After extensive research and shopping around, you’ve decided on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software you want and have opted to go with Salesforce.com, despite some of its limitations. With Salesforce up and running, your team is ready to start selling and you can just kick back and watch the dollars start rolling in…..right?
Wrong! While CRM software and Salesforce reports are great, they are not the be-all-end-all to cure all your sales woes. However, with a few add-ons to your CRM software, you can quickly turn this serviceable – but boring – old Ford Taurus into a sleek, powerful and all-encompassing Ferrari.
Here are 5 categories of add-ons to your CRM that you simply cannot live without.
1) Marketing automation
You can’t sell without first having leads that you can convert into opportunities to work on. Your burgeoning marketing department hasn’t yet established its footing in the market, and therefore can’t simply reply on organic inbound traffic. Your prospecting team can’t generate all the leads on its own. Therefore, you need the assistance of marketing automation software to handle your email blasts and help you optimize your landing pages for lead capture.
There is a wealth of marketing automation software options for you to choose from. Established companies like Marketo and HubSpot offer powerful all-in-one marketing automation software that will soon result in a raft of incoming leads for your sales team. Data.com – a Salesforce product – is another great option. Set up your marketing automation software so that all leads automatically and accurately populate in your CRM.
Now that you have these leads, it’s time to start calling them. But who wants to pick up a phone and dial hundreds of numbers manually each week? That’s why the most efficient sales teams use telephony software add-ons. With these solutions, sales reps can simply click on the phone number associated with the lead as entered into the CRM. Telephony software is a tremendous boost in selling efficiency and saving time.
For our money, InsideSales.com is one of the best power-dialers out there on the market, with a seamless sync to Salesforce that really brings out the best in each product. ShoreTel Sky is another great telephony option.
3) Conferencing software
Phone calls are a necessary part of the inside sales process, but they are, by themselves, not enough for closing deals. You need web-conferencing add-ons to your CRM to help you demo your product and engage your prospects in a more meaningful way. You need a way to communicate and share information over the internet.
You need a product like WebEx or Join.Me. Both of these software solutions offer cutting-edge and seamless connectivity, allowing sales reps to easily share their screens and demo their products. In today’s world of inside sales, the value of a “face-to-face” conversation is still impactful – you just have to take your face-to-face conversations online.
4) Sales enablement / contract management software
After all the pitching and selling, it’s finally time for the exciting part – closing the deal! Even in this area, there are some great add-ons to your CRM that can increase your overall sales efficiency. Before officially completing the sale, there is lots of paperwork and legal matters to settle. Enter sales enablement or contract management software such as TinderBox and DocuSign.
These products automatically grab the data from your CRM – primarily the specific fields customized to your company and what you’re selling – and populates the contract or proposal with them. This not only saves you lots of time but can also help ensure maximum data accuracy – you won’t have to worry about your reps entering in the wrong legal or contract information. You can also easily send these digital contracts over to your prospect and have them virtually dot the i’s and cross the t’s to seal the deal.
5) Business intelligence
Just because the sale is over doesn’t mean that your job is done. Any great sales manager worth his or her salt knows that the real work is in the post-deal analysis, so that you can dive into the right sales metrics and apply those actionable insights to future deals and optimize your sales process. You need business intelligence.
Salesforce is quite limited in its analytics and reporting capabilities, so you’ll have to find a third-party business intelligence dashboard. We recommend InsightSquared. With hundreds of customized reports, sales managers can dive into every part of their sales process – from the sales activities each rep makes, to in-depth analysis of the sales pipeline, from evaluating the effectiveness of marketing campaigns to comparing progress against goals. InsightSquared pulls all the data directly from your Salesforce CRM, ensuring the highest level of data quality. Working in Salesforce without using InsightSquared is truly getting only half of the full picture.
So don’t rest on the laurels of your CRM. Be sure to shop around and find these valuable add-ons that can take your sales process and your business from merely good to simply great!
What add-ons to your CRM do you find most valuable? Share them below!
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