9 use cases in sales, and how CRM software can help

Different businesses, different markets, unique use cases. Being CRM software is hard.

But that’s exactly why it exists—to help reps and managers meet sales needs irrespective of their complexity and magnitude. Having said that, choosing the Right CRM is not easy because there are various CRMs in the market that don’t deliver what they promise. Here’s a video that showcases the reality in the CRM industry.  

Here are 9 sales use cases, and what CRM can do in each case:


Use case #1: Prioritizing leads

I’m an SDR with about 400 leads on my list. They’re in different stages of the funnel, and it’s getting tougher to pick the best leads.

Solution: Rank leads through lead scoring

How CRM software can help: You can define rules to “score” a lead in the CRM software. The rules could be based on basic parameters (like job title, geographic location, industry) or more advanced triggers (like when a lead opens an email). So if your lead is the CTO of a startup, for instance, you can define a rule to assign them 15 points by default. If they open your email, great! They get another 10 points. The higher the score, the hotter the lead; the hotter they lead, the closer they are to conversion; the closer they are, the more important they become to you—which means it’s easier to decide who needs your immediate attention.

Lead scoring
How lead scores are displayed in a CRM like Freshsales


Use case #2: Following up with leads

I’m an inside sales rep who sends a lot of emails every day. And my prospects respond in a bunch of ways. Some reply right back, some take a while, some just ignore it or forget about it. I need to follow up with all of them, but not in the same way. They’ve got to be (i) personalized, and (ii) done automatically (I don’t want to hit Send 300 times, obviously).

Solution: Launch sales campaigns

How CRM software can help: Using the CRM, reps can create campaigns that work based on recipients’ behavior. So if a prospect replies to your email in 2 days, you can set up a call reminder to take the relationship further. If they don’t reply, you can schedule a follow-up email. All your responses are automatically executed on schedule, so your campaign stays timely, relevant and personal.

Setting up campaigns in the CRM
Setting up a sales campaign


Use case #3: Identifying a deal’s age

I’m a Sales Manager with 4 reps on my team. I need to know how long it takes, on average, for a deal to travel through my pipeline. Are my reps stuck in a particular stage? Which stage sees deals through quicker than others?

Solution: Create sales cycle reports and sales velocity reports

How CRM software can help: When you create a sales cycle report in the CRM, it tells you the average time taken by each rep to close a deal. This way you’ll learn that Jack can close in 28 days, while Kate can do it in 19. Sales velocity reports go one level deeper. They drill down into each rep’s average and identify a deal’s duration by its individual stages. So if Charlie takes 15 days to move a new deal into the Demo stage, and only 8 days to move it into Evaluation, he knows where he needs to work harder.

Sales cycle and velocity reports
Example of a sales cycle report (foreground) and a sales velocity report (background)


Use case #4: Help during a call

I’m getting started in outbound sales. When I’m on a call with my prospect, I sometimes need my teammates to step in and take over the call. I sell home insurance, and with the kind of competition in this industry, I can’t tell my prospects I’ll get back later. I need help in real time.

Solution: Transfer calls to colleagues in real time

How CRM software can help: When your call is in progress, you can quickly run through a list of available reps and transfer the call. If you’re not sure which rep is the best point of contact, you can transfer the call to a territory in toto and let them take it from there. Transferring calls can be done when you’re using standalone telephony software too, but it’s easier if your CRM software comes with built-in phone.

Call transfer in the CRM
Transferring calls using the CRM’s built-in phone


Use case #5: Automating mundane tasks

Every time I get a new lead, I type out a welcome email. I like sounding cheerful and making sure my lead gets a great first impression of the business, but I don’t want to do it manually every time. Is there a way I can automate this?

Solution: Set up workflows

How CRM software can help: CRMs usually enable reps to create email templates, with custom placeholders and a personalized message. As the next step, you can make this email a part of your “workflow.” A workflow is an if-then sequence, which is activated based on a trigger. You can define both the trigger and the response to the trigger. In this particular workflow, every time a new lead enters the CRM (trigger), you can instruct the CRM software to send a welcome email (response).

Setting up a workflow
Defining the rules for a workflow


Use case #6: Understanding customers through in-product activity

I launched my SaaS product about 6 months ago. I’m trying to figure out which features keep my customers coming back. I tried surveys, but they’ve given me only a fraction of the insights I’m looking for. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this?

Solution: Track website and in-app behavior

How CRM software can help: CRMs pride themselves on giving users in-depth insights into their customers, and user behavior tracking is a big part of this goal. You get specific codes across a bunch of programming languages, like JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Python, and PHP. All you need to do is use these codes inside your product. The next time your contact plays around with your product’s settings, for instance, that activity will pop up in your CRM—in the respective contact’s profile—as part of an “Activity Timeline” (image below).

TIP: You can use these codes to track activity on your website too.

Activity Timeline in the CRM
Example of an Activity Timeline


Use case #7: Understanding customers beyond sales interactions

For a lot of my customers, the first touchpoint with the business is through the customer support team. Customers raise tickets and have extensive conversations with support agents; these discussions can give me so much context when I get on calls with the customers. Is there a way I can get access to every customer’s ticket conversations?

Solution: Integrate the helpdesk with the CRM

How CRM software can help: When you integrate CRM software like Freshsales with a customer support helpdesk like Freshdesk, vital information is shared between sales and support in real time. The CRM pulls ticket conversations from the helpdesk and displays them in the respective contact’s profile. Over in the helpdesk, the support team can see that a particular contact is part of a high-value deal. Agents can then leverage this information when they have to prioritize tickets.

Viewing tickets in CRM
A customer’s tickets appearing in the CRM


Use case #8: One company, different sales processes

I’m the CEO of a startup that makes 2 products, one for small businesses and another for mid-market businesses. Each market demands a different sales process. Using one pipeline to track deals across unique sales processes… it doesn’t work for my business.

Solution: Create multiple sales pipelines

How CRM software works: You can create a different pipeline for each sales process, with relevant deal stages in each pipeline. Your reps don’t have to worry about switching between pipelines. They can mark a pipeline as “default” to ensure all new deals are automatically created in their team’s pipeline.

Creating multiple sales pipelines in the CRM
Creating multiple sales pipelines


Use case #9: A quicker, efficient way to ride to sales meetings

I’m a field sales rep. I’m constantly meeting customers across the city. When I look at an appointment on my mobile calendar, I’d also like to book my ride from that screen. It’s a lot easier compared to stepping out of my calendar, opening a ride-hailing app, and booking a ride.

Solution: Book an Uber from the mobile CRM

How CRM software can help: CRM isn’t just a web app; it’s widely used on mobile too. And mobile CRM apps can integrate with Uber so you can book rides without leaving the CRM.

Book Uber from CRM
Booking an Uber from the mobile CRM

Have any other use cases we can help with? Tell us in the Comments!

And oh… “we” is Freshsales, the cloud-based CRM software for teams of all sizes. If you’d like to know more about us, we’re here.

Happy selling!

Thank you Sailesh Gunasekaran for designing this blog’s cover image.