There are numerous features that can be leveraged to better encourage collaboration, like the ability to add notes, track the history of conversations, and share contacts. You’ll have access to real-time data, so whenever you’re visiting with or talking to a prospect, you have all the needed information at your fingertips—you’ll never be caught off guard.
A CRM should minimize your need to micromanage. When someone on your team enters data, it updates the entire team. There should be automation built in so you can keep an eye on the progress of deals and be updated without having to constantly check in on your team members. This frees up managers to be able to spend time investing in their employees. Developing a team takes time, and if you are too busy trying to track down employees for updates, then you cannot spend time coaching them. This can also be a huge turnoff for employees who prefer more autonomy.
A CRM system should work seamlessly alongside the other tools your sales team uses, like email, contracts, and inventory. CRM solutions should be the center of workflows, with everything else working through them. This limits the amount of time managers spend tracking down information. You can instead see a holistic view of your customers and leads in one place, instantly.
At the end of the day, technology has the potential to improve your sales team and free you up to spend more time managing your team and helping them grow as salespeople. Find a solution that automates and increases the efficiency of your workflow. When you do, you can spend more time investing in your employees and closing deals as a team.
Duncan Stockdill is cofounder and CEO of Capsule. He oversees marketing, product, and design decisions. Capsule provides a customer relationship management (CRM) SaaS platform that helps businesses stay organized, know more about their customers, build strong relationships, and make the most of sales opportunities, all while minimizing user input.