Patricia Fripp, award-winning speaker and sales presentation trainer, once said that “You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.”

Such should be the mindset of businesses that are keen on success. Yes, you want to improve sales but remember that at the core of it are your customers. Your success depends on retaining customers, as much as gaining them.

This is where CRM phone integration comes in. Through the integration of your CRM and CTI technologies, you are empowering your sales force.

“On average, sales and marketing costs average from 15%-35% of total corporate costs. So the effort to automate for more sales efficiency is absolutely essential. In cases reviewed, sales increases due to advanced CRM technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%,” according to Rowland T. Moriarty and Gordon S. Swartz in an article for the Harvard Business Review.

CRM telephony integration addresses this issue. Through the many benefits of CRM phone integration, you can set your sights on what’s really essential in sales: your customers.

How Your Sales Team Benefits from CRM Phone Integration

Your CRM phone system is considered a power tool in today’s sales arena. When you harness this technology effectively, you’ve taken the first step towards increased sales and happier customers.

Keep in mind what Sir Henry Ford once said: “A business absolutely devoted to Customer Service Excellence will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”

At the core of CRM and CTI is the customer, how you gain and retain them.

1. CRM allows you to keep track of leads and customers at all stages of their buyer’s journey.
There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to your customers – that is, before and after they become your customers. Remember that the R in CRM stands for relationship so dealing with them does not end once you’ve made the sale.

CRM lets you put together an information-rich profile of each of your prospects and clients. This can help you manage your engagements with these clients through data that lets you know their location, call history, purchases or queried products, and pain points.

In the hands of a well-trained customer support agent, this can help provide timely and adequate customer service. Customers are happy and they will likely stay loyal to your brand.

In the hands of an amazing sales person, this can help close sales faster. It also creates the foundation of the relationship – the basis of your customer’s loyalty and continued patronage.

2. Use your CRM for notifications on your prospect’s progress.
If you spend your day making tons of calls to leads and clients, it can become difficult to keep yourself updated on the needs of each one of them. Use your CRM phone system to send you reminders.

Is prospect A ready for a follow-up call? Do you need to touch base with prospect B via email to send them a link to your online product brochures? Is prospect C waiting for you to return their call? Your CRM phone integration system can let you know.

3. Gathering and sharing information, and team collaboration become easier.
Let’s face it. You’re not always going to be around for your prospects and customers. You’re going to give yourself a break, go home or even take a couple of days off. This shouldn’t make the clients you’re working with feel neglected. That can ruin your chances of making the sale. It may even cause them to switch to a competitor brand.

Information gathering and sharing pool together important data about what each sales person is working on. This customer database is your reference for each point of contact, regardless of who gets the call.

For instance, you take a week off to visit family in another state. You won’t have to worry about follow-up inquiries from prospects you’ve talked to. They’re in the CRM database; and a sales person at work can entertain your lead up until you come back.

CRM phone integration lets you provide consistent service and availability. As long as someone’s manning the ship, your sales department can cruise along, confident that they can engage each prospect and client as required.

4. CRM telephony provides a comprehensive sales department management tool.
According to Roger Cole, a consultant with reseller CPiO, “The big benefit of CRM is the visibility of everything relating to customers going on in your company. If you want to provide a better service to your customer, you have to be able to manage everything from complaints to sales opportunities.”

When you know where each lead and customer are in their buyer’s journey, you know what each of your sales team members are doing with their time. You know which leads to prioritize and the necessary next steps.

This not only translates to better service for your customers. You can also use CRM to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your team members.

5. Streamline your sales process.
One of the hindrances to a well-oiled top-earning sales department is the many administrative tasks that come with the job.

For instance, think of the steps needed to create an active profile for a fresh lead you just talked to. You need to open your software, click here and there, and type out the information you got from your conversation. You do this over and over again, for each point of contact.

With CRM phone integration, you get an automatic pop-up. You still have to do some typing, of course. But, data is there when you need it. Google integration gives you access to useful information you can use as support for what you already have. You cut down the processes required for each call or contact point, with each lead/ customer at their unique stage in the buyer’s journey.

Dimitris Melexopoulos, Brokers and Non Tied Agents Manager at Generali Hellas, said it succinctly: “With CRM, we now have effective organization, management and monitoring of all sales related activity. It has improved the efficiency of the team, accelerated client response time, reduced the time required to locate client information, and given us more quality time for sales. “

Remember that CRM, integrated with CTI, is an investment that pays off dividends. Know how to makes the most out of your CRM, and improved phone sales becomes just one of your many benefits.

Automation to Boost Sales and Marketing by Rowland T. Moriarty and Gordon S. Swartz
Harvard Business Review