Sales CRM: the Complete Guide

Isabelle Wuilleumier Salemme

When it comes to business, there’s no way you can build a strategic, well-oiled operation without being process-driven – sales department included. That’s why structuring a sales CRM process is key to creating a successful pipeline and beating goal after goal.

Why use a Sales CRM?

It will not only make your team’s life easier but will also help you become more efficient and data-driven. Being entirely focused on building a trust relationship with customers, the sales CRM operation is the perfect process to help your company grow. Here’s what it can do for your business:

It’s a directly proportional ratio. The more deals go through your sales CRM…

  • The bigger your conversion rate is;
  • The less time it’ll take a customer to move through all the funnel stages;
  • The bigger they become;
  • The bigger your revenue and profit will be.

When your sales CRM process starts to run smoothly, you’ll notice it will be easier to spot improvement opportunities, solve bottlenecks, and keep track of your metrics.

Keep the Deals Coming

When leads fill in your funnel and you move them through the stages, it’s easier to get caught in the moment and forget to keep nurturing new leads. But if you do that, your current deals will close, and soon your funnel will dry – so keep prospecting no matter how great your current deals are!

Here are a few tips to help you keep deals coming:

  • Keep track of all of your opportunities: set weekly or daily goals for yourself or your team (eg: one new opportunity a day or five new opportunities a week) to be reported on team meetings. The results of these actions will start to show in varied periods of time, depending on the average length of your sales cycle.
  • Make this your new standard for prospecting: adopting new habits is hard and can be a painful process, so to ensure that the adoption of the new standard will go on and your sales pipeline will stay full, people have to make the effort. Once the new specific goal is set, make it clear that it’s a new standard and it has to be followed.
  • Be creative: besides cold-emailing and cold-calling, or following up on inbound leads, there are a lot of other ways to find new opportunities:
    – Go back and contact again people you haven’t been able to sell to (after all, circumstances change and what made them not buy from you may have changed too), or opportunities you haven’t contacted in 6-9 months;
    – Keep track of important changes of your existing contacts’ profiles (good subjects to start a conversation);
    – Ask your customers and even coworkers for referrals;
    – Be systematic in your day-to-day routine. Keep your eyes and ears open to any company signs on the news or as you’re driving on your way to the office, use those incidents as conversation starters.

Look for Bigger and Better Deals

  1. Look for companies with bigger needs (and bigger budgets do fulfill those needs): as the universe may have already taught you, the higher the potential customer’s profile, the less they’re going to want to talk to you. Of course, that’s right, they have a lot more on their plate but, as we already pointed out here, if want to close bigger deals, you have to ask for it, and the only way to do so is by approaching bigger companies.
  2. Figure out your target’s buying habits: find out when, why, and how the bigger companies you’re targeting buy, and then trace an action plan. Every client profile is different and, in order to adapt your actions to their profile, you need to have detailed information about them. Try getting in touch with people that work at the company to find out how the company works, who are the people you need to contact in order to get positive responses for your proposals, and so on.
  3. Think big: bigger deals have to become natural to you. People tend to close deals more easily when they perceive them as normal or average, making it harder for them when it comes to closing bigger deals. The best starting point is to sell yourself the idea that you sell larger deals and when you come to perceive the bigger deals as natural, they become normal to you.

Aim High with your Conversion Rate

Think about an ideal reality in which one out of four prospects ended up as an income-generating costumer, as opposed to one out of ten. How do you like the sound of that?

There’s good news and bad news about this possibility: the good news is you can probably achieve it, the bad news (and they’re not even that bad) it’ll take time, effort, and practice. Here are a few ways through which sales CRM can help you get there:

  1. Know who to work with: when it comes to prospects, there are two completely opposite profiles – the decision-makers and the influencers. Even though the decision-makers are harder to reach, since they usually have bigger fish to fry, they are the ones who will give you their money. On the other hand, influencers are easier to get in touch with (but they’ll take a lot of your time and effort). Keep in mind your customer operation and how you’ll solve their problems so you can identify which prospect you should aim for.
  2. Don’t wait for an invitation: if you wait until your prospect decides to give you their time and listen to your proposal, you might as well take a sit. Being the first one to get to a prospect will give you an advantage, and your help and time will be taken into consideration when they make up their minds. There’s no ideal moment, so take a chance.
  3. Know your prospects’ businesses better than any of your competitors: being able to show your customers you took the time to learn more about their businesses is a display of empathy that can get you more in return than you imagine.
  4. Enough is enough: instead of wasting time and effort convincing people that don’t want to buy what you offer, invest it in searching and finding opportunities with better conversion possibilities. If a shoe doesn’t fit, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to squeeze your foot in it, in the end, it still won’t fit.

Track and Measure your Results

You can only improve what you can measure. By designing a strategic sales CRM operation, setting KPIs, and using dashboards to track results, you’ll be able to not only measure but also have better visibility of your process.

This way, spotting bottlenecks, controlling the team performance, and continuously improving, will be easier and faster than you think.

Build a Strong Sales CRM Operation with Pipefy

Pipefy’s Sales CRM Template is a step-by-step process specially developed to enhance your team’s focus and productivity. It’ll guide them through all the steps of the sale: from prospecting to properly qualifying hot and cold opportunities and effectively closing the deal.

Instead of resorting to fragile spreadsheets, email threads, or complex systems, start using Pipefy’s free sales template and run your processes smoothly.

Use the sales CRM template now

Written by
Isabelle Wuilleumier Salemme
Head of Customer Support @Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to help users make the best of Pipefy via support and writing informative content pieces. Besides being in charge of support, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover, and a professional photographer.

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