Zimple – Your Pipedrive Partner

Sales Insights

Efficient B2B sales process - How to get the most out of your CRM

Success in the world of sales requires planning, consistency, and effective customer management. Planning, implementing, and developing the B2B sales process are crucial to ensure a successful business. The CRM system plays an essential role in this process by providing valuable information and tools to support the sales organization, but what would ensure that CRM serves sales effectively?

Consider the following when optimizing the B2B sales process:

  • Design a unified, interactive, and automation-utilizing sales process.
  • Gather essential sales-related information about customers and the process.
  • Ensure data consistency.
  • Examine and analyze relevant sales metrics.
  • Train and motivate the sales organization to use CRM.

Unified and interactive sales process with a CRM

The foundation of an effective B2B sales process is built on unity and efficiency. A unified sales process ensures that all sales representatives proceed towards closing deals through clear steps.

The unified sales process can be further enhanced with automated functions. In modern sales work, the use of marketing automation is crucial, with face-to-face meetings, digital channels and social media platforms like LinkedIn adding more interaction to the sales process. Typically, a salesperson may have a few hours of face-to-face conversation with a customer, which, in a 60-day sales process for example, is relatively short. The goal of sales and marketing automation is to maintain continuous interaction with the customer, keeping the company as a “top-of-mind” option.

The role of CRM data in enhancing sales

A good CRM system serves as the backbone of sales. It helps describe the sales process, automate tasks, and collect sales data. This data, in turn, aids in the continuous improvement and enhancement of the sales process.

For sales and its management, it is essential to capture and track information about leads, customers, products, and sales process stages. The source of leads is significant information for reporting and sales management, as sales need to know the origins of closed deals. It is also part of the company profile information which is enriched with other customer data as sales proceed. Modern CRM systems automatically populate basic information through business data services. Business data supplements the customer profile, enabling sales to identify various segments among customers. Customer segments, in turn, aid in targeted marketing communication. As sales progress to the proposal stage, customer data is enriched with product information which enables the reporting of crucial sales data: who is being sold to, what, and how much. This information guides a company to focus on relevant segments, thereby improving sales efficiency. Modern CRM systems also automatically store all documents and communication with the customer, such as emails and proposals.

Saving and tracking this data proficiently is essential in an effective B2B sales process. Automated processes ensure the quality and usefulness of stored information. In practice, this means guided data entry and preset options, ensuring consistency and integrity in CRM data. Minimizing the need for salespeople to input handwritten data is advisable.


Reporting and metrics for the B2B sales process

With the help of a CRM system, sales management automatically gets access to analytics related to the sales process. Key metrics for evaluating sales efficiency include the length of the sales pipeline, average customer value, hit rate, and a conversion report, indicating where in the sales pipeline potential customers are lost. Lead scoring at the beginning of the sales process also helps to identify important leads and enables sales representatives to focus on customers with the most potential.

In addition to historical data, it is essential to focus on the future as over-analyzing history can be detrimental. By keeping an eye on the future, salespeople can discover new sales opportunities. Concentrating on new potential customers, succeeding with them, and analyzing them can be more relevant for future sales.


Training and the role of salespeople in relation to CRM in the organization

Although CRM aids in the sales process and can enhance it, CRM by itself cannot do everything. The sales organization’s interaction with the customer is crucial. Ultimately, the CRM system is just a tool that helps sales representatives do their job better.

However, using any tool requires the right skills. Sales staff using CRM effectively requires adequate training and understanding of the system’s benefits. The organization must provide comprehensive training programs to ensure the skill level and motivation of salespeople using the system. More versatile and in-depth system exploration makes it more likely for sales representatives and CRM to be brought together. At Zimple, sales representatives are trained to use the system 2-3 times to ensure smooth and simple CRM use.

It takes more than training for CRM to be integrated into the sales process. Salespeople must understand the benefits of CRM and incorporate its use into their daily work. When a salesperson understands the benefits of using the system, motivation towards using it often increases significantly.

Consistency in the sales process and its continuity are supported by common rules and guidelines, which can be documented. Written guidelines and a documented sales process help new sales representatives seamlessly integrate into the sales process.


Continuous development and enhancing CRM usage

Enhancing synergy between the B2B sales process and CRM requires continuous development and the timely adoption of changes. It is essential to constantly update and develop both the sales process and the CRM system to meet changing business needs and markets. Good CRM systems, like Pipedrive, are easily customizable and intuitive, allowing users to adjust settings as needed.

When sales and CRM operate effectively at a basic level, details of the sales process can be fine-tuned. Ideally, CRM data helps to identify sales bottlenecks, which management can address, thereby seeking new efficiencies in sales.

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