Are You Providing Your Sales Reps with the Right Software Tools?

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Often companies look at software as a way to automate an existing sales process when they should actually be looking for software that creates sales successes. Are you giving your sales team the right tools?

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Contact information, for example, has moved from handwritten Rolodex cards, to desktop software, to online customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. In any of these scenarios, the basic gist may be perceived as “creation of a central repository of customer and prospect contact information.” However, that’s a waste of your CRM solution’s full capabilities. By leveraging data on activities associated with that contact, you enable your account manager to identify new opportunities and monitor signals that can indicate if an account is at risk of being lost.

As CRM solutions have matured, smart organizations have begun utilizing features such as email blasts, project management modules, issue tracking, order placement, and more—features that help account managers with organic growth initiatives for their existing customers. A traditional CRM system is ideal for managing current customers because account details can be stored in one place and easily accessed by multiple stakeholders that touch those customers such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, and logistics.

But, what about the sales hunters? CRM has the customer relationship under control. However, sales reps charged with the task of new customer acquisition and lead generation activities need a lead management solution that supports handling inbound & outbound calls, with the goal of turning leads into prospects, and then into new customers. The source of leads can come from various sources like a company’s database, web forms, trade shows, list brokers and other marketing activities.

Given the fact that lead management is a critical role in the sales process, it would seem logical that most organizations would have this covered. However, it’s been noted that up to 55% of companies don’t respond to new sales leads at all, and almost 75% of new leads are never contacted (source: 3 Compelling Reasons You Need a Lead Management Process).

So what should you look for in a lead management solution that may be above and beyond the functionality of your current CRM tool?

Here is a quick list of requirements you should have on your lead management solution checklist:

  • Sales campaign creation
  • Call scripting and lead routing guidelines
  • Disposition codes
  • Email templates
  • Email drip campaigns
  • Lead scoring
  • Custom reports
  • Auto dialing and call recording for telesales & appointment setting
  • Web form integration with your website
  • Ability to integrate with your CRM solution

Good sales leaders understand that different sales roles call for different skill sets – a great account manager may not be the right fit for generating new leads. A cold-calling super star may not be the best for a job involving nurturing an ongoing client relationship. Just as there are different personality types for each sales role, there are different tools suited to each role. Each personality and each solution set plays an integral part of your overall sales efforts. Ensure you’ve covered all the bases for ongoing sales success by enabling your sales team members with the right tools.

Looking for Customer Relationship Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Relationship Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Kevin Thornton

Kevin Thornton is Executive Vice President - Sales & Marketing for VanillaSoft, a cloud-based lead management and appointment setting software provider for Inside Sales Teams. Kevin’s career spans over 20 years leading sales teams that have generated over $1B in software sales. He is responsible for accelerating global customer and revenue growth and overseeing all new customer engagement and acquisition strategies. Kevin's prior positions include Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, Americas at Corel Corporation and Senior Vice President Sales for Sage Software’s Small Business Division. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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