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3 Ways the Right CRM Technology Can Enhance Your Sales Funnel

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

Computer telephony integration can save your sales team time and provide new insights.

A sales funnel is a visual metaphor that represents every step prospects take on their journey to becoming buying customers. If you're selling a product or service, creating a funnel can lead to more conversions by strengthening the relationship between potential customers and your business.

To optimize a sales funnel effectively, you need total visibility over everything that happens across your sales department. Computer telephony integration (CTI) solutions that offer easy integration with existing CRM systems, plus a range of other features, such as automatic dialing, can help businesses increase efficiency, effectiveness and insights.

Efficiency

Take a second to imagine how many calls your sales team receives and makes. Then consider how much time it takes to manage tasks, move leads through the appropriate stages of the sales pipeline, coach sales reps and perform other sales-related admin duties. Chances are, there are a lot of actions you could simplify.

For example, time spent punching in every phone number adds up over time. CTI solutions that offer click-to-call-functionality give your reps more time to research prospects before dialing them.

Additionally, having a solution that easily integrates with your CRM system means all of your customer data is accessible at the touch of a button. Your sales reps will be able to get the information they need without switching between applications. Instantly, researching and understanding the context of each call becomes easier and so does converting colder prospects into hotter leads.

Effectiveness

There's no such thing as the perfect sales funnel. That said, doing everything in your power to ensure your sales team makes the most of every opportunity can quickly increase your conversion rates.

CTI solutions allow you to create and prioritize call lists based on the CRM data that matters to your business. This means you can segment and target contacts that are the most likely to become customers. In highly competitive markets, focusing on the hottest prospects can help you maximize resources for the best possible returns.

Driving continuous improvement

It doesn't matter what you want to achieve, practice and coaching are the only way you'll get there. The world of sales is no different. CTI solutions that automatically record every call that goes through the software can allow you to listen and learn from your sales reps. This enables you to drive continuous improvement through targeted training that makes a real difference to specific areas within your sales funnel.

Insight

Data drives action. Consequently, improving both the volume and quality of the information provided to management is a surefire way to improve decision-making and strategy. Many CTI solutions simplify the job of making those all-important conclusions by performing the following actions:

Easily tracking stages

A healthy relationship with customers is vital to converting leads to sales. CRM gives you the information you need about the customer quickly. Customers need to move through the sales funnel at their own pace. According to HubSpot, 60% of customers prefer to talk to a sales rep when they are in the consideration stage.

Move too slowly, and the customer may choose another company. Move too quickly, and you risk alienating the customer. CRM allows the sales reps to see exactly where a customer is in the buying process. They can then act accordingly and convert the lead into a sale when the customer is ready.

Simplifying historical reporting

CRM solutions come preloaded with powerful reporting tools. However, by combining these capabilities with CTI, your historical reporting becomes simpler. Instead of switching between systems and pulling reports from multiple databases, the tech does the heavy lifting for you. Making sense of your data is more straightforward and so is the decision-making process that comes afterward.

Upselling and cross-selling

Upselling and cross-selling can significantly increase profits. A 2015 study by For Entrepreneurs showed that 16% of revenue came from upsells. For the fastest growing companies, up to 37% of revenue generated came from upsells.

CRM makes upselling and cross-selling easier by providing the customer's data and purchase history. The sales rep can cross-sell by looking at the purchase history and make inferences about which products the customer would be likely to buy.

They can also follow up on recent purchases and offer upsells. For recently purchased items, warranties and accessories can easily be suggested. If the customer has purchased higher-end products in the past, they are a great candidate for upselling.

These practices do more than just improve the company's bottom line. It also helps build customer loyalty and trust, because they feel that their needs are being anticipated. Someone is paying attention and knows what they like, which makes them feel valued and understood.

Providing real-time insights at the click of a button

Creating a single platform for your sales team to use and communicate through provides a wealth of powerful performance data. Configured into real-time dashboards, a CRM can provide you with insights into how your team is performing at any given time. At the click of a button, you can gauge which tactics are working and which are not before adapting your approach accordingly.

Performance analysis

Because the introduction of a CTI solution integrated into your Salesforce environment simplifies measuring team performance, it's never been easier to understand your sales team's productivity. From individual call stats to idle durations, everything you need to make important decisions is streamlined. In turn, you benefit from laser-focused intel that can be used to introduce improvements in the small areas that will make the biggest difference.

Image Credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock
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