9 Tools and Methodologies to Complement CRM that Drive Sales Performance


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As technology continues to disrupt and impact sales, many businesses are embracing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to run their businesses more efficiently. CRMs provide the best opportunity to implement a corporate identity, as it enables brand differentiation and gives you the adequate tools to build an emotional connection with your customer. As most companies learn how to deal with brand erosion, the implementation of a CRM coupled with improvements to sales methodology can help drive sales performance. In fact, Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner, predicts, “In 2018, CRM software revenue will continue to take the lead of all software markets and be the fastest growing software market with a growth rate of 16 percent.”

9 Strategies to Boost Sales Performance in Conjunction with a CRM

As the CRM market continues to grow other tools may need to be considered to further complement a CRM. Check out 9 tools and methodologies to complement a CRM to boost sales performance:

1. Implement Sales Methodology
Implementing a sales methodology that can be reviewed for its own improvements can be the main key to improving sales performance. Sales methodologies need to be actionable, flexible, structured, fit the sales process and LOB teams, and help accelerate lead-to-order mandates. Those methodologies that are proven by your sales leaders have the ability to groom less skilled sellers and give them capabilities to perform better through a consistent formula of best-practices.

2. Utilize Incentive Programs

Incentive programs, especially the ones that are built within the CRM structure and processes, help drive value-added, and profitable revenue. Best practices call for a periodic review of compensation mechanisms that incentivize revenue acquisition. Also, an organization can obtain useful customer information through incentive programs. These assist in gaining insights on customer buying habits, buyer personas, market trends, and demands. These analytics also can be key in developing and improving strategies and performance.

3. Make Sure Sales and Marketing are Aligned
When you have a strong team of sales and marketing leaders that are eager to leverage CRM and support it, then you have a team that is vastly outperforming those who don’t. Sales and marketing teams should be in sync with each other and align on the business goals of the organization.

When you have marketing automation and a CRM, and you integrate the two platforms then you enable those teams to manage and maintain all interactions with prospects and current customers. Keep in mind that CRM is the system of record for most of marketing’s segmentation and essential “raw material” for messaging, to simply drive leads and measure campaign success.

4. Understand Goals and Metrics
Goals and metrics can easily be tracked in most CRMs, however the goals that are driven by user-level and group level dashboards are quite important. Everyone can track their own actual progress and see how close they are to their goals, but “What are the results from a business stand point?” In addition to understanding internal metrics, external metrics need to be placed side by side to the internal metrics to have a clear view and understanding of what is happening and how to move forward.

5. Utilize Gamification
Gamification has so many uses but one of the clear uses of it can be to improve employee engagement and performance. Managers can easily drive CRM contests and leaderboard visibility to stimulate healthy competition and reward both the “lucky” and the successful. It’s also quite easy to measure user adoption and engage everyone across various teams.

Activities such as adding new contacts, updating contacts or opportunities can easily allow a user to gain points and rewards based on CRM activity. Therefore, gamification is a great way of communicating corporate goals, and objectives, and directing teams on how to achieve them.

6. Establish Account or Marketplace Planning
By collaboratively planning with sales channel partners, organizations can improve sales performance by establishing account or marketplace planning metrics. This type of planning ensures integration of plans with initiatives and activities that drive sales. By thinking things through, asking the right questions and setting clear goals and expectations, you can establish or improve marketplace planning. Don’t forget, what gets planned and measured, gets done.

7. Provide Offers
By providing offers and incentives to clients and prospects, you will definitely see an impact on sales performance. Lightweight offer management can also be built and managed in your CRM. Simply, promote the deals and measure consumption. Also, consider changing the promos regularly and make them enticing to target buyers. These offers may help steer sales performance in the direction that is needed most.

8. Utilize Product Information Management
Have you ever wondered why sellers begin to specialize in selling only certain products and not others? They sell what they are most knowledgeable about. A CRM can be an organization’s repository for accurate and up to date product information so sales teams are capable of suggesting products intelligently. By adding product information in the CRM, sales teams are able to easily access product data for distribution or their own research.

9. Optimize User Experience
Think about empowerment over control and simple over complex when optimizing a CRM for a salesperson’s usage. CRM’s are smart, predictive, integrated, analytical, and contextual. By automating simple activities and actively assisting sales, marketing, and customer service teams to complete tasks, assist customers, and close a sale, it’ll quickly become a tool that they love.

Final Thoughts
Adopting a strong CRM and sales plan is critical to improving sales performance. CRM is an invaluable software that can simplify processes, manage activities, increase sales efficiency and productivity. A CRM along with these 9 tools and methodologies can help you drive sales performance by closing more and maximizing sales. But as competition continues to increase and users demand more from the companies that earn their business, the organizations and teams that stay nimble and implement a strategy one step further may be the visible leaders.

Kjell Kahlenberg
As Director of Customer Engagement Solutions of Indusa, Kjell is a subject matter expert on Microsoft Dynamics CRM with deep experience across sales, customer care, and marketing disciplines. He has led large enterprise CRM deployments across various industries and business models. Kjell focuses on solution advisory, consulting, architecting, project and program governance, and overall customer engagement.


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