Put yourself into the shoes of a software sales rep. Imagine how excited you are to call this hot prospect who booked time on your calendar to demo your product. One of your goals for the call is to get this prospect to sign up for a free trial. You know that if you can just get them using your killer product, a commision is not far away.

Unbeknownst to you though, halfway through your kickass demo, the prospect you are speaking with blurts out that they signed up for a free trial two days ago and instead had specific questions they wanted answered before making a purchase decision. If only you had known that your prospect had already signed up for a free trial and was farther along the buying journey. Having that context could have meant you spent your time closing a prospect who was close to buying, rather than wasting their time.

Now imagine you are that rep’s sales manager and you have over a dozen reps working for you who struggle to understand, without moving between various systems, how their prospects are interacting with your product. Switching between systems is a productivity killer, not to mention that your reps’ sales pipelines become inaccurate because they don’t always know which of their leads have signed up for free trials, used various parts of your product, or if you have a self-service option, transacted.

Countless tools will integrate with your CRM to send it information on what content a prospect or lead is consuming, what pages they have viewed, or what events they have gone to. But what about the data specifically related to the usage of your product itself? That’s far, far different than website activity.

Thankfully though it’s far from impossible to send that data to your CRM and the value is immense. When you put product-level data in the hands of sales right within your CRM, you make your reps more efficient, more productive, and they will probably close more business. It can power sales automation, such as automation moving deals to the next stage based on a lead signing up for a free trial, or even better automation that closes a deal based on a customer account being created. Say hello to a clean pipeline free of human error!

Product-level data can also power lead scoring, and it can provide invaluable context for your reps. For example, when a rep knows that the lead they are speaking with has used the email tool within your product, but not the SMS tool, that can guide their phone conversations and the messaging they use in their follow-up emails.

Such data is arguably even more powerful in the world of account management where cross-selling or upselling is the name of the game. Being able to build automation powered by product data that creates a task for an account manager to reach out to a customer about to hit a usage threshold can be a lot more effective than the traditional ‘spray and pray’ method of upselling.

At ezCater, the only nationwide marketplace for business and corporate catering, our salespeople have product-level data on every CRM record they look at. They know what caterers a lead looked at, the date they created their account, what food types they ordered, what city they ordered in, and so much more. All of this data doesn’t just provide context for our reps, it also powers our sales automation. Deals are created or closed based on transactions, not a rep manually moving a deal. This elimination of human error keeps our sales pipelines clean and accurate.

OK, so how do you build it?

Unfortunately, you might need a developer to get product data into your CRM unless you have a tool like Pendo that easily integrates. Thankfully, most CRMs have extensive API documentation that can walk a developer through integrating your product. Here at ezCater, we integrated our product with Hubspot using Hubspot’s suite of APIs, the key one being the contacts API. Salesforce.com and other CRMs have similar APIs around both contacts and leads.

If you’re worried about getting your developers on board, you can test the value of having product data in your CRM using tools like Zapier or Azuqua. Both of those systems can receive data via webhooks or API and then send it to CRMs As a last resort, you can also import data to your CRM manually via CSV once a day during your test to prove out the value of having product-data available for your sales team.

Looking for more tips from our friends at ezCater? Check out this blog: Your Quick Guide to Sales Productivity Metrics

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