Customer Lifecycle Management
Managing the sales process
This “Managing the sales process” is the second in our series of four ACCfacts that explores Customer Life Cycle Management. An organisations’ sales force plays an important role in the life-cycle of a company. Attracting new business is commonly a costly process and organisations need to empower their sales force with business tools that can assist them in closing more new business, at a lower cost of sale. Sage CRM is the answer.
Managing your salespeople
Chalanges a sales manager faces includes managing his/her staff and can lead to a lack of control or visibility on the sales process leading up to a sale. It is critical to get a full view of the various activities and steps that lead up to recognised revenue. Very often, management intervention at an earlier stage can rescue a lost opportunity.
- Customise the sales opportunity workflow in order to prompt action from employees if an opportunity is not progressing at an acceptable rate.
- Get a historical view on the history of each sales opportunity.
- Automate the managerial or administrative approval process via email, SMS or on-screen pop-up notifications.
- Assure continuity on any sales deal should a sales executive be absent or leave the organisation, as every communication and related document is centrally stored in Sage CRM.
Record your communications
The core of Sage CRM is the ability to record communications against a sales opportunity. All phone calls and notes can be captured on the account, and documents can be uploaded and saved (read-only) on the opportunity. The document uploading can also be tied to the workflow, where, for example, a signed Purchase Order must be received before an opportunity can be submitted for approval.
Email is by far the most common method of communication, and using CRM’s Outlook integration, emails can be filed in CRM from within Outlook, allowing users to send emails and have them attached to the customer matching that email address. Inbound emails may also be filed, and it is possible for a general mailbox such as ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to be monitored, and for all incoming emails to be filed as sales opportunities or leads.
Sage CRM captures every customer and project communication, ensuring transparency across the organisation, on every single deal.
With many salespeople based regularly outside of the office, it is vital that their data is accessible remotely. Sage CRM v7.1’s new Exchange Synchronisation means that any appointment or task loaded into CRM or in Outlook is immediately accessible from any device connected to Exchange, such as a Blackberry or iPhone. Using Sage CRM’s iPhone theme, your CRM opportunity and communication history is available in real-time on your iPhone, and can be updated or amended while away from the office.
Managing your active pipeline
Once an opportunity is captured within Sage CRM, it cannot be forgotten, and regular escalations in the customisable workflow means that you will be constantly reminded to follow up with your prospects. Sage CRM’s Interactive Dashboard and pipelines provide you with a single screen from which you can view the data relevant to your specific role.