As a former salesperson that now focuses on business intelligence (BI), I know how important it is for a business to have access to the right tools and the most useful data. It wasn’t that long ago that as a salesperson I had only a basic phone and a notebook with prospects’ and customers’ names – and had to sit at a desk to schedule appointments. To get orders your customers either had to fax over a purchase order, mail it, or you had to pick it up yourself. I’m not even that old, but sadly this is accurate. A lot has changed over the years, including the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based solutions, mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which in turn has ushered in the ‘always on’ employee. Of course, these changes have allowed sales tools to evolve, too.
There was also a time when a customer relationship management (CRM) tool was nothing more than a glorified electronic Rolodex. But with the rise of CRM solutions from companies like Salesforce.com and SugarCRM, the functionality of these types of tools has dramatically changed. Now, a salesperson can use a CRM solution to not only manage his or her prospects and customers, but also manage pipeline, forecasting, and integration with marketing automation tools. It can even provide visibility into orders through integration with back-end systems. This level of functionality is important not only to the sales team, but to your entire business.
The evolution of CRM tools becomes even more interesting when you consider that business phone systems have changed a lot, too. Over the last seven years businesses have adopted Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems, which are typically much easier than their analog/digital counterparts. This is especially true if you need to run reports and have APIs integrate with other applications. Increasingly, companies are also seeing the benefits of a full Unified Communications (UC) platform. UC provides a way to funnel voice and instant message communications (and other advanced features) through one “unified” system, and connecting internal and external people no matter where they are physically located.
A good UC solution with APIs can push data to your CRM to provide screen pops so you know who is calling, before answering that ringing phone. This is a huge advantage for your company’s sales, customer service, and support teams.
Know who you are talking to before you answer the call
What about other benefits for your road warrior sales teams? Do they sometimes struggle to log customer calls while away from the desk? CRM platforms are now utilizing mobile apps so that when you place or receive a call, it can prompt you to log a task record about the conversation.
The UC platform can also be setup to give ‘one number finds me.’ That means you no longer have to worry about where the salesperson is when a call comes in – the call will find the salesperson. The salesperson just gives his or her direct inward dial (DID) number, and the call will then ring their desk phone, the home office, and the mobile phone (or whatever series of phones is set up to ring). The sales rep can even look at either the computer screen or his/her mobile phone for additional information on the caller. Not only do they know who is calling, but they can see an order history for existing customers, or maybe even additional information specific to that person (like the customer’s birthday).
Having access to this detailed information by integrating your CRM tool to your phone system means sales teams can have more productive conversations with customers and prospects. As Salesforce and other CRM solutions continue to evolve, you’ll want to make sure that your business phone system can keep up, too.
Switchvox, Digium’s award-winning UC phone system, helps your company make an impactful first impression, every time.
Watch this on-demand webinar to see how Switchvox can: enhance communications with mobility tools, provide automation to ease the burden of day to day tasks, and tie into your CRM or database to provide valuable customer data for your caller