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5 Essential Features that Every CRM Must Have

Every sales team needs to maintain an activity and production goal in order to be successful. To do so, you need to make hundreds of outbound efforts using a combination of phone calls and emails. A sales rep needs to be armed with the right tools to organize these tasks daily. There are many different Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools on the market that can help you make the most of your time. It is essential that, whatever tool you go with, that it include at minimum these five features:

1) Search for leads

Incredible amounts of time can be wasted on calling bad leads – knowing who you are calling and why they will want your product is essential for completing any sale. A successful team learns to create lists using different filters in order to effectively focus their time. Aside from the benefit of having a plan of attack, having an organized list of people to call will streamline the way that you approach your calls in any given day. Wherever you are getting your leads from, having the options of narrowing your search down to more granular categories like industry, location, and titles will help you get in touch with the right person earlier on in the sales process, ensuring greater success. When selecting your CRM, make sure that it has this feature.

2) Log activities:

You’re making tons of calls every day, but customers operate on a different time table than you. Every time you pick up the phone, you’re continuing a conversation that you started the last time you call, and impressions stick once they’ve been formed. Nothing is worse as a customer to call about an issue that you had in the past be ignored through negligence. It makes them feel like their time isn’t valuable to you, and makes you look like all you care about is getting their money. A successful team learns to create a record of events that occurred on specific leads – a good CRM reflects this. By writing detailed notes on your call, you can develop a relationship with your client, making that final “yes” a walk in the park.

3) Schedule follow up activities:

Sales is all about the follow up. A successful team learns to remind themselves of tasks that need to be accomplished on any specific day. Other companies don’t run on the same time line that you do – knowing the right time to reach out is essential for closing deals. Having the courtesy to follow up exactly when the client needs you shows that you are serious, and that their needs matter to you. Playing phone tag is an inevitable part of phone sales, but if you can help it, avoid it by making your call count the first time. No one wants to let a good lead fall through the cracks because they forgot to follow up. A good CRM must have a follow up feature.

4) Track opportunities:

A successful team learns to guide a customer through each stage of their sales process from first meeting scheduled to closed deal. There are few things more embarrassing than going into a call sounding like you’ve made it in error. You’re calling dozens, if not hundreds of people per day – it is easy to forget the little details from these calls. Taking meticulous notes and touching upon small things that happen during the call will allow you to be personable and informed. No one wants to mis-manage a chance to turn their cold call into revenue. A good CRM allows you to track opportunities as they develop.

5) Reporting:

If you make a sale and fail to report it, did you close the deal? Sales is a game of metrics, and it is important to have functions that show where you stand in relation to the rest of your team. This will allow your team know who stands out and who needs to analyze their process. A successful team learns to keep track of their progress compared to goal and communicate those metrics to their superior. No one wants to be uncertain about where they stand or miss an opportunity to brag about their successes!

At a bare minimum, a sales team needs these functions to identify leads and effectively move them through a cadence. These tools combined with good leads, training, and strong leadership are necessary before starting a sales campaign, and will lead you towards success.

Jack McCarthy
Sales Manager