Sales teams have radically changed since the dawn of the twenty-first century and the rise of web 2.0. In today’s sales economy, businesses are using social media to engage in online selling, make connections with new clients, and better understand their customer base. Similarly, sales teams are using data analysis to expand their sales opportunities and augment their sales portfolios. The fastest growing companies are using historical and current data to predict customer shifts, find the best opportunities, and even minimize risk in the markets. Three-quarters of the developing companies, in fact, consider their ‘above average’ use of analytics to be a crucial element in their sales strategies.
Of course, these changes rest on technological advances in sales software and hardware. Sales departments are integrating dedicated, up-and-coming sales technologies that help teams get a jump on their competitors. While contemporary sales teams need to be tech and social media savvy for today’s markets, they also need new technology that can augment their web presence and make customer interactions more efficient. Current software can help sales teams engage with potential clients from any location and from a myriad of devices. Moreover, current software can seamlessly integrate phone, social media, data analysis, and data storage, all accessible from one, central dashboard.
While phone systems are and will always be the backbone of sales, successful sales teams need to integrate their phones with their online systems to keep the process efficient and effective. To do so, they need customer relations management (CRM) software, a phone system, and a computer telephony integration (CTI) program that helps CRMs and phone systems function perfectly.
Here are some key programs that keep teams on the forefront of current sales strategies:
CRMs: Constant, real-time accessibility for a mobile sales team
Customer Relations Management software helps sales teams manage and organize every aspect of a client’s portfolio. Moreover, it can automate certain sales elements and practices so that sales teams can concentrate on personalized service. Most CRMs let users operate from a single dashboard so that sales teams can instantaneously access information about current and potential clients. The dashboard also lets users see a current customer’s entire sales funnel from initial contact to reorder. Today, most CRMs can be made available through the cloud or through servers based at the facility. With cloud-based CRMs, there’s no installation or necessary on-site IT support staff; cloud-based CRMs are easily accessible, scalable, and flexible. With the cloud, businesses can access as much space as they need and incorporate new users instantaneously.
The most popular sales CRMs offer flexibility, predictive analysis, the ability to integrate third-party software extensions, and high levels of customization. Salesforce CRM is one of the leading sales CRMs for small to medium enterprises and larger businesses alike. Rated the market’s best CRM by CRM Magazine, G2, ZDNet, and Software Advice, Salesforce CRM is used by over 100,000 companies around the world. Forbes Magazine notes the CRMs rapid rise to one of the largest CRM cloud-based platforms, noting that Salesforce is very successful at global deployment, as well as the “the familiar interface and ease of deployment have led to higher rates of adoption than any other approach to delivering new application functionality.”
Salesforce cloud-based sales software, Sales Cloud, offers complete content accessibility, collaborative programs that allow sales agents to connect with each other in real time. It also offers visual workflows that automate callers, so that clients get routed to the right person promptly.
CTIs: Integrating CRMs to phone systems
While finding the right CRM is crucial for SMEs and larger enterprises, businesses also need a CTI that will incorporate phones and computers. Computer Telephony Integration programs explicitly link telephone systems to companies’ CRMs, therefore saving them time and money by minimizing agents downtime and helping users avoid repetitive tasks. CTI software records and files all calls so that they are stored and available at any time. CTI integration has been found to increase productivity; with automatic dialing, sales agents spend less time with misdials and errors. Furthermore, the screen popup system automatically shows agents exactly information that they need to see at the right time. On the whole, CTI lets computers become virtual communication tools, letting users automatically connect with customers and access information simultaneously.
Here are some key features available with CTI:
Sales Dialer: Sales Dialer software performs the task of the archaic predictive dialers of the past but with far more reliability and accuracy. Today’s sales dialers use algorithms to understand when agents are finished and then connect them with the next prospective client. When sales teams use a sales dialer program, there’s little or no downtime between calls. Current research shows that sales dialers can almost double productivity for even the most productive sales agents. With Salesforce Dialer software, users can also have pre-recorded messages automatically deploy if a client’s voicemail picks up, thus saving agents time and energy by not talking to machines.
Call logging: Call logging allows users to record, manage, and monitor interactions between agents and clients, which can assist with staff training, development, or troubleshooting and help managers with quality control. With CTI for Salesforce, agents can log, record, and store calls for better customer relations. Call logging allows users and managers to verify and review orders, assure safety and security, and optimize customer service by verifying quality assurance. With call logging, managers and agents have real-time access to key information, including duration, history, and possible other connections. CTI can integrate with Salesforce CRM to monitor and measure key performance markers, including dropped call percentages, call duration, and first-call resolution.
Caller ID, routing and click to call: By integrating phones and CRMs with CTI for Salesforce, users can manage all aspects of their calls from their dashboards. Without having to search, agents can access key client information at the time that the call is made. Screen pop-ups automatically emerge for each contact, giving call information such as previous contacts, open cases, previous sales, and other relevant aspects of account history. Users can manage call holding, call retrieval, and transfer. Calls are automatically routed with the linked CRM/sales dialer. Salesforce CTI can also route customers that need simple information to automated messages, therefore freeing up agents for more pressing needs. With Salesforce click to call, agents can eschew manual dialing and just click on a link to dial, accessing phone numbers from websites, spreadsheets, and databases. Moreover, with Salesforce CTI, agents can embed a softphone dial pad so that calls can be used with VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone systems or traditional PTSN (public switch telephone network).
Logging to data analysis: Finally, CTI lets users integrate already-logged, raw data with a CRM’s advanced data analysis. The CRM can analyze the raw data logged through the program, which helps managers gain insight into customer issues or clients who need immediate action. Furthermore, the CRM can use the recorded history with clients to illustrate larger trends or create a predictive analysis for expanding a business’s customer base. Because CTI automatically records all customer interacting, it’s able to turn all call details into data. The more raw data a company compiles, the more robust short- and long-term data analyses can be. In addition to data compilation, Salesforce CRM can create weekly and monthly reports that let managers effectively plan long-term sales goals.
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