9 issues in sales and customer service a good CRM can help with

It is impossible to count all the situations a modern customer relationship management system must cope with: serving small, medium, and large enterprises, dealing with various markets, and complex problems. What are the difficulties facing sales and customer service staff? 

According to the Richardson study, one of the greatest issues is “building arguments in favor of change” which is difficult for customers these days. 2020, in turn, brought the challenge of remote work which is certainly not a natural way of working for salespeople. How to overcome these obstacles? The basis is a proven CRM system to serve potential and current customers. Let’s find out what problems it helps to cope with.

Good customer service is the basis of a successful sale

Certainly, no one is surprised by the fact that companies compete with each other barely with the product or service itself, and mainly – with the quality of customer service. According to a Gartner study, this already applies to 89% of organizations, compared to 36% a decade ago. The difference results not only from consumers’ attitudes and expectations but also, perhaps above all, from the current technical possibilities.

Multi-channel customer service, minimized response time (thanks to the inclusion of AI support), and automation allowed to significantly simplify the work of salespeople, and thus provide customers with the highest attention. Nowadays, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to manage the process without the use of CRM software. These are the common sales problems that can also appear in your customer service departments. The good news is a well-suited CRM tool will solve them.

An effective CRM: 
Collects information about the sales process on one board.
Reminds salespeople about the following sales stages. 
Allows connecting leads with contracts.
Integrates messages from various tools and channels.	
Allows task automation.
Generates reports automatically. 
Assures smooth communication between departments.
Allows following current sales data.
Highlights weak points and bottlenecks across processes.
Allows following sales pipelines.
An effective CRM characteristics

How CRM supports sales – problems solved

Problem with controlling completely remote operation

Problem: I am overseeing a team of specialists working remotely. After switching to this mode of operation, communication takes too much time. It is also difficult to attract new customers and serve existing customers through various channels.

Both remote team management and remote customer contact require discipline and implementation of appropriate habits. This way specialists are able to manage their time better and fulfill their duties while managers can supervise work, monitor progress, and observe downtime points. 35% of employees say that one of the biggest difficulties of working from home is cooperating with other team members as well as contacting customers. In addition to instant messaging such as Slack and Grape, which are mainly used for quick questions and answers, you can obtain a complete picture of your work progress almost entirely with a CRM program. How can it help in remote customer service and task management?

A massive waste of time when working remotely is switching between windows and tools as well as copying and moving information. A good CRM system allows you to store all important data in one place, e.g., on the seller’s or the entire team’s board. In this way, searching for information takes much less time, and that works well, for example, during ongoing conversations with customers. By displaying all previous customer interactions next to tickets, departments can work together more easily and solve problems faster.

Remote cooperation supported by the CRM system gives you the possibility for an efficient division of tasks. Individual requests can be broken down into smaller tasks, and those can be automatically assigned to team members according to factors such as their workload or prior contact with a given client. Sometimes, however, problems are easier to solve not by breaking them down, but by merging them together. In CRM, you can combine similar reports, work on them, and send cumulative updates about fixed issues to the agents dealing with them.

Creating workflow in Freshsales
Adding workflow rules

Difficulty selecting the best leads

Problem: I am a sales representative with approx. 400 leads on my list. They are at different stages of the sales funnel and it is getting harder and harder for me to choose the best ones.

In sales, the problem is not always too little interest in a product or service. Sometimes it is quite the opposite – hundreds of leads falling into the sales funnel engage salespeople who ultimately find it difficult to choose the most promising opportunities. In such situations, it is worth using CRM software to build a lead ranking based on scoring points. Then you can define rules for calculating scoring, which you can use to score leads. These rules can be based on basic parameters, such as job title, location, and industry, or more advanced ones, such as the opening of an e-mail by a potential customer.

For example, if your lead is a startup CTO, you can define a rule that assigns 15 points by default. Another 10 points will be granted for opening the e-mail. The higher the result, the hotter the lead is, and that translates into a greater likelihood of conversion. The hierarchy created in this way will help you decide who deserves your attention first, and also how to adjust the method of communication to a specific lead.

Problem with maintaining relationships with leads

Problem: I am a representative of an internal sales team and I send large amounts of e-mails every day. My potential clients react to them differently. Some people write back after a while, others need a longer while, and some simply ignore them or forget about them. I must carry on my correspondence with everyone, but not in the same way. The e-mails have to be personalized first and sent automatically second (and I don’t want to hit the send button three hundred times).

The CRM system, like no other solution, allows you to create sales campaigns based on the behavior of recipients. If a potential customer replies to your e-mail within 2 days, you can set a reminder to call them in order to maintain the relationship. If there is no response, you can simply schedule another e-mail to be automatically sent based on a different template. All actions are performed automatically according to the campaign schedule, making you always react appropriately and on time. Such an automated workflow allows for precise planning of customer contact points: e-mails, phone calls, or text messages.

Problems during phone calls

Problem: I recently joined the sales team. Sometimes, while talking conversation with a potential client, I would give a lot to have one of the more experienced colleagues to take over. In the insurance industry where I operate, we can not afford to postpone conversations – the competition is waiting for that. So what can I do to get help during the interview?

A lack of knowledge about a product or service is a situation that should be avoided in sales. However, there are no specialists who will answer absolutely every question without hesitation. In this case as well, the CRM system comes in handy, and specialists appreciate this especially during phone calls. This is when structured notes and customer information gathered in one place are most useful. You can simply take a look at the panel to check the customer’s order history, previously submitted comments or the current complaint status.

Moreover, during the conversation, employees can view the list of available representatives and easily redirect it to one of them. If the agent is unsure which one is most suitable for solving a given case, redirecting the conversation to a group is always an option. Then team members will quickly decide who should take over the conversation. Such call switching is easily carried out when company telephone calls are made through a telephone exchange built into the CRM system. However, the problem can also be solved when we use landline phones for calls.

Repetitive tasks take too much time

Problem: With each new lead, I have the habit of writing a welcome e-mail. My goal is to create the best possible first impression and ensure potential customers are in good hands. With a lot of other tasks, I don’t always have time to manually create a neat e-mail every time. Could it be automated somehow?

According to the Automation in the Workplace report, over 40% of employees spend 1/4 of a week working on repetitive tasks. Additionally, the Hubspot report shows that people responsible for sales spend only 1/3 of their day talking to potential or current customers. Their day is usually divided into writing e-mails (21%), entering data (17%), searching for and researching leads (17%), internal meetings (12%), and scheduled interviews (12%). In the case of sales and customer service, repetitive tasks include primarily: adding new contacts, manually writing e-mails, rewriting notes, or answering basic questions about the offer. Most of them can be completely replaced with automation. Then you can speed up service while minimizing the risk of making a mistake.

CRM systems usually let you create an e-mail template using fields from your database to personalize your message. In the next step, such a template can be used in Workflow, that is, in a task sequence acting on the principle of a trigger and response to it. For example, a situation when a new lead appears in the CRM can be a trigger for sending an e-mail with specific content.

The customer service department can also be greatly relieved by CRM software automation. The system can scan every query immediately after reaching out by the customer. Depending on what the inquiry concerns, the program may create a ticket with an application and automatically prioritize it or redirect the conversation to a free employee. Automation also scans tickets from time to time and checks if they need updating. When necessary, it sends reminders about issues that need to be resolved.

Freshsales automation, adding conditions in CRM
Automation in Freshsales CRM

Lack of knowledge about customer behavior

Problem: Half a year ago, I made a SaaS solution available to my clients. I would like to know which features of the product make users return to it. I have tried to conduct surveys, but the results leave much to be desired. What could I do to research user behavior better?

User behavior can tell you a lot about what they really need and which features of the application are most useful to them. Therefore, CRM systems allow you to penetrate into the details of the behavior of a single user who benefits from your product. All you need to do is apply a properly prepared code in one of the programming languages (JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Python, or PHP). After correct implementation, you have nothing else to do but check user activity in a specially constructed activity panel. Now, when one of your contacts, for example, enters the product settings, it will be noted in the activity panel of the profile. At the same time, the information about this event will appear in your CRM view and will allow you to analyze the action or react automatically. You can also use codes to track user activity on your website.

Difficulty with connecting different sales processes

Problem: I am the CEO of a startup offering two products – one for small and one for medium-sized enterprises. Each market requires a different sales process. Tracking the stages of two different processes in one common sales funnel doesn’t work for my business. Is there any alternative?

The CRM system allows you to create any number of sales funnels for different needs. For each sales process, you can create a separate sales funnel with different steps that are specific to a given process. Your sales reps won’t go wrong when adding a new sales opportunity. You can also set which funnel is default and automatically substituted for the sale of a given product. Creating multiple sales paths is also useful when selling different products or separate sales markets. You can observe each process separately, filter offers according to their potential value, add and remove stages, and easily spot those that cause stagnation in the sales process.

Separate sales pipelines
Creating many separate sales pipelines in CRM

Multi-channel customer service

Problem: I run an online store whose customers more and more frequently contact us not only via e-mail but also via the established live chat on the website and social media channels. It takes a long time to transfer this information to the system and simultaneously conduct conversations with customers on various channels.

When we give customers the opportunity to contact us in various ways, we need to standardize the way we capture and organize these messages so that they end up in one CRM system. Without it, the service department gets chaotic: calls have to be assigned to employees by hand, and the customer waits for a reply much longer. As a result, customer experience gets worse. 

To save employee and customer time, good CRM software should provide customers with the ability of “self-service”, that is, finding answers to frequently asked questions without talking to an agent. Answers may be included in the FAQ section of the website, but this isn’t the only possibility. In this case, it is worth using an AI-supported chat that matches the answers from the FAQ, downloads data from the CRM program, and redirects the call to the agent if the problem is more complex. The quality of customer service is also influenced by automation. Thanks to which the system itself assigns phone calls, chats and notifications to appropriate agents, taking into account how many duties they currently have as well as their experience. Keep this in mind since customer satisfaction is a fundament for all sales relationships.

It isn’t possible to analyze the closing time of the contract

Problem: I am an Account Manager, I sell and I have four sellers on my team. Bearing in mind my sales funnel, I need to know how many contracts pass through it and how much time employees focus on one contract on average. Had any of my proteges got stuck at one of the stages? Which stages of the funnel are completed faster than others?

How to increase sales performance? In addition to successively reaching customers, it is important to have a holistic view of the department’s work. It will be supported by the analysis and reports generated from CRM software. Using the sales cycle report, you can easily find out the average closing time for each of your salespeople. A clear chart will show you that, for example, one sales takes 28 days and another – 19. Sales speed reports go a step further. Thanks to them, you will not only see the average time of closing the contract but also penetrate into its process. All this owing to the function of dividing the sales process into individual stages. Knowing which steps require the most work will clearly show what to focus on to improve the performance of both individual employees and the entire team.

CRM reports
Sales statistics in the Freshsales CRM system

Choose the best CRM for you

CSAT should be a crucial issue for sales and customer success departments. There is a way to boost this aspect – a well-chosen CRM system. After a while, it may become irreplaceable for your team because there are so many matters it can solve and support. Life is just simpler with such a helper. 

You can get to know your customers better, automate processes and workflow within and between your departments. With Freshsales CRM, all customer data is gathered in one place so that, regardless of the problems’ nature, both the customer service and sales departments use the same reliable data. Thanks to Freshsales, tasks duplication will never occur again. What is more, you can automate simple and repetitive processes, giving your employees time and opportunities to deal with more important matters. With the right system, you are able to guarantee your customers a high level of service, and employees – an efficiently cooperative work environment. Your team effectiveness will increase once everyone knows their responsibilities and where to look for the needed information.

Adapt the tool to your organization

Solve customer service and sales problems!

Dominika Kuraś-Moskwa

Content Specialist at Deviniti experienced in the tech field. As a storytelling enthusiast, I always try to include some out-of-this-world plot in my articles. I am an art lover and coffee addict – I explore the world of IT with a cup of strong espresso in my hand.

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