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A customer relationship management (CRM) program is a valuable tool for any business that offers products and services in the B2B or B2C world. CRMs for sales and marketing can also be expensive and complicated to implement.

Why should you implement a CRM?

One of the most important reasons why you might implement a CRM is that it bridges the gap between the marketing and sales teams. If you don’t have a system in place to easily share information, how does one team know what the other is doing? Or what’s working? A CRM program helps both teams coordinate their efforts.

A CRM:

  • lowers the time required to evaluate leads to determine qualification
  • measures and tracks leads
  • clearly defines roles of the sales and marketing teams around nurturing leads
  • integrates teams in multiple locations
  • shares contacts within an account team
  • can standardize processes to keep data better organized and sales and marketing teams better informed
  • ensures everyone knows the status of customers and prospects

How does a CRM align your marketing and sales teams?

Using a CRM, teams produce reports that standardize information and provide visibility at the macro and micro levels. Once standardization is in place, everyone can learn from and benefit from those reports.

A CRM also helps your VP of sales (or comparable role) easily see where all the prospects are in the sales cycle. The old way was to get reports from each salesperson and add the reports into a spreadsheet to analyze them – a slow and tedious process. A CRM helps senior leadership quickly see the status of prospects, customers and how each member of the sales team is performing.  

For some service-based businesses, especially those with a longer sales cycle involving long production time or multiple services, a CRM makes a lot of sense. It helps everyone on the team stay current on where customers or prospects are in the sales cycle and what next steps are needed to satisfy customers or convert prospects.

A CRM can be set up to track customer purchase history, and can help you identify cross-sells, upsells or potential interests. It can score your customers and prospects, and segment them into different tiers of the sales process. A CRM helps create targeted, personalized campaigns based on customer activity. 

That all sounds great, right? But we also mentioned a CRM potentially being expensive and complicated.

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Be thoughtful about choosing and implementing a CRM

It’s important to note that CRMs don’t all perform the same way. During the selection process, it’s crucial to determine the main functions you require and how your team is likely to use it every day. This helps you identify the solution that fits your specific needs. To make the process less stressful, consider taking a staged approach toward implementation. Clearly define the existing gaps that the CRM will help you bridge. Define how your team(s) will use the CRM to manage information. Strategize how the CRM will benefit the teams, and map out the steps to get there. 

One reason why companies see their sales grow after implementing a CRM is the advanced customization available. It’s a customer relationship management tool that will only help build and strengthen customer relationships if it’s implemented and managed correctly. 

That potential complexity is what scares many companies away from implementing a CRM, beginning with putting the right one in place and using it effectively. A well-run CRM is built out specifically for your needs. Most companies won’t be well-served with a simple out-of-the-box implementation. Customization to suit your business or processes will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your CRM. It needs to make sense for those who use it every day.

Unfortunately, some companies purchase a CRM and then don’t get proper training and don’t onboard it correctly. We’ve seen HubSpot (a popular CRM) users that refuse to work with a partner on implementation and management, so this expensive CRM becomes useless to them because they don’t know what they’re doing. Unless you have internal expertise, we urge you to have someone help you set it up.

When Savoir Faire took over managing HubSpot for a client in the past, we quickly noticed the CRM was not built out correctly. Keep in mind, the principle of “garbage in, garbage out” applies to a CRM. If the data added to the CRM isn’t consistent, doesn’t make sense, is challenging to access, is outdated, or difficult to find, it won’t benefit and align your company’s sales and marketing team. If you don’t have accurate, updated customer information, that CRM is ultimately useless.

Savoir Faire offers CRM implementation, training and management for small- and medium-sized businesses because we know this important tool can be a cumbersome undertaking to get rolling. 

Opposition to a CRM

Some teams are afraid of change. They’re terrified to learn how a new solution will affect the way they do things. Some old-school salespeople get stuck in outdated prospect processes, such as cold calling. They’d rather use sticky notes and chicken scratches on calendars than having all this important information all in one place.

What if your top salesperson is stuck in the old ways and gets hit by a bus? All that knowledge is gone, with only some incomprehensible scribbles on sticky notes as clues on how to move forward with a prospect.

You may also be thinking, “This process worked for the last 20 years. Why change it now?” Don’t think of a CRM as changing your sales and marketing process; it’s evolving your process. If the biggest reason against implementing a CRM for sales and marketing efforts is, “We don’t know how,” that’s where we come in. 

We can help you set it up. We’re there to help you strategize, implement and assist with the ongoing process. We can teach you how to improve your processes by using a CRM. And we can help get your marketing and sales teams on the same page, empowering them to better nurture and convert leads into customers and turn your one-off customers into regulars.

This blog post answers the question:

Why use a CRM for sales and marketing?

A CRM is a valuable tool for any business that offers B2B or B2C products or services. A CRM bridges the gap between marketing and sales. A CRM helps both teams comment and coordinate their efforts together.

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