Are you looking to boost the sales of your remote working teams? Start by choosing the right CRM tool

You may be surprised to learn that both employers and employees are finding that working remotely has benefits.

It's true: 85% of employers have noticed better productivity within their company, which they largely attribute to this additional flexibility, and 65% of employees consider themselves more productive at home than at the office (less distractions, no stressful morning commute, less office hassles).

What the statistics do not say is that all teleworking methods are not the same and that certain situations pose unusual challenges, especially for highly specialized salespeople.

This article discusses the qualities observed in the most successful sales teams, even remotely, and in particular delves into the role of CRM software in maintaining good productivity away from the office and customers.


Why is it more difficult to close a sale from home?

If you have ever worked in sales, from the premises of your company, you already know the challenges faced by salespeople operating from home. When your team is divided into multiple work stations from home, the daily difficulties are multiplied.

Isolation: Those who have chosen the sales profession tend to have an outgoing nature, and the lack of face-to-face meetings and opportunities to network will likely have an effect on their morale. Admittedly, there are many channels for sharing information (email, Zoom, Skype, internal communication tools), but it is likely that we will see an exacerbation of the following phenomena:

  • Communication problems: paradoxically, the more access you have to various communication channels, the more difficult it is to get a message across. Some messages translate poorly, others do not get the expected response and will require individual reminders...
  • Data silos: One of the biggest challenges in selling is getting the information you want. The problem exists in large groups that tend to communicate too much, as well as in SMEs where communication is sometimes restricted. Do you have access to your customer data? Has customer service received one or more tickets regarding this customer? Sometimes it helps to just visit the nearby service to get your questions answered, but doing so, and getting the data, becomes difficult when working remotely.
  • Task management: certain daily tasks, such as adjusting the stages of your sales funnel, nurturing your leads and closing a sale, are naturally difficult to juggle and become even more difficult when it is necessary to track down, through dispersed telework stations and multiple, the information necessary for their accomplishment.

Fortunately, choosing the right CRM software can solve most of these problems.


CRM and sales force: the figures

Many sales teams have, sometimes for a long time, adopted CRM software, and the statistics concerning them are now easily accessible. Here are some of the most telling:

  • According to a study conducted by Nucleus Research, a dollar invested in a CRM yields an average of $8.71 in return. This represents an ROI of 777%.
  • 81% of companies whose sales forces are considered the most effective regularly use a CRM tool, according to research by Aberdeen Group.
  • According to calculations by Software Advice, 74% of CRM tool users believe they have improved their performance thanks to better access to customer data.
  • The same study reports that 81% of CRM users access the software from multiple devices (laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet).
  • When it comes to managing accounts and contacts, research on CRM software conducted by G2 estimates that 88% of users feel completely satisfied with it.

All this indicates that a CRM tool is useful for sales teams, but what about those who work remotely? This is where cloud-based CRM solutions come in.


Boost your sales with a CRM in the Cloud, in 5 steps

Cloud apps are the most suitable for telecommuting. They offer scaling potential, greater flexibility, typically cost less in equipment and IT infrastructure, and allow salespeople to work wherever they are. Like any software, and especially CRM software, the effectiveness of these apps depends on those who use them.


All interactions should be recorded

This first step aims to break down data silos and improve collaboration. Because it allows data to be updated in real time, a CRM tool provides access to recent information and limits errors. Each seller can consult or complete the data at any time, and possibly leave a note or an additional comment to explain certain points to other users.

This is particularly useful in the context of collaboration between several multifunctional teams, within a large corporation. Storing all data in one place allows any authorized employee to continue a task or objective started by a colleague, a huge advantage when it comes to managing tasks or integrating new staff, but also replacing during holidays or in case of illness.

It is also a powerful motivator as each team takes pride in each achievement, visible across the entire system. The marketing team will be able to see the success of their campaigns, and customer service can easily notify a salesperson of customer feedback.

What makes the strength of the system: your teams are more flexible, more agile, more collaborative from one department to another. Form a comprehensive picture of the relationship between your contacts, customers, and salespeople.


CRM data must be perfectly secure

Customer data is one of the most important assets of a sales team, and its relationship with each customer must be preserved. Centralizing data in a CRM limits the risk of discovering information stored on hundreds of individual devices.

It is also a way to ensure compliance with data protection standards (when contact details are stored on individual computers, leaks are common) and therefore to avoid the heavy fines that can be imposed, for example, following a violation of the GDPR. With a single CRM responsible for storing all data, you only need to secure the software and the internet connection.

What makes the strength of the system: centralized, your data is more secure and more compliant with data protection regulations.


Integration with other software should be maximized

The advantage of working with the same CRM across all your departments is that everyone uses the same tools and the same formats. This provides better understanding of parallel service workflows and more consistent project management, even outside of client files.

For example, Act! integrates with Outlook, letting you sync both calendars, simplifying management, and freeing salespeople from administrative tasks to focus on selling. In particular, the integration functions with Notes and Tasks will be of great use.

Finally, the integration of the CRM with the analysis tools of your website has great value. Thanks to it, it is easy to follow the comings and goings of a potential customer on your site in order to predict the questions they may ask and prepare your arguments. Bringing the information they are looking for to your customers in a timely manner is an effective way to speed up the lead nurturing process.

The strength of the system: simplifying, and therefore reducing the management tasks and the number of software required, allows your salespeople to focus on the most important activities instead of wasting time updating multiple software.


Sales pipeline management must be done in the CRM

If you haven't already, let your sales team know how best to use this feature and have everyone follow the same pattern for more effective collaboration. For example, prepare a lead selection criteria guide tailored to your target market to help your salespeople identify the most promising customers.

Most CRM tools offer functionality to track a customer's progress through the sales funnel, essential information for proper order planning and financial forecasting.

What makes the strength of the system: the information is stored in real time and at your fingertips for a simple and fast creation of all your reports. In id Identifying immediately, and according to your criteria, the real opportunities and waste of time, it is easy to boost sales.


Campaigns and other forms of communications should be managed directly in the CRM

Act! is designed to foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams. That's why our integrated telemarketing campaign management feature is a big favorite of all: it lets everyone see what types of communications are performing well, and which aren't.

It also makes it possible to send parallel messages specifically chosen according to the reactions of the recipient. By performing a few A/B tests, you can easily create ultra-effective campaigns and quickly guide the prospect to your sales team. Conversion rates are much better and your company's online presence is more noticed.

The strength of the system: the accelerated reporting allows you to quickly see the effectiveness of each campaign, and adjust them immediately to obtain better results. Automating your messages also allows you to deliver the latest offers faster and improve your conversion rate.


The key benefits

As more and more companies allow teleworking, companies must also ensure that their employees have access to the right tools. To find a marketing solution adapted to various services (sales, marketing, customer service), you have to start by knowing what you are looking for.

Act! is not only designed to give sales teams the functionality they are looking for, but also incorporates many automated marketing features such as parallel mini-campaigns, integration with Outlook and many other tools to improve productivity of your teams even if they do not share anything other than a system accessible via an internet connection.

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