Sales Process Automation for Different Business Models: When CRM Comes Into Play

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Regardless of your company’s business model, the main aim of your sales reps is probably “to reach sales quotas by any means.” However,  57% of sales reps expect to miss their quotas this year. Sales process automation with CRM can help even middle-of-the-pack sales reps to become top performers. In this article, we show how CRM helps sales reps to advance in B2B complex sales, B2B transactional sales, and B2C sales taking two leading CRMs (Salesforce Sales Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales) as an example.

B2B complex sales: Continuous Support

CRM brings value to B2B complex sales, supporting the two processes crucial for them: dealing with multiple stakeholders and managing a long sales cycle.

CRM functionality can be of great help in a situation when the consent from a large number of decision-makers becomes a determining factor to see the deal happening. For instance, the Opportunity records have sub-grids called Contact Roles (in Salesforce) and Stakeholders (in Microsoft Dynamics 365), where sales reps can add company contacts (decision-makers). Adding more details (from contact information to personal data) to them helps sales reps to get a more comprehensive picture of a contact (decision-maker) for a more personalized outreach. Thus, sales reps get an idea on how to interact with decision-makers taking into account their personal characteristics.

Being another peculiarity of B2B complex sales, a long sales cycle entails nurturing opportunities for months and years. CRM tangibly facilitates this task with Activity Feed in Salesforce and Activities Feed in Dynamics 365 within the Opportunity record. They both make possible scheduling and tracking interactions with customers, like emails, phone calls, and meetings. Reminders are available for all these activities and ensure that sales reps keep in touch with their prospects during the entire sales cycle. Automated logging of the activities gives sales reps an accurate picture of their interactions with customers.

B2B Transactional Sales: Speeding Up

The main peculiarity of B2B transactional sales is a quick deal closure within a short sales cycle. Thus, CRM features for providing product and price information, valuable sales insights, and prompt response to prospects’ demands come to the forefront.

Keeping informed on products and their prices allows sales reps to work faster as they know better what to offer and how much it costs. Relevant CRM features, like the Products record and Price Books in Salesforce and Product Catalog and Price Lists in Microsoft Dynamics 365 contain product descriptions with lists of their pricing options (some products may have more than one price, depending, for instance, on the quantity the customer buys in each particular case). With this information at their fingertips, sales reps are ready for quick selling.

Another CRM capability helping to close deals faster is AI-powered insights. They include deal outcome predictions, the leads most likely to convert or opportunities the reps should pay more attention to. Hints on steps to take during interactions with a customer or notifications about game-changing moments in the deal can also be of great help when it’s time for quick decision-making. Such CRM functionality is available in products like Salesforce Einstein and Dynamics 365 AI for Sales.

Automated communication with prospects, which includes email and phone call automation, is another CRM-driven benefit for transactional sales. Lightning Dialer or Lightning Voice in Salesforce and the Dynamics Telephony application for Dynamics 365 provide prompt outreach ensured by calling in one click instead of dialing phone numbers. Emailing is made a lot faster and easier by using templates or the automated transferring of customer data from CRM into an email. Relevant CRM products like Salesforce Engage and Dynamics 365 Mail Merge can be of help in the fast creation of engaging and personalized emails.

Automating B2C Sales: A Slight Edge or a Big Gain?

Although sales automation with CRM is usually associated with B2B sales, it doesn’t mean that B2C companies should bypass this option. In contrast to B2B companies, B2C organizations usually have more customers but lower sale values. This shows a need for better customer retention. It can be achieved by gathering comprehensive customer information and keeping track of customers’ preferences and purchasing habits. With a huge number of clients, it would be almost impossible without CRM.

Detailed recording of customer-related information and aggregating it in a single, comprehensive view is possible with a 360-degree customer profile available in the Contact records of Salesforce and Dynamics 365. Enriching the profile with custom sections (e.g., Online Behavior and Purchasing History available in both Salesforce and Dynamics 365) allows not only tracking customer preferences and transactions but providing targeted discounts and developing smart loyalty programs for better customer retention.

CRM can be especially valuable for omnichannel retail when it’s integrated with both an ecommerce platform and a POS system. For example, when a repeat customer comes to a brick-and-mortar store, a shop assistant can look for their customer profile in CRM to find out their purchasing preferences. This helps to make the assistant’s advice more targeted and gives hints for upselling and cross-selling.

In a Nutshell

CRM-powered sales process automation can become a helping hand for both B2B and B2C businesses. With right default and custom features, CRM allows managing long and short sales cycles, supporting communication with multiple stakeholders, and enabling better customer retention. 

Postat: 4 februarie, 2019


Head of CRM and Collaboration Department

Denis Zhinko is Head of CRM and Collaboration Department at ScienceSoft with 12+ years in software consulting with the multi-platform focus on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce. Denis has managed projects on CRM, CXM, Portals, System Integration and Connectivity for businesses in Healthcare, Retail,TelecomandBanking, including CRM solutions for 7+ mln bank clients and 5+ mln media subscribers....

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