What sets apart top salespersons from their peers?
Last week, I spoke to two of our salespersons, Ken and Sharon to know how many deals they had closed so far this year and how long it took to close the same deals from the first touch point.
Ken had closed five deals over an average sales cycle of 60 days. Sharon had closed nine deals in 75 days. Although Ken’s and Sharon’s deals are subjective and they’re both excellent sales reps, Sharon, however, is able to close deals more quickly.
But what is it that makes Sharon more successful than Ken at winning opportunities? So, I asked them how they each close their deals using Freshsales to know exactly what they’re doing at every stage of the sales pipeline. That’s when I came to know about Sharon’s five secret productivity hacks she uses in the CRM that allow her to get more done in less time and compete with Ken.
Most salespersons keep their eye on the prize and can’t actually manage their time. They’re driven to achieve the end result of winning a deal but they don’t realize the potential of the sales tools in their hands to support their tasks.
There’s a defined sales process for every team in an organization. And, salespersons dread doing some of these tasks, especially because they are repetitive and hinder their day’s work. But, it doesn’t have to be so. Smart salespersons like Sharon are more productive by delegating these tasks to the CRM and focus on generating revenue.
So, we compiled the list of five Freshsales CRM (no longer) secret productivity hacks for the benefit of our users and any salesperson searching for ways to take advantage and win more deals.
1. Fill your pipeline with new deals automatically
Sales reps love deals, but not the administrative task of creating the deal in the CRM. Their urge to act quickly on opportunities after prospecting says there are times when updating information slips from their memory. Why not have the CRM take over? By automating the process of deal creation, you not only reduce your tasks but you also won’t fail to follow-up on your opportunity.
So every time one of Sharon’s leads is interested in buying our products, she doesn’t manually 1) convert the lead to contact, 2) create a deal, and 3) repeat (1) and (2) for her interested leads in the future. Instead, she creates an automation for this time-waster. She uses the extra time to speak to more leads in the sales funnel. By adding your deals to the pipeline as and when you qualify leads, you get to see what your pipeline looks like—the expected close date, the probability of closing, forecasted revenue, etc., to manage your opportunities and spend your time wisely.
2. Get smart and advance deals as you complete your tasks
A typical day in sales is packed and works like clockwork with demos, meetings, emails, phone calls, etc. They get serious about prospecting and sales. In the hustle and bustle, sometimes, they forget to update progress and advance the deal to the next stage. Which is why Sharon automates the steps the CRM must do after she completes her tasks.
Once a demo task is marked as completed, a workflow is triggered that runs through the conditions of three task properties—title, status, and outcome. If the title is “demo”, status is “completed”, and the outcome is “interested”, then the workflow performs two actions for Sharon. One, the CRM advances the related deal to the next stage, and two, it creates a task for her to follow-up with the lead and close the deal.
3. Adopt online cross collaboration and improve productivity
Negotiations and discussions over closing a deal necessitate salespersons to collaborate with sales managers, and finance or legal teams. Sharon reveals that she faces this situation quite often. Cross collaboration between teams can be challenging; find time to meet the other person, discuss the project, share information, etc. Sometimes you get trapped in multiple email threads that slow down your decision-making and decline productivity. While collaboration is critical to winning deals, it doesn’t have to be a painstaking task.
Online collaboration became a lot easier with the Freshconnect integration with Freshsales. Through the Discuss feature on a deal page, you can facilitate online discussions with anyone directly from the CRM. Simply @mention their username or email address. When someone responds, you’re instantly notified to take the next step to close the deal.
4. Add files so you don’t have to search for them
According to a recent study, the average salesperson spends 6.5 hours a week searching for documents to send to prospects (Souce: InsightSquared). Time is limited, and searching for files is the last thing you should spend your time on. Sharon uses a couple of ways in Freshsales to email prospects any documents or relevant content.
There’s Freshsales files where you can upload a new file and share it with your team. You can attach files to a record or email it to anyone from your stored files. You can even attach files to a record using your Google Drive, Dropbox or any cloud storage by simply copy-pasting the URL. If you’re a Google user, integrate Freshsales with Google Drive and access your files directly from the CRM.
5. Focus on deals that need your attention
Visual sales pipeline brings life to your deals. Without having to rely on your memory, it paints a vivid picture of deals by segmenting them into stages to find out where your revenue lies. But, with the extensive number of deals entering and leaving your team’s pipeline, it’s easy to lose track of the deals you’re responsible for. So you’ve got to remove the clutter of the other deals obstructing your sales pipeline.
Freshsales comes with a default view for each user. So make use of this view to shift the spotlight to your active deals. Quickly see your deals by stage and their total value. It’s important that you know where your deals are to address bottlenecks and keep moving forward before it’s too late. The color-coded icons prompt you to take appropriate actions on your deals to win them. By keeping an eye on her deals, Sharon is always pushing herself to improve her sales performance.
Simplify and succeed with CRM software
Increasing your sales velocity and shortening your sales cycle is fundamental to improving your sales performance. To achieve this, you must learn to leverage the potential of the tools at your disposal. CRM software is more than just a contact management database and a record-keeping tool; it’s what saves time and boosts productivity. It’s also what sets the top salespersons apart from the rest.
If you’re still not convinced, here are a few testimonials of real sales teams who improved their productivity with CRM and measured an increase in sales.
Freshsales helps us become better at our day-to-day tasks. Having automated nearly 95% of our sales tasks, we’ve improved our productivity by 10X! – Guy Brand, Big Shot
Our CRM ideology is simple: save time, improve productivity. Within the first six months after adopting Freshsales, we’ve increased our productivity by 80% and gained 10X sales visibility. – Brian Engles, Facilitron
With Freshsales, we’ve cut down reporting time by 60%. We can generate reports at any point in time, and summarize information 10X faster than before. This has immensely improved our productivity. – Erica Mannherz, Reply.ai
Lead auto-enrichment, email integration, bulk email, and email tracking has really improved our sales team’s productivity by more than 30%. – Antonio Palanca, HiveXchange
Now, isn’t it tough to deny the evidence of CRM accelerating sales productivity?
Cover Illustration by Ashna Liza Sunny