Why your CRM needs SMS (think, Business Text Messaging) …
“How do I increase sales and profit?” said Every Sales Leader, Everywhere.
Yes, it is true. Sales Leaders are constantly searching for ways to increase sales and profit. So much so, each year sales executives pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into advertising campaigns and marketing budgets hoping to increase their bottom line.
While at the same time (and without intension), sales executives often fail to focus on their most powerful driver of sales: their customer.
As a short disclaimer before I move forward; it must be said that I am in no way, trying to discredit or diminish the value of marketing and advertising resources. They are both, in fact, critical aspects of the sales process.
Having said that, the purpose of this article is to highlight what most sales leaders overlook or perhaps underestimate…. And that is the power of good customer relationship management, and how that can be enhanced simply by text.
A Texting Service for Business, Relationships and Management
Having a good relationship with your customer makes it easier to conduct business and generate revenue. That’s why many businesses use Customer Relationship Management software (CRMs) to help drive their sales cycle and customer campaigns.
For sales leaders, a CRM is a powerful database filled with valuable customer intel and sales team performance metrics such as the number of meetings per rep or performance ($$$) by sales team. It helps leadership quantify success, and enables management to measure performance across any product, sales rep or territory.
So, with so much value in having a good customer relationship program in place, what’s the problem?
Well there are two.
First, a CRM is only as powerful as you make it. Therefore, having strict requirements around data entry and management is a must – otherwise there won’t be anything to measure.
Unfortunately, we also know that sales reps (especially while on the road) do not enjoy or prioritize time spent on manual data entry – it is why so many organizations sync email with CRM. When it comes to data management, decreasing manual entry will always mean better data.
While email syncing is certainly an option, it also brings us to problem number two…. It is impossible to develop a deep and robust relationship with your client over email.
Business Text Messaging: The Unsung Hero of Relationship Management
What many people don’t realize is that a single solution to both problems already exists – it’s called using a texting service for business and as a side note, the implementation is even simpler than the concept itself.
For starters, a texting service will automatically sync with your CRM; seamlessly transmitting your text conversation into business email. Ultimately eliminating manual data entry while creating the additional documentation required by most organizations (think compliance).
Second, by using a texting service for business you are speaking directly to your most important driver of sales: your customer. While most consumers simply prefer to communicate over text, it also simplifies the follow-up dialogue and makes it easier to create a ‘personal touch’ – ensuring every customer feels special.
A Recruiting Case for Business Text Messaging
Case and point: consider the personal impact and importance of logging this text conversation between a recruiter and hiring manager:
Recruiter: Hey! Did you get my email on Monday? How did the interview go with Jason?
Hiring Manager: It went okay. Let’s pass.
Recruiter: Ok! Did you have any feedback? I will send over more resumes.
Hiring Manager: We need more excel experience. Maybe 3 years? Also, do u have anyone who can forecast a sales pipeline? If so, push them to the top of the interview pile.
While this conversation seems straight forward, there are a few factors to consider:
1. The recruiter’s initial email on Monday asked the same question but went unanswered. This is common problem within the recruiting industry that is easily resolved through text. – Getting interview feedback is key! In fact, data tells us that 98% of text messages are responded to within 10 minutes.
2. The hiring manager’s text provided 2 important and new pieces of information. First, the candidate must have at last 3 years of experience in excel and, second, candidates should also be screened for pipeline management and forecast experience. It would be wise to share this new information internally, so other colleagues can better help her fill the role. Since the recruiter is using a texting service for business, she does not need to waste time manually documenting the conversation over email or updating CRM.
3. Lastly, the recruiter’s manager should be aware of the recent change to the customer’s candidate profile. It is an important milestone to consider when evaluating the recruiter’s performance, like time to fill.
Ultimately, sales leaders looking to increase sales and profits should also look to enable a texting service for business.
A quick text can be just as effective, and some would argue, is a more efficient way for sales reps to develop deep relationships with their customers post sale. It is perceived as personal and does not require reps to log on to a secure exchange server or manually enter text conversations into CRM.
Stephanie Knapp, Consultant with over 6 years of professional experience in process improvement, strategic planning, project management, and stakeholder relations.