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Investing in CRM: How to Ensure a Positive Customer Experience

By September 10, 2013Article

According to a new study from Gartner, customer relationship management is now considered to be a top application software investment priority of enterprises. As a result, enterprises are planning more investments in CRM — and venture capital firms are investing more in CRM startups.

Within the CRM space, office and personal productivity tools such as SurgeHub are among the top three investment priorities, according to Gartner. In fact, increased adoption of on-premises software and SaaS will create an increase for worldwide enterprise software spending through next year.

With all of this attention on CRM, it can be difficult to know which companies are really positioned for success, and which ones have not fully embraced the challenges within this market. It all starts with the sales experience and the tools salespeople need today to succeed.

When we decided to develop Surge Hub, we spent significant time researching and understanding the sales experience itself and where it was trending. We asked ourselves: What makes a great sales experience, and how can we best build a tool that enables that to happen? In doing our internal research when developing SurgeHub, we found that sales teams don’t want to deal with multiple tools from multiple vendors. They want an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that works the same on any device including desktops, laptops, tablets and cell phones.

There are a number of products in the market that support one part of the sales process, such as giving presentations or managing contacts. SurgeHub is the first application to support the entire mobile sales process from giving an initial presentation to taking an order, and everything in-between.

Given the recent increase in interest for products that help better manage customer relationships while ensuring a better sales experience, we want to give some of our insight as to the key qualities a salesperson should have in order to ensure a positive customer sales experience.

As CRM providers continue to come out of the woodwork, consider how well they address the following issues, as a measure of how they might succeed in this growing market. Technology is at the core of a successful sales process and should enable the sales team to accomplish the following.

1. Presenting the content the right way is key

Whether a sales person is in the field or in the office, it is crucial to know the content of what you are selling inside and out. In our opinion, it starts with having the technology that lets the content shine, without getting in the way. A good presentation tool is necessary to be able to show the customer the full scale of the content in a precise and innovative way.

Additionally, it is critical that the sales content is presented in its most compelling form. For some situations, video content is the best way to present information. In others, a standard brochure still makes the most sense. When it comes to sales tools, the best ones will allow the salesperson to present content in its original form while allowing the salesperson to expand on it in an innovative and creative way. Engaging the customer with the presentation is what often makes the sale. 

2. Become an expert

Since the sales experience at its core is a service experience, it is important for the salesperson to service the customer and any and all questions they may have. The ability to answer almost any question with authoritative, detailed answers (rather than just parroting back something they read in a brochure) is very helpful and makes the customer feel secure in knowing that the salesperson is well versed in the product. Having the technology on hand to not only give the customer detailed answers, but show the customer an example, can make a big difference in the sale.

With how complex things are today, having the technology in place that can allow your salespeople to become experts while providing the customer with a better sales experience has very distinct and powerful advantages.

3. It is always about the customer

The most effective salespeople make the sales experience about the customer, not about themselves. They take the time to truly understand a customer’s needs and perspective. Only then are they in a position to recommend a solution.

The customer is looking to solve a problem, and the customer’s problems are the salesperson’s to solve. Doing research prior to meeting with the customer is a good tactic to use as it will help the salesperson have a better understanding of the needs of the customer. Having the right tool to manage the customer relationship is essential.

4. Make sure the experience is well coordinated

A great sales experience is one that flows well from start to finish. In order to do that, it is important to provide the sales team with the right technology in order to make the process flow from the initial presentation to the order entry. Obvious seams in the process are often distracting and could derail a sales experience. A great salesperson holds the customer’s attention throughout the sales experience despite distractions that may occur.

Today’s sales experience can be a complicated one. In order to properly inform a customer, the salesperson may need to weave together numerous resources, sometimes from disparate sources. In order to weave all of these sources of information together, the salespeople need a platform that allows them to have everything available at a moment’s notice. They need a tool that unifies all of the information for the customer in one place so that they can focus on presenting, rather than finding.

Matt MacKay is the CEO of Surge Software, Inc. Under his leadership and direction the company has successfully launched a comprehensive mobile sales CRM product called SurgeHub.