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CRM Is Changing - Are You On Board?

July 23, 2010
By Susan J. Campbell - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor

Customer relationship management used to be an innovative approach of tying several different methodologies together to drive higher sales numbers and larger volumes per sale. While a number of companies have implemented CRM systems to help drive this new approach to the sales process, the platform has passed the point of innovation and has now become the default tool in a number of sales departments.

CRM continues to be an effective tool for a number of different sales activities, yet the potential for so much more already exists. Best-in-Class organizations are taking Inside Sales to a whole new level by deploying tools that do more than store and report on data. New CRM software solutions help to change behavior and drive productivity. Recent industry studies demonstrate more and more companies are turning to their inside sales teams to create added demand, nurture prospects and drive additional revenue – which are all vital in this new economic climate. In some situations, the inside sales team is the sole driver of revenue for the company as a result of budget restraints on sales and marketing or increased pressure on management to get more for less.

With these changes have come measureable shifts in responsibilities within the inside sales team. This has increased the importance of enabling these team members to have access to effective tools and technologies that allow them to do their jobs more effectively.

While economic strains are certainly impacting the inside sales teams of today, they are also dealing with what many are calling a Sales 2.0 or Buyer 2.0 world. Buyers now have more power to search, investigate and narrow their choices to a few companies while they are still in stealth mode. As a result, it is imperative that the inside sales teams have the tools necessary to capture more customer information, nurture the prospect in a customer-centric way and engage when the prospect is ready to engage. These individuals must also be timely with the engagement, monitoring and measurement of the engagement process and aggressively move to open dialogue with their opportunities through tools that drive more contacts and deliver a consistent message from the start of the process to the close of the sale.

A recent Aberdeen (News - Alert) report entitled “Inside Sales Enablement; Let them Drink Coffee”, validates the importance and focus on inside sales. Peter Ostrow, Research Director at Aberdeen and author of the report stated: “Best-in-Class companies are aggressively supporting inside sales enablement, and as a result see an average of 87 percent of their reps achieving quota, and a 17 percent year-over-increase in corporate revenue.” With such powerful proof of the importance of changing CRM, all companies with a focus on inside sales need to make the change or risk losing significant opportunities to the competition.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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