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Can CRM & Project Management Software Increase Sales?

The short answer is, "No it cannot."

Regardless of how robust and comprehensive CRM & Project Management Software might be, it cannot do anything without you. CRM Software is not going to make a bad salesperson into a good one and Project management software is not a substitute for effective project management habits.

Small Business CRM Learning Topics:

5 Steps to Increasing Sales

To increase sales using CRM and Project Management Software, you must first know how to prequalify leads, connect with those who are authorized to make purchasing decisions and manage the conversation in ways that lead to closing the sale.

Once you gather this information, convert the information to data. Once you have data, use a CRM Software application to use the data to build knowledge. Once you have knowledge, use that knowledge to improve business decision making and performance. From the perspective of increasing sales, consider the following steps to understand the value of this process:

Step 1: Prequalify Sales Leads | What makes a prospect your customer? Why do they want what you have to sell? Can they afford to buy it from you? Will they buy once or become a long-term, loyal customer?

  1. Information: List of all of the characteristics that profile your target customer.
  2. Data: Industry, market served, size of organization (employees, revenue, geographic locations...), contact person, title, email, phone, fax, address, etc.

Step 2: Connect With Decision Makers | In Business to Consumer (B2C) sales , it is usually obvious who the purchasing decision maker is early on in the selling process. In Business to Business (B2B) sales, however, there can be multiple levels of connections before getting to the actual person who can write the check to buy what it is that you have to offer.

  1. Information: Identify the different techniques necessary to get to the purchasing decision maker.
  2. Data: Organizational hierarchy, job titles, number of contacts, contact information, number of contact points, type of contact (email, voice, social media, face-to-face...), etc.

Step 3: Manage the Sales Conversation | Once you know your target customer profile and who makes the purchasing decision, you are now ready to launch the conversation. Depending upon what you sell to whom, there will be multiple stages of the conversation where relevant information will be revealed relative to closing the sale.

For example, the first stage might be a phone call, email or social media post where the target prospect also participates. The next stage could be an email thread or telephone conversation. This might be followed up by sending information, such as a document, spreadsheet, PowerPoint or video.

As the conversation continues, you'll want to schedule follow up reminders to stay in touch, which might include email to share more information, surveys or invite a prospect to an event such as a webinar.

  1. Information: Map out the different stages involved in the selling process.
  2. Data: Prospect profile (likes, dislikes, birthdays, relationship to other prospects and customers...), conversation history (date, communication channel, details discussed...), next steps (notes, tasks, reminders...), etc.

Step 4: Close the Sale | How do you know when you've closed a sale? Does a contract need to be signed? Does payment need to be received and cleared? Does a product need to be delivered? Are there different stages of deliverables before a sale is considered final?

  1. Information: Write down what defines a closed sale.
  2. Data: Proposal signed, order shipped, deposit received, paid in full, etc.

Step 5: Keep Customers Coming Back for More | Most businesses have more to sell once a prospect becomes a customer. It might be as simple as renewing a contract or as complex as upgrading, buying add-ons and buying other products and services. The point is that once you have a customer, don't leave money on the table.

  1. Information: List everything you sell and how you can sell more of it to existing customers.
  2. Data: Add-ons, service agreement, other products and services, etc.

In summary, no matter what you sell or how many customers you have, the 5 Steps to Increasing Sales show that there is a wealth of information involved in managing, closing and increasing sales. By identifying this information, you can convert it to data. This data can then be entered into a CRM Software application that has been specifically designed to help you use the data to build knowledge.

When it comes to growing your business, knowledge is power. For more information about how CRM and Project Management Software delivers knowledge, read, Small Business CRM Software: What's in it for me?.

Did you know?

insightly "...that Insightly was designed specifically for small businesses? As an online CRM and Project Management Software application, you can be up and running immediately, managing contacts and closing sales more effectively. You can also improve managing business relationships between suppliers, vendors, partners, investors and others whom are important to the success of your business."

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Other CRM Learning Topics:
Sales #101 | CRM & Project Management | CRM Features & Benefits | Free CRM | CRM Training

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Note: This information has been compiled by the Knowledge Institute for Small Business Development (KISBD) for educational purposes only in order to convey a general overview of the options and related services available to small businesses in the subject areas introduced. Content is provided on an "as is" basis and is not intended to be an exhaustive representation, nor does it provide advice or create a customer relationship between KISBD and its sponsors,, its affiliates and any other organization named herein, and any reader.

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