I’ve spoken with hundreds of sales managers prior to purchasing a sales software tool – and although their pre-software pipeline management strategies are often similar, I’m still taken by surprise during every conversation. Though a common practice, piecing together sales data in a random spreadsheet just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. Now, there are tools that help sales managers do the work that used to take them weeks in hours – and it’s getting easier all the time.

Why do you need sales software? Here’s just a glimpse into what it will do for you:

Standardize your sales process

Your business has probably outlined a sales process that each sales rep is supposed to follow. But are they working within that process? And how do you know? Short of checking in on each member of your team individually, the solution is sales software. The best CRM tools will allow you to customize your sales stages to fit your business and make it easy for your team to adopt. Then, sales managers can make sure the team is following protocol (and even help nudge leads through the sales cycle) in a fraction of the time.

Organize the details

Every sale is unique. The length of the sales cycle is never the same – and that means the number of interactions between your salesperson and his prospect varies greatly. Without sales software, where do all of those interactions go? They sit in an email inbox, the salespersons head, a random spreadsheet. A CRM enables your sales team to track each interaction with every prospect – and the most intuitive products do so seamlessly and automatically.

Take your sales with you

Your outside sales team probably works from their phones as often as (if not more than) they do from a computer. Sales software ensures that all of the prospect details we talked about a minute ago stay with you at all times. That means when one of your top prospects calls to talk shop you know exactly where they are in the sales cycle, what you discussed yesterday and can speak intelligently to every prospect. And if your CRM offers a native application, accessing this information is always a piece of cake.

Analyze and report in minutes

Let’s go back to the spreadsheets – I’m sure you’re either using them to track each sale now, or you did at one point in time. But how do you understand your team’s funnel when it’s not all housed in one place? Sales software is the only way to get a comprehensive view of your team’s activities, from cold call to prospect to quote to sale. Without a sales software tool, that’s impossible. Your CRM tool should allow sales managers to run any report, anytime, anywhere, with just a minutes notice.

Without sales software, all of the above is both difficult and time consuming. Base CRM allows sales managers to standardize the sales process with flexible, drag and drop pipeline management, compile deal detail automatically, check up on each prospect in a native mobile app and produce flexible reports in minutes. The time you save by implementing a powerful CRM tool will far outweigh its costs. Leave a comment below and let me know how you’re currently managing your pipeline.