What’s the secret to accelerating Business Development (or sales prospecting / growth?) While people and process usually precede systems, sales is somewhat of an exception. The right customer relationship management system (CRM) can actually help empower people and define process.
In this short article we hope to help you learn how a CRM system can accelerate your business’ growth, bring in profitable, happy customers, and enable the people responsible for sales prospecting to sell better and faster.
No matter whether they be Business Development Managers (BDMs), Salespeople, Rainmakers, Partners, Directors, Business owners, Lawyers, Architects, Accountants, Engineers, Builders or other Professionals. For ease I'm going to call them all BDMs because Business Development or sales is the activity we are talking about here.
Sales Prospecting today is a far cry from what it was just 20 years ago. The advent of search and social media means sales is now more about research and careful customisation than knocking on doors and "spray and pray."
But different doesn't always mean better, even though changing times necessitate new approaches, it means we need to merely transfer the old methods to moderns channels.
Change is hard, and is sometimes, scary. But not to fear -- in this bold, new world of sales, the right CRM system can not only enable BDMs to update their practices, but also give them a competitive edge.
Contextualise Sales Prospecting Outreach
When the BDM receives an inbound lead or decides to target a specific company or decision maker, they don't have to go into the initial outreach blind. Today, there's a plethora of buyer information at their fingertips. Before picking up the phone or writing a cold email, BDMs can research their buyers on;
Just one problem. None of these virtual spaces gives the BDM context on what the contact already knows about their company, or provides evidence of an existing relationship. CRM to the rescue. A CRM that integrates with your marketing automation system gives sales reps a comprehensive picture of the prospect's recent interactions with your company. And the value of this knowledge is hard to overestimate.
Let's say a prospect downloaded an ebook on a specific industry trend yesterday. Armed with this insight, the BDM can then customise their cold email to mention this trend, and offer their expertise. Since the topic is evidently top-of-mind for the prospect, the BDM stands a much better chance of grabbing their attention with this email and receiving a response.
On the other hand, the BDM would take a much different approach if the contact checked out the product's pricing page in the last hour. A demo or free trial is a much more appropriate and interesting offer in this case.
A tight bond between marketing automation and CRM enables sales reps to layer context onto their outreach. This in turn, helps their emails and calls to stand out amidst a sea of bland, generic pitches.
Cement the Sales Process
The sales process first lives in a BDM's mind, and then on a piece of paper. But scaling the sales strategy through the word of mouth and scattered documents isn't exactly effective. "To be the most useful, all that information has to be built into a system that [documents] the stages, the activities, and when you're supposed to do them," according to Brent Leary, partner at CRM Essentials.
Defining the sales stages in a CRM not only helps to firm up the process for your current BDMs, but also has implications for future hires. "This makes it easy for people who have no idea what the sales process is when they get hired to hit a running start," Leary added.
CRM systems don't just allow SEOs and Managers to keep tabs on BDMs. The right CRM can empower BDMs to sell more, better.
But what if I told you CRMs can also help BDMs sell faster? I wouldn't blame you if you chuckled a bit. After all. "CRM" practically translates to "thing that slows me down" for most BDMs.
However modern CRMs can actually quicken the sales process instead of bogging it down. Don't believe me? Read our Guide to how a CRM can help you sell better and faster.