How technology can empower sales teams in 2023
In an economically unpredictable, ever-changing, and highly competitive market, marketing and sales alignment is more crucial than ever. Making sure businesses can survive these turbulent times means these departments must work in tandem to target the right prospects and customers, create more insight-driven conversions and drive more sales.
Yet many companies are currently suffering from a crisis of disconnection. They are struggling with disconnected systems, people, and customers. They need the right technology, data, teams and community to solve this. Even some bigger businesses are missing a trick by not simplifying their tech stack and implementing a better CRM system.
Integrating the tech stack is something a CRM system can do. Typically, smaller businesses are doing this well because they’re less fragmented and naturally tend to focus more on relationships over departments. For those organisations, there’s a lesson here to learn.
A saviour to disconnected teams and data
According to research conducted by HubSpot, only 23% of businesses would say their sales and marketing teams are strongly aligned, meanwhile the same number of respondents (23%) said their sales and marketing teams are not very aligned.
However, nearly a quarter of businesses recognise that their CRM platform is very important to the sales process. Elsewhere, over half (54%) of business leaders say the quality of leads from their marketing team are average. Clearly something must shift.
That’s because - when implemented correctly - CRM systems connect teams, eliminate friction, manage records better and much more. Most importantly, however, businesses need to untangle data. Activating the lifeblood (data) of modern businesses will only help to make faster, proactive, and more innovative decisions.
Insights into customer behaviour and the digital footprints they leave behind provides teams across the business, marketing or sales, the opportunity to decode vital clues as to customer preferences, how they want to engage and where they’d like to see real return on investment.
Technology’s never-ending powers
Many businesses already have a CRM system in place, but all the data tells us that they’re not fulfilling their purpose. Historically, CRM deployments have garnered a bad reputation - which is a shame, because done right it can be an invaluable differentiator.
To unlock these opportunities, it isn’t just about putting out a request for proposal and picking a Customer Relationship Management tool based on a price point. It is fundamentally a change management process (systems and people) and it’s vital to ensure it is implemented, configured, and enabled correctly to unlock those opportunities. Those that fully understand the value of a CRM and how to optimise for end-users are the ones that experience the strongest growth - for example Reed, the recruitment agency, which drove a seven figure attributable income in one year from their CRM.
This is because a CRM allows UK businesses to compete on a global playing field and grow from anywhere. It is location agnostic and gives a business the platform to thrive, wherever its people are - at home, in the office or on the move.
Don’t forget the human connection
And while winning a lead is brilliant, customer connection must remain core to every business decision. Keeping people happy and developing loyalty to your business will build a sustainable business with a strong customer base.
Acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one so nurturing long-term relationships are the backbone to any successful business. Customer expectations have changed significantly due to the pandemic, the economic climate and our new ways of working, and your CRM platform can give you the confidence your teams are meeting those challenges
CRM systems can unify all prospect and customer data into a central platform. This will undoubtedly improve the level of customer service that is provided, as your service reps can have all the necessary information at the touch of a button, enabling them to offer a highly personalised customer experience.
At a time of disconnection, offering human-connection is a stand-out and desired business attribute, businesses must arm their teams with the right tools and insights. For any business - small or large - wanting to reduce costs and sustain growth, especially in a challenging environment, they should be looking towards their tech stack and data to drive efficiencies.