The CRM essentials

The objective of a sales team is to convert qualified leads into paying customers by offering them value, in the form of a product or a service. By streamlining the processes around the customer journey, you can let your sales force focus on what they do best.

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The pillars of a successful business

Your sales team sells. A pretty simple concept, right? However, the reality is often more complicated. When you examine your business, there are often multiple processes designed to support your sales team. These range from ensuring a steady flow of qualified leads into your CRM, to nurturing leads so they're easier for your sales team to convert. To support those processes, you might have a robust system to manage all opportunities effectively, or an analytics system to help sales managers understand and improve the sales process.

The linchpin at the heart of your business

If customer data is the lifeblood of your business, then a powerful CRM can be considered its beating heart. It collects, stores, centralizes, and delivers important information across different departments of your business. It can provide the necessary context and insights needed when interacting with customers or making business decisions. A powerful CRM is an indispensable part of modern businesses that ties together different processes and departments.

Explore the concept of CRM

CRM strategy

How businesses approach customer interactions and building relationships with them informs their CRM strategy. It involves collecting customer data and analyzing past customer interactions to provide better services and build better relationships with customers.

CRM software

Customer relationship management software is designed to provide a 360º view of all your customer data by gathering it in a central place. Contact information and communication preferences, as well as interaction and purchase history, can be shared to help your teams reach out to customers for the right reasons and through the right channels.

Streamline your sales cycle

Your business depends on different departments to bring in customers and drive revenue. A marketing team drives leads into your CRM to qualify and nurture them, before passing them on to sales. Your sales team handles prospecting and converting those leads into paying customers. Finally, your support team addresses the long-term happiness and needs of your customers.

Lead scoring in Zoho CRM

The impression that your business leaves on the customer throughout this journey is called "customer experience." How a prospect is engaged across different points in the sales cycle determines if that experience is positive or negative. That, in turn, effects their willingness to commit and make a purchase. At the heart of your customer experience is the CRM software your business uses to connect these processes and create a seamless customer experience.

Finding leads and bringing them into your system

The first challenge for your business is getting word out and making people interested in what you're selling. You likely use a mix of inbound and outbound strategies to generate leads, but there's no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to choose a lead generation strategy with a mix of inbound and outbound techniques that work for you. Maximize the ROI of your marketing activities by capturing these leads and sending them into your sales cycle.

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Making the most of every sales opportunity

An opportunity opens up when your sales team engages with a prospect who shows interest in purchasing. You need to make sure they're equipped with everything they need to convert this opportunity into a successful sale. The right CRM can help sales teams manage their opportunities and drive more revenue. It will help your sales team collaborate, access sales collaterals, sell on the go, manage quotes, and have a complete 360º view of the prospect.

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Identifying the best leads and nurturing them

The next step is to identify which leads are worth following up with and nurture those leads. Not every lead you capture becomes a paying customer. Some might just be trying to figure what your business is about, while others might be looking for useful information. However, hidden among the hundreds or thousands of leads you generate, there are people who will genuinely benefit from your products or services. Your marketing and sales team need to work together to identify and qualify them, then nurture their interest, before converting them into opportunities.

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Helping your sales team perform their best

Help your sales team focus and succeed by giving them the right targets and territories. A solid sales performance management tool can help you in guiding newer sales reps to understand your sales process, while giving experienced members the necessary tools to help them sell more. It can also analyze how your reps are performing and give insights to sales managers on how they can improve across the board.

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Keeping consistent engagement at scale

One of the most important things a customer (or even a prospect) expects from business is communication. From the first interaction, through the sales cycle, and while they're a paying customer, you need to engage with them consistently. Your communication should be personalized and crafted to their needs. However, it's hard to scale up personalized communication as your number of leads and customers grow. You need to be able to plan and execute a wide range of marketing campaigns, without having to hit send or publish every time. Marketing automation helps you do just that.

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Delivering excellent post sales support

To ensure a truly great customer experience, your efforts should continue past the point of purchase. You need to make the customer feel valued enough to come back for future purchases. This is where customer support comes in. Your support agents can best address the needs of customers with all the necessary sales information and context at hand. A CRM that integrates with your help desk software can sync tickets with relevant sales data. It can also make existing customer data accessible to customer facing teams, helping them provide a consistent customer experience.

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Choosing the right CRM
for your business

When you're trying to find the right CRM, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of options available. Making a choice can be difficult, unless you're very certain about your specific needs and challenges. The size of your business, how your customers prefer to communicate, and other factors can affect the features you need. Identify your pain points, frame your long-term objectives, and then choose the CRM that fits your needs best.

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