Telemarketing Software Featured Article

CRM is More Effective with Sales Workflow Automation

April 04, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

When customer relationship management (CRM) technology first debuted on the business scene decades ago, it was innovative. It replaced rolodexes, folders of notes, little black books and customer paperwork, bringing all customer information into one place so sales professionals could have “one stop shopping” for customer and lead information.

Companies still use CRM extensively, but there is some question about whether they’re using it effectively today.

“Today CRM is a default tool in many inside sales organizations, but it’s acting as more of a problem to be overcome than a solution,” wrote Scott Amerson, VP of sales for VanillaSoft, in a recent blog post.

Amerson was recalling a recent webinar he hosted with Nancy Nardin, Founder of Smart Selling Tools. The webinar, entitled, “Why Traditional CRM Fails Inside Sales Organizations,” identified that the major problem is that CRM solutions are implemented to keep track of records or a database. CRM isn’t capable of making sales representatives more productive and may actually be slowing down the selling process. CRM isn’t a workflow solution or an active process that helps reps follow scripts, initiate calls or other contacts, follow-up with reminders or inform managers of their activities.

“Going on the assumption that those continuing to use CRMs are hoping the software eventually increases sales productivity is ludicrous,” wrote Amerson. “Sadly, this is common. Some organizations believe that if they could just get more of their reps to use the platform, it would work. Since most salespeople see CRM as more of a hindrance than a help, that’s going to be tough.”

Enter the idea of workflow automation, which may be in the form of telemarketing software. Rather than acting as a repository for customer and lead information, telemarketing software supports the active practice of selling such as prioritizing leads, deciding what to do next (send an email, make a follow-up call, ask for an appointment, etc.)

“With workflow automation, lengthy workflows drive behaviors and activities from the sales team with consideration for cadence, calls versus emails, etc.,” wrote Amerson, who noted that the more automated the workflow solution is, the better. “Actions are derived from if this/then that scenarios set up by the management team.”

The goal of any sales workflow solution or telemarketing software is to increase the amount of time salespeople spend selling by automating rote practices that don’t lead to facetime with customers or prospects, such as dialing the phone.

“Autodialing, scripting, and queue based routing are three other major features that increase call productivity,” wrote Amerson. “Parameters set up by the management team let the system know which contact to dial next. This number is then auto-dialed for the rep, and the script is made available. Scripting your sales team’s calls ensures your sales reps present your brand message clearly.”

Best of all, you’re not disregarding your customer relationship management (CRM). Most sales workflow automation solutions can be integrated with your CRM, allowing you to continue using it, but using it in a smarter way that wastes less time and leads to better productivity. 

Edited by Alicia Young