One thing we haven't discussed though, is Sales Productivity, and more specifically, how a CRM system can help to increase it.
The study found that of the 59 respondents who had implemented new technologies over the past 12 months, 44 said customer service productivity had increased as a direct result.
Due to the change in the buying process forcing businesses to consider a lead nurturing system, sales and marketing personnel are being forced to work closer together than ever.
This means software like CRM can help marketing departments source prospects and help sales departments interact with them, and most importantly, know who they're interacting with, and what problem the prospect wants to solve.
As Tony Denbow, Vice President of Insurance Systems for FM Global, said: "The only way to drive more sales is to have more interactions with your prospects and customers and increase the quality of those interactions.
"If you’re not improving in those two areas, it can be difficult to affect the overall sales process. The only way to drive more sales is to have more interactions with your prospects and customers and increase the quality of those interactions.
"But once you’ve identified the right people to interact with, the quality and quantity of the conversations with them are going to make a difference."
The study also told a familiar tale, with some Sales Executives needing to be convinced that the latest tools will improve their effectiveness, as opposed to forcing them to adopt new methods. This is a natural tendency, to resist or be sceptical of new processes, which often can come across as resistance to a new technological solution.
But enhancing sales productivity through the better use of information is not a trivial task. The four main findings from The Economist's study are:
- In order to differentiate their companies' products and services in the minds of buyers, sales professionals need rapid access to specific customer information.
- Investment in new tools and services too often focuses on symptoms rather than the underlying problems.
- Sales tools need to reduce time spent on administrative tasks and give sales people more time for their core competency: Selling.
- Active involvement of senior management and broad consultations with employees are key success factors for productivity-enhancing initiatives.
CRM is no longer considered solely as a tool that simply enables you to look back at a client's activity. It is now something that can be used to look forward, to enable you to approach the right people in the right organisation and drive more business into your company.
We are hosting two upcoming seminars specifically tailored for Sales Managers. Stay Tuned for more information.
At Contact Edge CRM, we specialise in Microsoft CRM, which helps businesses find creative ways to engage with customers. And by accurately tracking how the first engagement was initiated, this allows you to ensure you are tailoring your information and boosting your sales productivity by selling to the right people.