5 Ways a CRM Helps Streamline Your Sales Process

5 Ways a CRM Helps Streamline Your Sales Process

5 Ways a CRM Helps Streamline Your Sales Process

Looking to streamline your sales process? It is an integral component of your business’ success. If your sales team has trouble selling efficiently, you’re going to see your company growth drop, which isn’t good for anyone. 

In general, sales reps spend a significant amount of time on admin work — scheduling meetings, setting up reminders, sending emails, and other small tasks that take serious time out of their day that they could be spending closing deals. 

So, how can you streamline your sales process in a way that all of that admin work still gets done, but your sales team has the time they need to close deals? For many companies, a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is the answer. 

Here at Evenbound, we’re big fans of HubSpot, but you might also have heard of other popular options like Pardot and Salesforce. While some options are better than others, the general purpose of a CRM is to make it easier for your sales team to foster positive relationships with all of the leads who come into your sales cycle and eliminate a lot of the busywork that keeps them from closing.

Here are just 5 of the top ways a CRM helps streamline your sales process. 

#1 Streamline Marketing to Sales Handoff Process

For most companies, the handoff from marketing to sales is where leads fall through the cracks. Whether your sales and marketing teams aren’t communicating or your sales team is just too busy to follow up on all the leads marketing sends over, it’s easy, and common for leads to fall out of the sales funnel during the handoff from marketing to sales. 

A CRM can solve the majority of these sales dropoff problems. 

The first fix is to notify your sales team. When the marketing team decides a lead is ready to move up to sales, a CRM can automatically alert your sales team of the move. This is a great way to eliminate lost leads who drop out of the cycle because no one contacts them.

The next fix is to help your sales team see immediately if that lead is actually ready for your sales team or not. A CRM shows your sales team exactly where a lead is in the buying process. The CRM will track every contact marketing has with that lead, giving the sales team a good idea of how warm the lead is, and how ready they are to buy. 

This makes it easy for your sales reps to see at a glance whether a lead is ready for them, or if they’d rather send them back down to marketing. 

And with a quality CRM, transferring that lead back down to marketing is a snap. Your sales rep just reassigns or recategorizes the lead, and they’re back in marketing’s “to nurture” bucket. 

For many companies, a significant percentage of marketing leads do not convert to sales. This is partially handled with sales and marketing alignment, but a CRM is also a very useful tool to make no one is losing track of those leads. 

Implementing a quality CRM not only helps make sure those leads get through the sales process, but it helps bring your sales and marketing teams together, and understand better what both teams need to effectively reach their goals.

#2 CRMs Increase Prospect Visibility in the Sales Funnel

Your sales team is busy. There’s no getting around it. As long as your marketing team is delivering leads, your sales team is busy contacting them all, establishing which of your products or service is the best fit for each and then getting through the actual nurturing and closing process. A CRM streamlines your sales process by offering greater visibility on all of those prospects in the sales funnel. 

CRMs make it easy to see where every prospect is in the sales funnel, at any given time. If your sales team is managing their leads with a post-it note system, a notebook, or any other method, they’re probably letting leads drop out of the sales funnel. And it’s not their fault — we’re all only human! 

But, a CRM can help resolve this problem, and make it easy for your sales team to prioritize the warmest leads above leads who still need a bit of nurturing. 

  • Organize leads by priority. Most quality CRMs allow you to segment leads based on how qualified they are, and where they are in the sales funnel. When your top-priority leads are listed right at the top of the page, your sales team doesn’t even have to think about who to call first. 
  • See at a glance which leads have been contacted, by who, and when. Another key visibility benefit that comes with a quality CRM is that your sales reps can see at a glance who has contacted what lead, and when. They’ll be able to see which of your resources a lead has already received, and what information they might still need to make a final decision. 

Increased visibility thanks to a quality CRM leads to a more effective, efficient sales process. When your leads are automatically organized by industry, job title, interest level, and more, your sales team can spend more time on what they’re best at — closing deals. 

#3 Automated Tasks Help Streamline Your Sales Process

Even though it’s necessary, sending out product catalogs, brochures, and pricing guides is repetitive and time-consuming. Your sales team already knows that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every email, but they do have to take the time to copy-paste their text, change the names, attach the documents, and then finally send the email. A CRM can automate these repetitive tasks so your sales team has more time to actually sell. 

Quality CRMs offer tools like automated workflows, follow-up emails, chatbots, and more, so your leads still get the quality service they need to feel nurtured and supported through the sales process, but your sales team is freed up to use their time for more important tasks. 

And for tasks that CRMs can’t automate, they can send automated reminders. Your sales reps have to talk to any contact multiple times before they close a deal. Your CRM can automatically remind sales reps when to make those calls so that no leads fall through the cracks. 

#4 Easy Reporting

No one likes to make reports. What if they didn’t have to? 

Quality CRMs can generate sales reports at the click of a button, so your team can easily see what’s working, and what’s not.

One of the greatest benefits of a CRM for any sales team is the data it has to offer. In addition to supporting your sales team, your CRM is constantly collecting data. Data about your clients, how long they take to close, what content offer brings in the leads most likely to close, and what sales tools are most effective at closing those sales.

All of that data, combined and compiled for you by the CRM, helps you interpret your sales team’s success, and further streamline your sales process for even better results. 

#5 Sales Leaderboards and Productivity Reports

We’re a big proponent of teamwork. As a growth agency, we’ve seen that companies who encourage their sales reps to work together tend to do significantly better than companies with sales reps who are all using different sales tactics, and even different sales processes. 

Advanced CRMs, like HubSpot, are designed to give you and your sales team all of the data you need to optimize and streamline your sales process as a team. Sales leaderboards and productivity reports are one great way to do that.

They show you which of your team members are doing great, and which might be struggling with your new sales process or CRM. You can use these stats to bring your whole team up, by asking those at the top of the leaderboard to share what they’re doing to close so many deals. 

Generating a sales leaderboard and a productivity report also helps give you a better picture of where your reps are spending their time.

Maybe one rep has been spending a ton of time in your CRM, and is super productive, but is low on the leaderboard. This might be an opportunity to show them some more of those automation tools, so they can get out of their inbox, and back on the phone with clients. 

A CRM is designed to organize and store all of your sales team’s information and data in one easy-to-access location. In addition to providing exceptional visibility, a CRM helps streamline your sales process by handling the repetitive tasks that take time out of your team’s day of selling. The goal is to enable your sales team with all the tools they need to be able to sell better, and more efficiently, and when implemented properly, that’s exactly what a CRM does. 

If you’re thinking about a CRM, but aren’t sure how to get started, or are afraid of a lengthy learning curve, get in touch with the Evenbound team. We have team members dedicated to onboarding and training sales reps and marketing teams on how to use the HubSpot CRM effectively, and we’re confident we can help you too. Just take a look at the results we provided for this company in the case study below!

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What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

What is HubSpot? A Plain English Guide to HubSpot’s Software

If you’re at all interested in inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of HubSpot. They’re a leader in the digital marketing industry, and their blogs, videos, and certification courses are pretty popular. While you might know who HubSpot, the company, is, it’s a little harder to know what HubSpot, the software, does.

There’s a lot of industry jargon thrown around, and to be fair, HubSpot is a huge platform; it’s hard to outline all of its capabilities in just one sentence. Since we use HubSpot every day, we thought we’d take a shot at breaking it down for you. Here’s our plain English guide to getting started with HubSpot: what HubSpot is, and what tools and benefits it can offer you:

What Is HubSpot?

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM designed to help align sales and marketing teams, foster sales enablement, boost ROI and optimize your inbound marketing strategy to generate more, qualified leads.

Okay, but in English?

HubSpot is a software platform designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.

HubSpot’s Background:

To understand what HubSpot is and does, it’s helpful to know just a little about where HubSpot, the company, came from. HubSpot started back in 2005 as a resource for marketers. Back then, they offered tools and resources that helped companies get started with inbound marketing.

We won’t go too far into inbound marketing, which HubSpot sort of invented, but feel free to check out our complete guide to inbound marketing if you want to know more.

HubSpot works to help companies market better. Click To TweetTo do this, they developed one cloud-based platform where all of a company’s digital marketing efforts could be housed.

Everything from blogging to social media posting to email marketing was combined on one single platform that can be accessed from anywhere.

That way, every marketer in a company can use HubSpot’s tools to nurture qualified leads until they are ready to pass on to the sales team. When a lead is ready to convert, they’re easily passed onto the sales team for a simple, seamless experience that helps companies turn warm leads into happy customers.

But that’s just the beginning of the HubSpot software.

Now, years down the line, HubSpot offers that original software in the form of a free CRM, along with specific software for sales, marketing, and service departments, all of which integrate together seamlessly to help your company grow.

If you’re thinking that still sounds like kind of a lot, you’d be right.

That’s why we’re breaking each department’s service down here, starting with the free CRM:

The HubSpot CRM

HubSpot started with just their CRM (customer relationship management software), which we described above. It’s a platform where companies can organize their contacts and keep track of every conversation they have with each contact.

In the beginning, the HubSpot developed their CRM primarily for marketers. It offered a way for marketers to organize all of the leads they were talking to, nurture them according to their buyer persona and unique pain points, and then pass them seamlessly onto the sales team.

Today, the HubSpot CRM is still an essential component of HubSpot’s software — it’s just a little more robust. Instead of functioning primarily to support the marketing team, HubSpot’s existing CRM works to help every customer-facing team in a company, from marketing to sales to customer service.

Think of HubSpot's CRM as the launchpad for all other marketing, sales, and customer service tools. Click To TweetThe CRM stores every company contact and lead. Each department can access leads there, and use whatever additional tools they need from their own department to improve that lead’s relationship with the company.

The HubSpot CRM is completely free, for anyone, forever. It has no time limit and never expires.

Some of the benefits of the HubSpot CRM that we love for our clients are:

  • Unlimited Users — Your entire team has access to your company’s CRM. No limit.
  • You can store as many as 1 million contacts and companies on the free platform.
  • HubSpot will store all of your records and conversations with any of those contacts.
  • Gmail and Outlook Integration so your team’s conversations with leads and clients are stored, and their workday isn’t interrupted.
  • Email Scheduling — for your newsletters and email marketing campaigns
  • Team Email — to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working to the same goals
  • Live Chat for Your Website — so you can capture leads even after working hours are over
  • Deals, Tasks, Ticketing, and Prospects — allowing you to keep track of where every prospect is in the sales process, and make tickets for any clients who might have a question.

Ultimately, the HubSpot CRM is one of the most robust free platforms on the market. It offers a long list of tools you can use to draw in qualified potential leads and do better business with your existing clients. The rest of HubSpot’s software is built on top of this functional, free CRM. 

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a set of tools designed to help your marketing department. It integrates seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM and works to help your marketing team draw in and nurture more qualified leads.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub helps your company increase website traffic and convert more visitors into leads.

The goal of the Marketing Hub is to make life easier for your marketing department. It offers seamless content creation for your blog, email, social media accounts, and website, and provides exceptional metric tracking and reporting of all the data you care about most. See easily how many people are coming to your site, where they’re going, when they leave, and how much they like your landing pages.

Like all of HubSpot’s tools, the Marketing Hub is offered in tiers according to the size of your company, and the number of tools your company would like to use. HubSpot's first tier is always free, regardless of which Hub you're interested in testing out. Click To Tweet

Some of our favorite tools offered in the HubSpot Marketing Hub include:

  • Blog and content creation tools
  • Social media organization and scheduling
  • Calls-To-Action — Providing in-depth tracking of click-through rates, impressions, and other important KPIs.
  • Mobile Optimization — For everything from emails to blogs
  • Landing Pages Create landing pages that integrate seamlessly into your website, and then use HubSpot’s sophisticated metrics to track and optimize performance.,
  • Goal-Based Nurturing Your marketing team can choose specific goals based on buyer persona research and previous performance, and set the HubSpot Marketing Hub to help nurture leads with those goals in mind.
  • A/B Testing — Optimize your site and inbound marketing efforts for top performance

The HubSpot Marketing Hub also offers Salesforce integration and a whole host of additional tools that we couldn’t fit into this one intro blog. Check them out for yourself, or feel free to get in touch with us for more info.

HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub was designed to help your sales department close better deals, in less time. Each tool offered on this software is designed with efficiency in mind — so your sales team can focus their full attention on what matters most — closing deals with qualified clients.  HubSpot Sales Hub has been very successful as it’s one of the few software tools that’s designed specifically for sales teams, with the inbound marketing methodology in mind.

HubSpot Sales Hub gives sales teams the tools they need to provide excellent service and close deals the minute a lead is ready to convert.

Sales Hub lets your sales team see what leads are visiting your site, on what pages, and how often. The software also offers instant alerts whenever a prospect opens an email, and sales team members can even automate personalized workflows that offer quality information exactly when a lead is ready for it. And because Sales Hub syncs up with the HubSpot CRM, your sales team can easily see which deals are won, lost, or still in progress.

Some of the tools the HubSpot Sales Hub offers are:

  • Email Sequences — Automated email workflows designed to nurture qualified leads
  • Email Tracking and Notifications — Your sales team is notified when a prospect opens an email or clicks over to your website.
  • Meeting Scheduling Forget confusing back and forth scheduling that can drop leads. Instead, let potential clients pick meeting times that work best for them.
  • Reporting dashboards —  So your team can see how their efforts are impacting business, and so you can see who is selling well, and why.
  • Multiple deal pipeline —  Not every lead is the same. Make it easy for sales teams to customize their service to the unique needs of your buyers, and implement and track distinct sales processes with multiple pipelines.

Just like the Marketing Hub, HubSpot’s Sales Hub has a vast offering of sales tools, depending on the tier that best fits your company. And, they all integrate with the Marketing Hub, the Service Hub, and of course the HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot Service Hub

The HubSpot Service Hub is designed to support customer service teams. It offers a full suite of tools that make it easier for your customer service teams to identify issues clients are experiencing, and resolve them quickly in a way that leaves your customers happy.

HubSpot Service Hub helps your client service teams offer the best solutions, efficiently.

The HubSpot Service Hub includes:

  • Live Chat and Conversational Bots — Customers and clients get the help they need, whenever they need it. No waiting for business hours; solve problems now.
  • Email Templates — Check in with clients you haven’t heard from in a while, or request service reviews with email templates that are easy to format and send, and even easier to track.
  • Canned Snippets — Those questions you get every day? Send back the perfect answer automatically with canned snippets.
  • Phone Support and Customer Feedback
  • Knowledge Base — Pull up all the information in your database on any client, so your service team knows who that client has talked to, and about what, so they can get to the right solution, quickly.
  • Multiple Ticket Pipelines — Easily Organize tickets based on customer query subject 
  • Customer Service Automation

The HubSpot Service Hub works on top of your free HubSpot CRM, so anyone on your service team can see previous interactions a client has had with marketing and sales teams, and determine quickly how best to resolve any potential issues. This streamlines the amount of time it takes for customer service reps to resolve a client ticket, and ensures your clients experience the best customer service possible.

HubSpot Growth Suite

The HubSpot Growth Suite is HubSpot’s complete suite of services bundled together. If your company can benefit from all three of the above Hubs, the Growth Suite is perfect for you. You’ll get the benefits fo all three hubs, for only slightly more than the price of one.

HubSpot’s Growth Suite is best for companies who are familiar with inbound marketing, or who have made a concerted effort to transition to the inbound marketing methodology. Since it includes all of the Hubs and is built on top of HubSpot’s CRM, the HubSpot Growth Suite platform is the best way to align your entire team towards a single growth goal.

Evenbound is a HubSpot Gold Agency Partner, which means HubSpot is what we do. If you have questions about any of HubSpot’s software offerings, whether it’s one of the Hubs, the CRM, or all of it, we’d be happy to help. HubSpot can be a little complicated to figure out at first, but once you see it in action, it’s one of the most user-friendly growth tools on the market today.

Get in touch to learn more about HubSpot, and how we can help you leverage it for overall company growth.

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