3 things your CRM needs today to empower your sales team for tomorrow

by Steli Efti
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When it comes to CRMs, the competition is extremely fierce—in fact, there are more than 500 CRMs listed on sites like G2 Crowd and Capterra. 

But here’s the thing: Despite the number of CRM options available to businesses, only a handful of CRM companies have been able to consistently achieve brand recognition, word of mouth publicity and sales.

So why do organizations choose one CRM over all the others? The answer is simple: That CRM offers a product with capabilities that businesses cannot ignore.

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If you’re looking to invest in a CRM, these are the 3 things that your CRM of choice *really* needs to have—things that will empower your sales team to win. 

Let’s look at them:

1. Ease of Use

Did you know that when it comes to CRMs, 72% of sales executives would trade functionality for greater ease of use

Yes, you read that right!

(That’s an important stat for CRM companies to remember too.) 

Surprisingly, ease of use isn’t a top priority for businesses shopping for a CRM. Don’t get us wrong—while companies may say they want an easy-to-use CRM, they often chase the CRMs with the most flashy features instead of focusing on the basic element of usability, which is crucial for their sales teams.

In a survey, ease of use was rated as the most important CRM feature by 65% of sales teams.

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That’s why we believe the ease of use is one of the primary characteristics to look for when choosing a CRM.

(Did you know that you can literally get set up and running with Close CRM in minutes, and start emailing and calling your leads? Try it free for yourself!)

But how can you tell whether a CRM is easy to use before you buy? Here are a few things to look for that will contribute to easing of use in the long run: 

1. Intuitive UI: Is there anything more powerful than UI when evaluating tech tools? We think not. UI isn’t just about how the product looks, but how it feels.

A clunky UI will hinder your sales reps from using the tool as much as you’d like them to. Nobody likes wrestling with a tool that’s not intuitive or that crashes all the time, and you can’t afford to have leads falling through the cracks. That’s why the CRM of your choice should adhere to the basics of UI design and should be designed in a way that’s valuable, accessible, intentional, intuitive, invisible and beautiful. 

2. Superior integrations: A good CRM is one that offers superior integration capabilities as it lets information move seamlessly. Integration ensures that information is easily available for those who need it—in this case, your sales reps.

sales-crm-social-recommendation-serious-crmSales teams using Close can integrate with other awesome communication, prospecting, analysis tools seamlessly which help them make sense of the lead—where the leads come from and how they need to act on it. 

Taking a demo or signing up for a free trial will really help you to evaluate the above-mentioned factors. But before you seal the deal, do invest time in checking the below-mentioned factor as well: 

3. Quick learning curve: CRMs that offer a quick learning curve are preferred and speak volumes about the effectiveness of the tool. 

It’s a basic ask...

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The ones that are too technical to understand lead to a lot of wasted time and impact the productivity of your sales team. So the best way to ensure that you haven’t signed up for a product with complicated setup and a tedious learning curve is by speaking with peers in the industry as well as evaluating the length that the support team goes in order to provide you with a stellar experience. 

“The Close team has been a helpful resource to our team. As we leverage Close to manage our pipeline, they’ve worked closely with us to understand our business and ensure we get the most out of the CRM. Their expertise in Smart View optimization has offered clearer insights into lead funnel and faster follow-up. Further, their knowledge in integrating other tools through Zapier has brought great value to our team.” - Amanda Mullet, Sales Operations Manager, HomeLight

“The Close team has been extremely helpful. I regularly email them to ask for insights into how to best approach a process within the capabilities of the Close CRM. They’re always on point with their insights, quick to respond and very helpful in every ask. The support we receive is a big part of why we have decided to stay with Close, a true differentiator.” - Mojan Butler, CoPilot

“The Close team have really gotten to know our business. I don't have to get them up to speed on what we do, just the particular issue we are trying to solve. If you've got business challenges in your sales organization that you are thinking through (and really, who doesn't!), these guys excel in understanding what you want to accomplish and proposing effective solutions.” - J.T. Allen, President and CEO, myFootpath

Always ensure that you use a CRM that helps you focus less on setting it up and more on the important bit—sales. 

2. Ability to deep dive into data

To be successful in achieving their sales targets, any sales team should be able to see what’s working for them and what’s not. And there’s only one way to know that, and that’s through data. 

A report published by Nucleus Research found that data accessibility for sales people is key to shortening the sales cycle, on average, by 8-14 percent and therefore a key feature 

CRMs with smart reporting tools help sales teams to see if they’re making enough calls, are there enough leads available for sales reps to act upon, how many emails were sent, how many leads were converted...and so on..

How does this analysis tie with a team’s growth? 

Data analysis helps sales teams make informed decisions, improve their efficiency and productivity and drive the company towards success. It is no brainer that the CRM you choose should be able to give you fruitful insights into your sales team's productivity, pipeline, and performance. 

At Close, we’ve recently revamped our activity overview report and have added a brand new activity comparison report that shows amazing data points in real time. 

Here’s how the reports work:

Remember without an inbuilt data reporting tool, all that your CRM does is simply document things. It’s a wasted opportunity to see the bigger picture and the one you should avoid. 

3. One stop solution

Effective sales organizations are 81% more likely to be practicing consistent usage of a CRM or other system of record. (source: Aberdeen Group)

If we have to go by these above-mentioned statistics, it’s clear that to be effective at sales, most companies tend to stay hooked on to a CRM for long. That’s why it is necessary that CRM offers a one-stop solution to your sales team.

So what are a few features/pointers that are essential for a sales team to be able to make the most of their sales CRM? Here’s a quick list: 

  • Allows you to manage your workflows
  • Provides you with enough insights to stay on top of your pipeline
  • Lets you track every touchpoint with your leads 
  • Offers efficient in-built tools such as two-way email syncing, email sequences, in-built calling, built in SMS, predictive dialers and powerful search

A good sales CRM will not only provide you with the best features but also continuously upgrade the existing ones.

Think of it like this: A CRM that doesn’t evolve with the needs of your sales team, isn’t going to be of much value at a point. At Close, we are extremely aware of this problem and that’s why we strive really hard to deliver the best offering to our customers.

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Wrapping It Up

With a plethora of choices available today, picking the right CRM—the one that empowers your sales team, can be difficult...we get it. 

Most companies waste a lot of time scrutinizing sales CRM features when instead they need to know only three things—how easy & effective is the CRM, whether it offers a one-stop solution to the sales team and whether it provides an ability to deep dive into the data.

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What type of sales CRM do you plan to invest in? Does it tick all the checkboxes as mentioned in this article? Let us know in your comments below.

Not a Close user yet? See how much our CRM with built-in calling, emailing, texting, and powerful reporting helps you take your sales productivity to the next level. Start your free trial.

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