How to Manage a Sales Team Using Close CRM
Sales management is relentless. One minute, everything’s fine—the next, a team member exits, leads dry up, or reporting gets skewed.
The train comes off the tracks every day, and it’s your job to get it back up and running again.
Here’s where a good CRM comes into play. When you choose the right CRM for your sales team, and the right management approach within that CRM, you can automate repetitive tasks, streamline reporting, and boost productivity (to infinity and beyond!).
We’re about to reveal some tight-held insights from our own sales team, and show you how Close can enable better management and faster revenue growth.
Managing a Sales Team in Your CRM Just Got Easier—Here’s Why
Managing your sales team in a CRM is easier and simpler now than ever. Why? The software has gotten much better, and sales activities can now occur inside the CRM, rather than in a bunch of different applications.
Today, salespeople can do their jobs inside the CRM. Send and receive emails. Make and receive calls. Organize customer data. Schedule follow-ups.
Then, the CRMs can pull that information in and tell you results automatically, without requiring sales reps to log it all manually.
From a managerial standpoint? The CRM is doing all the heavy lifting—so your life (and your team’s life) just got that much sweeter.
3 Simple Steps to Manage Your Team More Effectively from Your CRM
So, to manage people in a CRM—and to do it well—start by implementing these three simple steps. Nick Persico, our Director of Sales and Marketing here at Close, swears by these. And you will soon, too.
1. Record Everything and Get Qualitative Insights
This approach gives you qualitative insights—into customer business types, opinions on features, and industry conditions. What is their perspective on your product? What is their perspective on your sales team? Everyone from your sales managers, to product team members, to the CEO should hear what happens on those calls.
And as a bonus, you get quantitative information. In what percentage of calls is your competitor mentioned? How many calls does it take, on average, to close a deal?
Recording calls and using software to transcribe and summarize? You should have that set up on day one. Then, when questions arise, the info is already there and can be accessed retroactively.
As much as we love salespeople, we know that notetaking isn’t always their strong suit. Your team may often forget to take notes, or may be writing in a shorthand that only they can understand. With a third-party notetaker like Close, your salespeople can focus on what they do best. The software will capture what was said for them (and for the team).
It also absolves your sales team from manually noting and logging all that data—which reduces their workloads and frees them to sell.
2. Make Sure Your Team Does All Their Activity Inside the CRM
Now, make sure that your sales team is doing all of their sales activities via the CRM. If your reps are making calls from their cell phones, or sending emails using another sales tool that’s not connected to the CRM? That outreach won’t get logged.
And if that outreach isn’t logged, the reports coming out of your CRM will be useless. That’s key value, gone to waste. So, double down on keeping activity inside the CRM—and the reports will take care of themselves, giving you the information you need.
Further on in this article, we’ll dive into ways to amplify this in-CRM approach—including activity comparisons and integrations (really, Close does it all). As a manager? Set the tone for your team and lead by example. Stick to the CRM. It’s there to help.
3. Hold a Weekly Pipeline Meeting (That’s Actually Productive)
Nick holds pipeline meetings with the whole sales team—every week. If you have a larger team, you can break your meetings into groups based on specialization, region, or manager. Just make sure you meet once a week—every week.
Consider this meeting structure: You, the manager, pull up the Pipeline view of your team for that week. Ask each team member to share three deals that they lost (and talk through that), then three deals that they're working on (and are going to close this week or month, depending on your sales cycle).
A couple of things happen here.
First, your sales reps hear and learn from one another—the triumphs and struggles, blood and victory. Especially in remote environments, there's some level-setting, understanding, and empathy that happens between your team members—that you wouldn’t get in a one-on-one.
And as a sales manager, it's your responsibility to coach your team. The weekly meeting allows you to coach one-to-many. As you help one rep through a specific problem, your next rep can empathize (they had that problem two weeks ago) and another can learn (because they’ll have that problem in two weeks).
Second, if they come to the meeting every week with the same deal, it’s evident that they're not moving that deal forward. The meeting is a natural way to pull out those key insights and information.
And third, it provides a 30,000-foot view of the state of your pipeline—and where things stand. Are you confident? Are you not? Are things going well or slowly burning to the ground? You have a quantitative and qualitative perspective on how well your sales team is functioning. And all that, in a neat 30-45 minute meeting.
So, have that pipeline meeting every single week. And set clear expectations on what reps need to bring to that table.
Manage Your Team Better: Pro Tips for Sales Management Using Close CRM
Are you a sales manager at a small, medium, or startup-sized business? Close CRM may be your best bet. We’re pros at this scale—and we offer built-in features like Workflows, Custom Activities, and Funnel Reports designed to optimize your time and energy.
Here are some key sales management pointers to follow when using Close.
Set Up Workflows for Faster Lead Assignment and Nurturing
After qualification, how do you get those leads distributed to your reps and enrolled in nurturing efforts? Workflows allow sales managers to automate lead assignments—reducing the manual effort required to manage your sales process.
Nick says: “When a lead comes in, you can set up a workflow to automatically assign a lead to a member of your team at random (if that’s your play)—and then, automatically enroll the lead in that team member’s workflow.”
After assignment, leads can move further down the workflow, which involves various follow-up steps and tasks designed to keep outreach consistent, streamlined—and effective.
So, use Workflows to automate—and supercharge—your lead management efforts.
Set Up Custom Activities for Common Sales Touchpoints
Context is king, so track all the things. Custom Activities in Close allow you to create a custom action type to record and centralize common sales touchpoints—both inside and outside your CRM.
Cold calls, qualifying calls, social media interactions, and beyond (support tickets, call outcomes, invoices, lead forms—when we say beyond, we mean beyond).
These Custom Activities can drive sales automation (with Zapier), act as calling scripts—and so much more. Flexible to your team and process? Check. In fact, one of our top partners drives his whole setup with CAs.
Wield these tailor-made views of all those sales touchpoints to get the data you actually need.
Get Your Team on the Close Mobile App
Nobody in sales works exclusively from their desk. Everybody knows that.
With the Close mobile app, your team can communicate with customers on the go. Outbound and inbound calling, email, SMS. Context on leads, pipeline overviews, the whole shebang. Think of it as the pocket-sized sales assistant (who doesn’t get a salary).
Get your team on the Close mobile app, available for iOS and Android. This keeps all your data inside the CRM—from anywhere, even a mountain or hot air balloon.
Track the activities you need, while giving your team flexibility. They will love you for it.
Integrate Slack to Celebrate and Keep Track of New Activity
In an inbound lead process, you want to see all the leads coming in—and review them over time. This can be automated with email, but we also like to recommend Slack.
Via the Zapier integration in Close, you can send newly created opportunities and won deals to Slack automatically—and then pop the emoji champagne with your team. Recognition for a job well done is central to team morale, and keeping track of new lead activity? Priceless.
Check it out.
Nick adds: “For certain leads that look really good, set reminders for yourself to check on that lead 10 and 20 days from now to see how things are going and to check that your team—and sales process—is working as intended.”
Use Leaderboards and Activity Comparison to Track Performance
A little friendly competition can be a great way to boost productivity.
The Activity Comparison Report in Close gives you a spreadsheet-like view of the performance of every team member, and helps you determine who and how your people are contributing to overall results, over specific time periods.
Track the productivity of your sales team? Great. But also use this feature to see which individual activities are getting the best traction. Are top-performing reps spending more time on calls? Sending more emails?
With detailed insights like these, you’re prepared to tackle performance issues—and elevate your coaching approach.
Watch Your Sales Funnel and Prevent Problems
A well-managed sales funnel helps you understand your leads and prospects—which supports better outreach, and optimizes your sales conversions.
That’s kind of important.
So, use Funnel Reports in Close to keep a keen eye on every stage of your funnel. Discover where leads are converting (and where they’re leaking out), catch when there aren’t enough leads in the pipeline—and test for bottlenecks in your sales process.
Funnel Reports are hyper-specific and allow you to get granular on the ‘why’ of each stage’s conversion rate—good or bad. Use this information to preempt problems and get that funnel flowing effectively.
Why Close is the Best CRM for Sales Managers & Leaders
Sure, we’re biased—we think Close is the best. But we also foster a no-BS policy, so if our CRM isn’t the best option for your team? We’ll tell you.
For sales managers at small, medium, and startup-sized businesses, however, we are the best. We are designed for these sales teams—and equipped to deal with your unique challenges and triumphs.
But don’t just take our word for it—here’s what some of our customers have to say about using Close:
“My experiences with other CRMs haven't even come close to Close. I'm very impressed. As a Sales Manager, one of my main roles is coaching my team. I love that Close gives me really good visibility into how our team members are interacting with clients. This lets me give them weekly direct feedback in their 1:1s on real communications they have.”
—Carly Congdon, Teambuilding.com
James Urie, Sr. Partnerships Manager at Close, adds: “I hear this from partners all the time, but in other CRMs, you can ‘fake’ activities. Mark a call task as done, and the CRM reports that a call was made—with no real evidence. In Close, that's not possible. Activity data is accurate and can’t be faked. So, sales managers have real insight into the activity of their team and the results—without wondering if the activity actually occurred.
“This also plays into why we are so great for remote teams,” he continues. “You can’t fake it, even if you’re at home with no one around to see or hear you on calls.”
Another selling point Kate Petrone, Sr. AE at Close, hears from sales leaders is Close CRM’s ease of use and quick adoption rate. “Sales managers don’t need to spend their time building customer dashboards or reports. The data is at their fingertips. And their team can be up and running in less than a day.”
Managing a sales team inside your CRM has never been easier—and with Close? Prepare for powerful automation, productivity, and performance magic. ✨ Dive in with your 14-day free trial, no credit card required.