Well, we’ve survived another year, and here we are in 2016! No one has a crystal ball that can predict everything that will happen this year, but still, there are some things that we can say with certainty: you’ll need to embrace technology if you want your business to thrive in the coming year and the future. One example of technology that you can’t afford to overlook is a CRM for your sales team.
A CRM, of course, refers to a Customer Relationship Management system. In times past, before marketing automation software was so readily available, your sales team would have to find ways to manage and nurture their leads “manually”. Salespeople had to use files, cards, paper calendars and day planners, and so on, to keep track of all of their leads, and remind themselves of when follow-ups were due. It’s an awful lot to keep track of, and it’s certainly a challenge to keep from letting any of your precious leads slip through the cracks and go to waste.
Nowadays, modern CRMs have made it so much easier to automate the process of tracking your leads. As you may already know, we’re big fans of HubSpot, as well as partners with them. While it’s certainly not the only CRM tool available, we think it does an unexcelled job of helping you manage your customers and leads. Moving forward into 2016, we think your sales team will really be at a disadvantage if they’re not using a CRM system. Here are some of the reasons why:
Sales is a balancing act.
You’ve got a lot of leads to stay on top of, all in various stages of progress on the buyer’s journey. It’s not easy to keep track of them all, so take advantage of technology to keep from dropping any valuable leads. A CRM system will track every contact you or a member of your team has with a particular prospect, and will make it easy to schedule follow-ups. So you’ll be much less likely to have any leads slip off into oblivion and be forgotten.
Overcome your social inhibitions.
I’m not talking about mingling at parties here, but rather, your use of social networking for marketing purposes. Your sales team may still not be comfortable using social media as part of their overall plan, and if so, they’re missing lots of opportunities. Customers today are growing accustomed to engaging with businesses on the socials, so you really need to have a presence there. One really nice feature of the HubSpot CRM is that is when you add a contact to the system, it runs a search for that person’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. If it finds them, those accounts will be added to their record in the CRM, giving you another channel through which to communicate to your prospects.
Your competitors are using CRM systems.
If you haven’t automated your sales team’s processes by 2016, it’s likely that you’re going to miss following up with some of your leads. That means that they’re just as likely to forget about you. And if they’ve crossed paths with one of your competitors who is doing it right, and is continuing to reach out to those prospects, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to be losing business to the competition. Get up to speed quickly with a CRM like HubSpot, and be ready to move forward with the right approach for the coming year!