Through the Sales Pipe
Enterprise-level CRM systems can be cost-prohibitive to small and medium businesses (SMBs). But there is another way for these companies to manage the flow of data and reap the benefits.
Sales automation tools – like CRM systems for contact management from sales to close –and marketing automation tools – like list management, lead nurturing, email database management, analytics and reporting help businesses better understand their potential customers and get too them faster than ever before.
But the costs of enterprise-level CRM systems for small to medium businesses can be too expensive.
Managing the influx of new data (or some like to say “big data”) is crushing sales and marketing departments across the globe. Information overload about customer behavior and purchasing patterns, managing fresh web content with Google’s ever-changing SEO algorithms, competing in the “local vs. corporate” environment, handling social endless media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, managing data flow with RFPs and contracts, ensuring customer service has the right information from sales…it’s enough to scare Sales, Marketing and Customer Service into their corner cubicles.
All of this rich information begs to be categorized, analyzed and utilized to improve communication between sales, marketing and customer service in order to share knowledge about buying patterns, interests, market trends, customer satisfaction and the new, new thing.
But a 2013 Aberdeen Research study entitled Big Data for Marketing: Targeting Success found that although 98% of firms surveyed plan to increase their use of data analytics, many of them haven’t been able to successfully do so.
So what’s standing in the way of more companies achieving competency? According to Aberdeen’s study the ability to access and integrate data sources.
The sharing of documents across sales, marketing and customer service is a critical piece to ensuring businesses are targeting the right customers to fill the top of the sales funnel, that both sales and marketing can nurture leads effectively with the right information and timing, ultimately close the deal and maintain satisfied customers.
Access to RFP data, contract revisions, marketing materials and customer data is the key to increasing productivity.
Enterprise content management systems are increasingly used by sales and customer service teams to manage the continuous and often overwhelming flow of content and data into an entry-level CRM.
With anytime, anywhere access from mobile devices, teams now have access to the same critical information – always relevant, updated and timely. Gone are the days of administrative roadblocks like endless email chains of RFP responses, trying to schedule multiple meetings to refresh contracts, handing out old versions of sales materials and putting customers on hold so you can “check the file.”
“The average company could realize performance benefits of 49% by employing best practices in document management.” – Aberdeen Group
When integrated with even the lightest versions of a CRM system, mobile document management software (DMS) can help sales, marketing and customer service teams:
Develop and leverage industry expertise
Sharing documents like industry updates and reports, regulatory and compliance data and updated market research and analysis on customer behaviors and buying patterns ensures your teams are educated, knowledgeable and seen as a trusted industry resource. Information is centralized in one database that can be accessed directly from your CRM.
Access the most recent product information
All team members can retrieve the latest automated product demos, product price sheets and multimedia marketing materials so prospects benefit with relevant information on the latest and greatest you have to offer.
Automate workflow across the enterprise and reduce time to close
Workflow rules can automate the routing and approvals of updated RFPs, proposals and contracts and customer invoicing to the appropriate parties. Electronic signature capabilities eliminate the need for snail mail can help improve close times.
Improve customer service and retention
By implementing document management that is integrated with your existing business process tools – like accounting and inventory, you can access order processing and tracking, review inventory and accounting history, and access customer information from any location, giving your team accurate, up-to-the-minute information about their order.
Without having to spend a fortune on in-house system, cloud-based models offer flexibility and cost savings for small to medium businesses to take advantage of the benefits of document management with their current CRM. Streamlining your business processes to manage your sales, inventory, marketing, and customers leaves you more time to grow and promote your business, fill the pipe, close the deal and develop a loyal customer base.
So you can compete with the big boys, without having to spend like one.
Interested in learning more? Download our free white paper – Document Management Software ROI: The Case for Electronic Document Management to learn how document management can help you cut costs and improve your sales, marketing and customer service communication across your organization with document management software.