Eva Norras Rehn
Marketing & Communications, Qurant
WE HAVE ALREADY DOUBLED OUR LEADS!
Using FunnelBud's professional, structured and dedicated help, our implementation was fast and easy. In just 3 months, we've doubled our leads. We are very pleased.
Group CMO, Strikersoft
FUNNELBUD HAS EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS!
FunnelBud's system does everything we need for a third of the price of competitors. And with help that is both included and has exceeded our expectations. A no-brainer.
What is a CRM system?
CRM means Customer Relationship Management (Wikipedia). A CRM system is a set of tools that help you manage your customer relationships.
In the old days, CRM systems used to be installed on a company server. Today, most CRM systems are hosted in the cloud and offered as a service.
The alternative to a CRM is to manage your contacts in Outlook or Excel sheets. Both can work for companies with a single sales person, but in a larger company there is a big value in being able to share information about sales contacts and opportunities. For example, if multiple people are engaged in the same deal, then email sync can align your efforts.
For the sales manager, the CRM system is essential to implement a sales process, coach salespeople and forecast revenue. And salespeople save time by not needing to manually create sales reports in Excel sheets.
What defines the best CRM system?
The best CRM systems go from being information gathering to information generating and then information acting systems:
- Information gathering CRM: Salespeople feed information into the system. The system is only as good as the data that has been entered.
- Information generating CRM: The system generates new information that is useful for the salespeople. Thus, you get more out of the system than you put in.
- Information acting CRM: The system also uses the information it has gathered and generated to actively drive sales. Thus, it actively helps you reach your goals.
The information acting systems often use built in Marketing Automation tools since one of the main goals of B2B marketing is to drive sales. For you, this means more leads, information about what leads do on your website, and marketing that adapts to each sales opportunity.
An Active but Simple CRM-system like SharpSpring is built to make sales people’s lives easy, streamline sales, and maximize revenue. It’s not meant to be an ERP system.
If you want to understand how a ERP differs from a CRM, read this article: Why sales automation is the future of CRM
5 steps to Inbound Sales with an Inbound CRM
SharpSpring CRM generates and acts on information about your leads and contacts
Track your communication with your contacts and their interests
Get notified when sales ready leads bubble up to the surface. Follow up with relevant information based on what information they've shown interest for. Have more relevant email messages and better sales calls. All your communication is saved automatically via email sync.
Sales processes and automations that help you sell
Follow up easily with pre-created email templates. Let the system handle the follow up with email sequences that are triggered automatically based on your contacts' actions or status. Get notified when your contacts click or re-visit your site. Manage opportunities in the drag-and-drop pipeline tracker.
Continuous flow of new and hot leads from your marketing colleagues
SharpSpring comes with everything your marketing department needs to generate leads for you. Find new leads and nurture them until they are interested in speak to you about your offerings. Or nurture your existing contacts with newsletters and targeted ads until they're ready to re-engage. SharpSpring helps your marketing department get you new, sales ready leads straight into your CRM view. Can it get any better?
All CRM features
See Marketing & Sales Automation in action!
1h personalized online demo. No commitments!
What's the best way to start a sales dialogue with a new lead?
When you get a new and qualified lead, it's worth doing some more research about the lead and their company before making personal contact. Do some research about them, what they might need, and think about how you can help them. Then, send a short email detailing why you want to speak, explaining how you believe you may be able to help them, and suggest a 5 minute conversation to determine if it's worth talking more.
During the call, dig a bit deeper into the why of their potential interest in you. What is their current situation and what do they hope to improve? Then talk about how you might be able to help them with this.
In general, you should have a few standard options for next steps ready to go. For example, you might have a presentation about something related to their needs, or you might suggest a deeper conversation or even a demo if you're selling a product. Make sure that the next step is exploratory in nature since you can't reasonably suggest the perfect solution after just a short phone call.
This makes you ready to tackle any new lead coming in.
And of course, with SharpSpring, if you don't think that the contact is ready to be contacted just yet, you can always start an automated follow up sequence that provides insights that might help your lead based on their situation.
Our sales processes are too complex for this to an automated CRM to help us
Regardless of how complex your current sales processes are, a sales process often starts with a person who finds himself or herself in a situation that triggers a buying journey. If you offer that person valuable insights about how they can move forward from that situation, it is likely that they will start their buying journey with you rather than with someone else.
With a CRM that comes with built-in marketing automation tools, you can capture these situations the people who find themselves in them. From there, you can utilize information that you collect to help drive the buying journey forward.
This does not mean that you should automate your entire sales process. If that was possible, there wouldn't be any sales people. Rather, tools like this complement the work that salespeople do. It's like having your own assistant who can do the repetitive work and help you manage more deals at once, letting you focus on the ones that require more thought.
Some examples of this type of "outsourcing" are:
- Letting interesting newsletters nurture the majority of your contacts who are not yet sales ready while keeping you top of mind
- Creating templates with your best messages and content that you can customize and send easily
- Letting online ads keep you top-of-mind and notifying you when a contact is ready to re-engage
By sharing contacts and information across both sales and marketing, you can work as a team and become more effective together. For you, this means more enjoyable work, less stress, and more sales.
Tips: 6 things you can do with a proactive CRM system
Are you capturing at least 2% of your web visitors? Are you following them up afterwards? Offer your insights in return for email addresses. Then follow up with educational content. Keep track of lead scores and push hot contacts to sales.
Are keeping touch with your contacts without annoying "just checking in" emails?Just tag the contacts' interests and let relevant ads and newsletters handle the rest. When leads return, you will be notified and can then re-engage.
Do you have multiple products, or customes who buy more than once? Create rule based lists based on already purchased products, and show ads with similar products or before it's time to renew. Get return customers and more deals.
Imagine being able to continue the dialogue online after meetings? With SharpSpring, your marketing people can help you do just that. Add them and tag them, and let relevant newsletters, ads and event invites handle the rest.
Does cold outreach still work? With outreach automations, you can convert cold to mild. Let SharpSpring's CRM show your message in ads, followed by an email, and then call the ones who click. Quadruple your call conversions.
Automate based on date
Do you work with renewal dates? Just add the date and let SharpSpring automatically send one or two renewal reminders, followed by a notification to remind you to call. You call them to guide them through the renewal process.
Do you want to see an example? Try out our interactive demonstration:
Want to try being marketed to?
Do you want to see what Marketing Automation feels like from a customer's perspective? Our 7-week interactive marketing demo will show you exactly that, using fun and interactive emails, videos and screenshots once per seek that adapt dynamically based on what you do. Try it now!