Why invest in a commercial CRM? Advantages and benefits

Why invest in a CRM

Alexis Lecomte
April 23, 2020 - 6 min reading
Updated November 16, 2023

Selling B2B2C products is a market where competition is fiercer than ever. To face up to this, and increase your market share, it's crucial to equip yourself with tools that not only simplify processes, but also transform the way you interact with your distributors.

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is more than just software; it's a strategy, a tool for growth and an investment in your brand's future.

Indeed, investing in a Sales CRM is not a superfluous step, but a kingly one. Today's buyers are no longer mere spectators of their purchases, but have become the main players. Information and comparison between offers have become much easier, and you now need to differentiate yourself in a different way.

In this article, we'll explore why a CRM is essential, especially for field salespeople, and how it can drive your growth.

The benefits of investing in a commercial CRM

Each of the following 4 points has only one consequence: to increase your growth by putting the customer back at the heart of your business.

Customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is the cornerstone of any successful business. Building loyalty costs your company far less than acquiring new customers. In fact,acquisition is 5 times more expensive than retention.

And it's the same when the customer is a point of sale. Keep your distributors happy, increase your loyalty rate and preserve your revenues. You'll then have more time to devote to your sales effort, than to preventing churn.

Several actions can be taken to achieve this:

  • Identify your priority stores, i.e. those that bring in the most revenue. To do this, you can analyze the DN and DV of each one;
  • Make it a priority to visit these stores, to maintain an active link with them;
  • To nurture your distribution network;
  • If you feel that you could potentially lose one or more of your sales outlets, suggest a sales promotion or BRIs to your department managers and/or director.

Thus, each year, instead of losing 20% of your customers, you will keep up to 95% of your turnover. You will then only have to make a 5% sales effort to keep your n-1 turnover.

By analyzing customer data, a CRM will help you anticipate their needs and offer solutions before they even ask for them, creating an unrivalled customer experience.

Time saving

It's a bit of a cliché, but it's true. For sale: time is money.

On average, salespeople spend 30% of their time on administrative tasks. A good CRM can automate all low value-added tasks, freeing sales reps from routine and repetitive tasks. They can then concentrate on selling.

What's more, a sales CRM centralizes information so that it can be retrieved more quickly. Your sales reps will no longer waste time searching through their mailboxes for exchanges they've had with a prospect.

A good way to measure your teams' access to information is to ask each sales rep for a relatively old file - plus or minus 6 months - and measure the response time to retrieve the information.

Beyond understanding how much time your sales people can save with a CRM, this exercise will highlight the unreliability of your current methods... you can easily miss an exchange, information or action that should have been carried out.

Improved collaboration

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams is crucial. It's important that these two departments are aligned, for several reasons:

  • Marketing creates demand and raises consumer awareness, which in turn facilitates the work of in-store sales staff.
  • Feedback from sales teams on customer preferences and behavior helps marketing to fine-tune its strategies and campaigns.
  • Close coordination ensures consistent brand communication, strengthening the company's image and reputation.
  • Collaboration between sales and marketing teams helps align objectives and strategies, maximizing the overall effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts.

Have you ever noticed a lack of communication between marketing and sales when they should be working hand in hand?

Have you ever seen a salesperson unknowingly approach a prospect who is in fact already a customer?

In either case, you may not have delivered the right message and/or discredited your company.

A sales CRM serves as a unified platform where information is shared in real time, eliminating information silos. For example, when a sales rep updates customer information, the marketing team can immediately use this data for targeted campaigns, creating synergy between departments.

What's more, field sales staff can immediately see exactly which actions have been carried out with a prospect, and by whom. No more phone calls to colleagues who left the company... 3 years ago!

If your sales development is geographical, equipping your field sales staff with CRM software will facilitate territory transfers. When your regional manager leaves his place to his colleague, with only a list of prospects on Excel, he often feels misunderstood, and this is logical, as it's a personal working document, not a collaborative one. CRM structures actions and communication, facilitating collaboration.

Increase in sales

A CRM is not just about managing existing customers; it's also a powerful tool for acquiring new ones.

By providing detailed data on prospects and tracking every interaction, a CRM enables sales reps to personalize their approach and close more sales.

What's more, with real-time dashboards and reports, managers can track performance (sales, product presence, sell-in, sell-out...) and adjust strategies accordingly. It also lets you know the percentage of achievement of objectives, overall or per sales rep.

As you can see, a CRM helps you to build loyalty, sign up more customers, understand your business challenges and therefore significantly develop your growth. You put the customer at the heart of your business, while optimizing your internal processes.

Your teams will no longer waste time on non-value-added tasks, managers will have standardized and reliable information, and collaboration will be strengthened.

How do I know if the CRM I've chosen meets my salespeople's needs?

Before delving deeper into this subject, I invite you to consult our white paper entitled "How to navigate the CRM jungle". In it, you'll discover the different types of CRM, learn how to choose the one that best suits your needs, and how to successfully integrate it into your teams.

Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about buying a CRM for field sales staff.

How do you choose a CRM for your sales force?

Whether you already have a CRM solution or are in the selection phase, it's crucial to take into account certain key criteria when choosing the right CRM for your field sales force.

  • Understand your needs: clearly identify your expectations. Perhaps you're having trouble getting an overall view of your sales activity, exploiting your sales data, or keeping track of your salespeople's activities in the field.
  • Understand your sales reps' needs: Are your sales reps losing important information? Are they having trouble collecting data in the field? Are they using too many tools simultaneously?

Recognizing these needs can help you choose one CRM over another. However, regardless of your specific needs, certain criteria remain fundamental:

  • Ease of use: CRM must be intuitive and easy to use, to facilitate its adoption by sales staff.
  • Mobile accessibility: A mobile or tablet version of CRM is essential for sales staff who are often on the move.
  • Integration with other tools: CRM must be able to integrate easily with other software used within your company.
  • Reporting and analysis capabilities: Powerful analysis tools are needed to track performance and identify trends.
  • Support and training: Responsive customer service and training resources are essential to maximize CRM use.
  • Cost: Opt for a reasonably priced CRM. Beware of hidden implementation costs or costly specific developments. Make sure that the price indicated on the quotation actually corresponds to what you will be billed.

What are the key features of a CRM for field sales?

To find out more about the essential functionalities of a CRM designed for field sales representatives, please consult this page.

Here are some of the key features to look for in a CRM for field salespeople:

  • Fast, easy data access: choose a CRM that makes it easy to import and export your data, categorize it, create dynamic views, secure your information and manage access to it.
  • Simplified data collection: Choose a CRM that makes the process of collecting information easy, with or without a connection, on the web or via mobile. Use forms tailored to your industry, with a ready-to-use survey editor to customize your statements.
  • Geolocation and itineraries: For efficient planning of field visits, select a CRM that optimizes your rounds, appointments and movements in real time.
  • Information synchronization: It's crucial that your sales force can work offline without worrying about updating information. A CRM with automatic synchronization will save them a lot of hassle.

What are the benefits of CRM for sales management?

As mentioned earlier in this article, a CRM offers a number of advantages for sales management, including :

  • Centralized customer information: It offers a complete, 360-degree view of each customer, facilitating better understanding and personalized follow-up.
  • Improved productivity: By automating administrative tasks, CRM reduces duplication and unnecessary effort, enabling teams to concentrate on higher value-added activities.
  • Easier performance monitoring: integrated analysis and reporting tools make it easier to measure and analyze sales performance.
  • Enhanced collaboration: CRM facilitates the sharing of information between sales and marketing teams, improving the consistency and effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies.

How can you maximize the use of CRM by your sales force?

Proper preparation for CRM implementation is crucial, and can be a challenge. It is estimated that 50% of the success of a CRM project is downstream, and 50% downstream.

Upstream :

  • Draw up precise specifications: This will help you avoid over-sizing the project and overlooking essential business needs.
  • Take stock: map business processes, identify friction points and opportunities for improvement.
  • Express your needs: Determine which functions are essential to make your teams' day-to-day work easier.
  • Integrate your CRM into your ecosystem: think about how the solution will integrate with existing company tools, avoid information silos and plan the desired interactions between your CRM, your different teams and tools.
  • Think end-user: To maximize the use of CRM, involve end-users right from the start of the decision-making process. Avoid imposing CRM without including them in the selection stages. This mistake often leads to the creation of complex CRMs that are impractical for sales staff. However, make sure you don't give them total control of the project. Experienced and involved stakeholders are the ones who know best the process requirements.

During set-up :

  • Avoid lengthy set-up times: Plug & Play, ready-to-use solutions minimize this step.
  • Involve your sales force in CRM configuration.

Downstream :

  • Support your sales force in using CRM.
  • Train them: Take the time to train them in the tool, to listen to their difficulties, their bottlenecks, and the necessary adjustments. Set up an action plan to take account of this valuable feedback and continually improve your processes.

How can I customize my CRM to meet my company's specific needs?

When choosing your CRM software, you will come across two fundamentally different approaches:

  • Custom CRM: Implementation of these tools can vary from a few weeks to several years, with the risk of project over-sizing or uncontrolled costs. However, if the project is successful, your CRM will be fully customized to your needs. More and more organizations are moving away from this type of solution.
  • Plug & Play CRM: The "no-code" trend with SaaS software makes CRM easier to access, with solutions that can be parameterized directly by the user, without the need for specific technical skills.

In both cases, customization is possible to adapt your CRM to your company's specific processes and requirements. Sidely offers the following options, among others:

  • Configure fields and forms: Tailor fields to reflect the specific information important to your company, brand or agency.
  • Customized workflows: Create automated processes that align with your working methods.
  • Third-party integration: Connect CRM to other software used in your company for an integrated experience.
  • Customize reports and dash boards: Design reports and dashboards that deliver insights relevant to your business.

Ready to see how a Commercial CRM can revolutionize your business?

Try Sidely free for 15 days or request a demo to discover its potential.

Ready to conquer the field? 
Try Sidely free for 15 days. 
Request a demo
Ready to conquer the field? 
Request a demo