Freshworks Shares 7 Tips to Improve Lead Management Efforts and Efficiency in CRM

The purpose of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is to improve your relationships with clients and acquire new customers faster. While CRM software is essential for managing sales leads, you also need a good CRM strategy as a foundation for your efforts. 

We talked to Freshworks salesperson Stephanie Taiwo, as Head of UKI Business Development, to get her seven top tips for managing leads and driving conversions. Stephanie is experienced in sales management and helping clients get the most out of Freshworks CRM software. She shared her expertise in keeping her team on top of their leads with the help of a high-quality CRM tool for better conversions.


Why is Using a Customer Relations Management Tool So Important to Lead Management? 

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a time-saving tool to streamline your sales and prospecting processes. It manages the entire customer journey from awareness to purchase and aftercare. It offers a single platform to help a business gather insight from customer data to map buyer journeys, optimise communications and drive sales. 

A good CRM doesn’t limit itself to sales. It is connected across multiple functions, including marketing, sales and customer service. The goal is to provide a better end-to-end customer experience (CX) to encourage them to buy more and become advocates of your brand.

Automation, customisation, analytics and third-party integrations are among the many functions of CRM software. Think how much easier it would be to know your software will automatically send a follow-up message after a set amount of time, rather than wait for reminders in your calendar and manually sending them, one by one. It also tracks all communications and integrates with your chosen email provider to avoid switching between apps. 

Besides tracking customer analytics, a CRM tool tracks your employees’ activities and performance. This can help senior managers complete employee performance reviews, reward strong employees and identify where extra resources or help might be necessary. Hosting these features on one single interface that can be accessed anywhere at any time will quickly save you time and money.

Steph shares her tips in driving effective sales teams, underpinned by the effective usage of Freshworks CRM


Sales Tip 1 – Have a Clearly Defined Sales Process

Stephanie advises sales teams to have a clearly defined sales structure. It should comprise accurate lead stages, such as discovery, qualification, evaluation and nurture, which are measurable in the long and short term. These are standardised, repeatable steps to convert a prospect into a customer. A structured sales process establishes accountability while enabling shorter sales cycles and higher conversion rates.

Stephanie says, “It’s very important to have structure and then to adhere to good CRM sales hygiene. This is where Freshworks CRM comes into play because you can easily change the stages, according to the step in the process that matches the opportunity.” This is great for managers who just need to run a report to get an overview of where to find opportunities within the different stages of their sales process. 

She emphasises the importance of sales hygiene again. “Really do not underestimate the importance of CRM hygiene. So just teach your sales reps ’Once you have a conversation, you must adjust the lead stage’.” If you don’t adjust the lead stage accordingly, you “cannot rely on your reporting and the sales team can’t stay on top of their deal. So, everything kind of breaks apart. It’s crucial that you build the foundation of a good understanding of what is the right CRM hygiene.”


Sales Tip 2 – Measure Sales Efficiency

It’s also easier to measure efficiency in a clearly defined sales process. Stephanie explains, “Sales efficiency is complex, so it’s best to strip it down to simple KPIs, but I personally track weekly for my team. These include KPIs like SLAs.” You can measure this kind of SLA KPI by looking at how long the rep is leaving the lead untouched to the first touchpoint. She also mentions basic performance metrics to set KPIs around. These include how many, email, LinkedIn or nurture touchpoints that reps have per lead. 

Of course, the conversion metric is also very important for sales efficiency. This is measured by the number of discovery calls or qualification calls a sales rep makes versus how many of those are converted. Stephanie likes the specificity of the conversion metric: “As a manager, you can hone into that and then help each rep boost their conversion to get more opportunities.”


Sales Tip 3 – Implement an Intuitive, User-Friendly CRM Tool

Stephanie believes the reason some CRMs have more success than others boils down to simplicity. She says, “Ease of use is the biggest hurdle to adoption for CRM. I mean, salespeople are making a lot of calls and having a ton of conversations. If you expect them to sit for a few hours a day, just to figure out a complicated CRM and do their admin, it’s not going to work.”

She recommends finding a CRM with a user-friendly interface that saves reps time, rather than adding to their ever-increasing list of chores. “I’ve worked with a number of CRMs in my career. Some of them haven’t been adopted so well because of their complexity. It’s as simple as that. You, as a sales rep, want to have a CRM that is intuitive – doesn’t take a lot of thinking to figure out what each or what each thing does. You want to be able to onboard on it within hours rather than days.” 


Sales Tip 4 – Embrace AI and Automation

An important aspect of user-friendly CRMs is their advanced technology making things  simple for users. Where salespeople once relied on emails, diaries, spreadsheets, and a range of manual processes, CRMs streamline tasks from the most mundane and repetitive to the most complex. A CRM’s built-in AI capabilities automatically update things for you at the click of a button or you can set any kind of task and receive a reminder to complete the task on a specific day and time.

For Stephanie, these AI capabilities are essential for staying on top of your team’s KPI progress. She relies on Freshworks extremely intuitive and centralised reporting capabilities. “With the click of a button, I can see all the performance and productivity metrics, discovery calls and so on, and then I’m able to coach and help accordingly.”


Sales Tip 5 – Empower New Hires to Use CRM Independently

Taking time to onboard and implement a CRM tool will contribute to the overall success of your sales process. If you don’t handle its implementation correctly within the team it can be underutilised or cost more in terms of wasted hours. 

Stephanie’s approach is to empower new hires to “be proactive and to play around with the tool themselves.” She sets them small challenges to build email campaigns and other tasks for 10 leads and accounts. “They must go ahead and play around themselves. That’s the best way to learn, actually being hands-on with this new tool.” She likes how it prompts questions so a “manager, team leader or another colleague can step in and really guide a new hire according to their specific questions.”


Sales Tip 6 – Personalise Your Customer Interactions

Your CRM can be used to drive a sale to closure or nurture existing customers. You can customise your CRM to deal with both sales processes differently. In the early stage of the sales funnel, a CRM tool helps you apply a high frequency of touchpoints with various mediums. As you progress further into the customer relationship, you can stagger those communications, so they are at the right frequency. 

With existing customers, you’re trying to add more value and to have meaningful conversations. Your CRM is the key to offering a personalised interaction as it contains the entire context of your relationship with a record of all the calls and emails you’ve made and received. Stephanie comments, “As a sales rep, you are then empowered to go in and have the right conversations with the right stakeholders to make sure you’re on top of every little red flag.” 


Sales Tip 7 – Simplify Your Lead Generation Process with Integrations

The best CRM tools for sales are self-sufficient and simplify your sales management with very little manual input. You can seamlessly integrate other lead generating tools, and marketing software to avoid the inconvenience and incomplete data of using separate platforms. Freshworks integrations are very easy to set up and enable leads from multiple channels to flow into the CRM. Stephanie says, “In my BDR team, we integrate Freshsales with outreach, which is the tool that allows the BDRs to outbound their prospects. We have the integration that’s native and it’s just a joy to work with.”


Make Sure Your Sales Team has the Tools They Need to Perform 

CRM software is the key to attaining better leads, boosting customer engagement, driving deals to closure, and nurturing existing customers. What’s easier than a single platform to manage all your sales processes and customer interactions across multiple devices? The best CRM tools for sales are user-friendly, integrate with other lead generation tools, create custom reports, and incorporate AI capabilities. 


Try Freshworks CRM for free

Freshworks is a smart, comprehensive solution that covers all of Stephanie’s CRM tips. Her sales hacks are informed by years of working with CRMs and seeing the positive results of when they are used correctly. The main benefits include enhanced communication, improved customer retention, and increased customer acquisition. Her first-hand experience with Freshworks’ satisfied customers has provided insight into how advanced technology can bring a human touch to CRM. It personalises interactions, stores business contexts, and streamlines workflows to capture a bigger share of the market. It simply makes things much easier for salespeople.

If you’re looking for a CRM tool that improves the productivity of your sales team and boosts profits, request a Freshworks demo

Take a look through our content library to find out more about how Freshworks powerful CRM solution can help you improve sales and CX. Have you got a question? Contact our friendly team

Try Freshworks CRM