• February 29, 2024
  • By Mike Szczesny, owner and vice president, EDCO Awards & Specialties

How to Empower Your Sales and Marketing Teams with CRM Tools in 2024

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CRMs are ubiquitous in modern business, with 91 percent of companies with more than 10 employees using them to support their sales and marketing teams and improve their chances of winning new business and accolades. Salesforce has grown to become one of the largest companies in the world by offering a robust CRM. It is also considered one of the top artificial intelligence stocks to watch as the Big Tech earnings call season continues for 2024. ServiceNow, SAP, and other companies are also major players in the market.

However, these tools require customization and employee training, which becomes more challenging as the business grows. That's why it’s essential to prioritize integration with existing systems used across all business units and to have a strong project management team that can ensure no one’s work is impeded.

An excellent training staff helps everyone become familiar with using the new software. According to PwC, 77 percent of workers are open to acquiring new skills in today’s increasingly automated world. Upskilling and continuous learning can ensure that the workforce understands how to effectively utilize the latest technologies without being replaced by them.

According to Pew Research, approximately one-fifth of all workers hold jobs with high exposure to AI, with sales representatives being the most exposed. Workers report that these technologies will help them more than hurt them, but they need proper training on the appropriate CRM tools to make it work for their needs.

Finding the Right CRM

First, you should select CRM tools with seamless integration to ensure unified data access across all business functions throughout the workflow. Integrating a CRM into a business is easier said than done, and no one correct solution applies universally. It depends on many factors, and each company has unique needs.

There are four main factors to consider:

1. Efficiency Through Automation

Automation is the primary goal of technology and should be the top priority for businesses. Deloitte’s State of AI report found that over half of organizations planned to use AI and automation last year. A KPMG survey of Global 500 companies revealed that leaders believe investments in AI and automation today will lead to significant growth within the next few years.

Streamline tasks with CRM automation to free up time for strategic sales and marketing efforts, maximizing effectiveness and impact.

2. Data-Driven Decisions

CRMs are far beyond mere data repositories. They serve as dynamic platforms for insightful data analysis, ushering in a new era of informed decision making. Equipped with algorithms and machine learning, these systems empower proactive decision making, enabling organizations to adjust strategies in response to evolving customer preferences and market dynamics.

Choose CRMs with advanced analytics to fine-tune strategies and pinpoint trends. It should also enable predictive analytics and empower the team to optimize the customer journey.

3. Personalized Campaigns

CRM systems are a treasure trove of data, including demographic information, purchase histories, and interaction patterns. This data provides valuable insights that go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach.

Leverage CRM data for targeted marketing to enhance customer engagement. Whether through personalized email campaigns, targeted social media advertisements, or customized promotions, organizations can communicate directly with each customer’s unique needs and interests, fostering a stronger bond and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

4. Team Collaboration

Implement customer relationship management systems to foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams. The synergy between sales and marketing should be enhanced by sharing access to CRM data.

Marketing teams can gain insights into customer interactions, preferences, and behaviors, enabling them to create finely tuned campaigns with a detailed understanding of what resonates with the audience. Conversely, sales teams benefit from having up-to-date information on leads and prospects, which enables more informed and targeted conversations

This collaborative CRM approach not only streamlines communication but also enhances efficiency. With shared goals and a unified understanding of customer dynamics, sales and marketing teams synchronize to create a seamless customer journey, from initial engagement to final conversion.

Consider implementing an awards system to further acknowledge and celebrate these collaborative efforts. Acknowledging outstanding contributions from sales and marketing teams can foster a positive working environment and motivate continued collaboration.

Additionally, ensure that CRM tools are accessible on mobile devices to provide on-the-go access to information, enabling both parties to stay informed at all times. Once you have selected a CRM, it’s time to focus on training.

Offer Continuous Training

Knowledge is the key to employee success, necessitating cross-training, upskilling, or onboarding employees. Continuous training for teams maximizes the effectiveness of CRM tools and keeps everyone on track to achieve the award-winning results companies seek. The more effective and accessible continuous learning is within a company, the better it can leverage technological tools for significant achievements.

Not only will it increase employee proficiency with modern tools, but it will also enhance their overall job satisfaction and prepare them for leadership positions. CRMs are foundational platforms for managing the customer journey, requiring effective collaboration in a unified system of record to seamlessly engage with the customer at every touchpoint across all possible channels. Be sure to purchase the appropriate one for your company’s requirements and train everyone to use it most efficiently.

Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO's ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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