[Note: We are continiung our walkthrough of how to introduce Sage CRM to MAS and Accpac clients.]
Finding, getting and keeping customers is the heart of CRM – I refer to it as the holy trinity of CRM. This time around, we are going to discuss the “getting customers” piece of the equation (check here for more on “finding customers” and here for more on “keeping customers”).
For a lot of people, sales and opportunity management *is* CRM so it’s important to note that Sage CRM is extremely strong in this area.
Sage CRM allows you to easily track sales opportunities through the stages of their natural lifecycle – suspect, prospect, opportunity, sold or lost. While it offers default stages out of the box, you can define and control this lifecycle using whatever language fits your business and your particular sales lifecycle.
If you choose to, you can also segregate really early stage, “cold” leads from warmer leads. This is done by using the appropriately named “Leads” area of the system. Some businesses use the leads as a holding area for purchased lead lists while they are being processed and warmed up. Once they are warm, they graduate to a true company, person and opportunity in the system.
You can view and manage these leads at the individual level or at the departmental group level. This helps companies manage individual sales efforts and the entire organization’s sales efforts as a whole if needed.
Each individual sales person can stay on top of their pipeline easily with their sales dashboard and analyze the big picture and,with a single click,drill down into the details. This helps you stay on top of hot sales prospects and keep things moving along to ensure sales come to a successful conclusion.
And with the proper security configuration, specific people (ex. managers) can view any individual’s particular pipeline and dashboard. For management, this is particularly useful as they can catch up to speed on their team’s sales efforts on demand when it’s convenient for them even if the individual sales person is not available.
One of Sage CRM’s strongest features is it’s workflow engine. For the non technical among us, the workflow engine is the piece that controls and automates the sales process – helping define how a sale moves from one stage to the next.
Again – the workflow engine is one of Sage CRM’s strongest features and is particularly important when it comes to sales.
As part of controlling the sales flow, it allows you to automate the many touchpoints that can oftentimes make or break a sale. We call these touchpoints “administrivia” - there are many of them, most sales people hate to do them as they are typically mundane and yet they are extremely important.
Sage CRM makes administrivia a thing of the past.
For example, when you send a proposal to a prospect, the Sage CRM workflow engine can be configured to put a reminder on your calendar to do a follow up call in three days to check in. When you make a sale, the Sage CRM workflow engine can automatically send a thank you email to your new customer and also put a follow up on your marketing person’s calendar in ninety days to check on the work and ask for references.
The possibilities are endless. And it’s the workflow piece that makes this possible.
Sage CRM also makes it easy to stay on top of forecasting. For most organizations, forecasting is a time-consuming activity in which individual sales people spend a good chunk of time at the end of the month putting numbers into a spreadsheet that they send to the sales manager. The sales manager, in turn, spends a whole bunch of time bringing the indivdiual spreadsheets into a single master sheet to analyze.
This is time-consuming and unnecessary. With Sage CRM, forecasts are assembled for review within minutes using the sales opportunities in the pipeline.
Bottom line, Sage CRM allows you to improve your visibility and control of your sales process which, when done right, will lead to increased revenue and greater profitability.