How CRM Helps Sales Teams Prioritize and Engage Leads Effectively

August 20th, 2014 No comments

Sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough hours in the day, or days in the week, to accomplish the things we need to do.

Good prioritization is essential for effectively allocating time, energy, and resources – it’s your safeguard for making sure you get the greatest return on your investment.

For businesses, helping your sales team prioritize their sales engagement is crucial toward getting leads flowing through the sales pipeline while making the best use of their time.

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a great tool for helping your sales team both organize and consolidate data, letting them put their topmost priorities front-and-center, yet still stay on top of the lower-priority leads that could potentially become important opportunities.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, sales teams get the benefit of a comprehensive sales system, giving them the ability to look at both macro and micro views of sales data, and to arrange activities according to need and priority.

Dashboards: Seeing Data at a Glance

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s dashboard functionality, salespeople are able to get a quick, graphical snapshot of data at a glance. Dashboards help salespeople get an instant insight into the data that’s most important to them, and pushes them to act accordingly.

Because what better way to see sales pipeline progress than an actual chart showing which stage each opportunity is in, as well as the number of opportunities in that stage? Or a graph showing the revenue amount tied up in each stage of the sales process?

A salesperson’s dashboard can be configured with the data that is most relevant and useful to a salesperson’s day-to-day activities, helping them to better understand their sales progress.

Dashboards are also helpful in that businesses can allow salespeople to set up their own dashboards, enabling them to post the data that is most relevant to their day-to-day sales life, and to display that data in the visual form they prefer (chart, line graph, pie graph, etc.).

Contact Records: A Goldmine of Information

We all know the saying “Knowledge is power” – and never is that more true than in sales. Truly knowing your customers, and thus interacting with them on their terms, is critical to a successful sales practice.

Remember: it’s the customer who is the ultimate driver of sales nowadays. With smartphones and other mobile devices helping them research and connect to what they want with just a few clicks of a button, customers only want the information or items they desire. They have no patience for wasting time, so they are not going to respond to cold calls and generic emails; they want offers targeted specifically to their interests and needs.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, salespeople have a prospect’s entire interaction history with the company right at their fingertips. Armed with this information, sales teams are able to better understand the prospect’s needs, and determine the products or services that would be of most value – and thus most appealing – to that individual person.

A contact record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides not only a comprehensive view of a customer’s contact information, but also past interactions and the future activities that the salesperson has planned (such as follow-up calls, emails, etc.).  

But what’s especially helpful with contact records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that, in addition to providing salespeople the lead’s previous interactions with the company (and the outcomes of those interactions), it also allows the salesperson to schedule upcoming activities pertaining to the lead.

For instance, want to schedule a follow-up call with the prospect to check if she had any new questions? Or want to send a follow-up email with product literature or special offers? Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers salespeople a handy activities feed front-and-center in the record. The activities feed is similar to a Facebook feed, allowing the salesperson to post and schedule upcoming sales actions, as well as review past efforts.

This feed helps salespeople remain aware of what needs to be done, as well as be reminded of what’s been done in the past (and perhaps if past strategies have worked well with that particular prospect).

Notifications and Reminders: Getting Salespeople Back on Track

Being busy can sometimes be a bit of a double-edged sword for businesses. On the one hand, it’s great –people are clamoring for your business, which means more revenue is flowing in. But on the other hand, it can force your people to push less urgent, but still important, items to the side. And it could be possible that they forget about them altogether.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM sending notification emails and reminders to salespeople regarding activities that need to be completed, salespeople benefit from a helpful push.

What’s also nice about Microsoft Dynamics CRM notification emails is that if a salesperson still doesn’t complete the activity or follow-up after receiving the email, then his manager will be notified. This helps businesses ensure that people are accountable and productive, from the top to the bottom.

Notification emails are helpful in reminding salespeople of tasks or follow-ups that they need to do, keeping them focused, productive, and accountable.

Integration with Microsoft Outlook: Efficiency and Productivity

If employees need to use different applications for work, then it will be difficult for them to stay on top of tasks and activities – including closing out leads. Switching back and forth means that things can get forgotten, or lost in the shuffle.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s integration with Microsoft Outlook, salespeople have their essential sales applications in the same place, at the same time. In other words, Outlook is the connection point between sales and customers, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the recording of that connection. With both integrated, salespeople benefit from the powerful functionality of both systems supporting each other.

For example, say an email comes in from a person who wants more information about one of your products. Instead of having to copy out the contact information from that person’s email and transfer it to a different database, a salesperson can simply click to convert that email to a lead – which automatically creates the email into a lead record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Or if a person from an existing customer account reaches out to a salesperson, that salesperson can immediately track that email within both the account and the individual contact record, giving the salesperson two-fold visibility.

Microsoft Outlook integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows the simple creation of emails into leads and opportunities with just the click of a button, creating quicker, more efficient processes.

The Right Tools for the Right Engagement

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, salespeople are equipped with the tools that help them close out urgent, high-priority items, while simultaneously staying aware of their other tasks and responsibilities.

If you have any questions on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can improve your sales processes, please email us at crm@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

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