Your CRM is (Almost) Useless Without Integrated Communications

CRMs need integrations to function at their best

The missing piece for customer data is tracking how you talk to them

If you frequently interact with customers, then I don’t have to tell you about customer relationship management (CRM) software. You or your sales team are probably already intimately familiar with one — and for good reason: When you have multiple leads in your pipeline and need to keep track of each, it takes a full database to keep track of everything going on in your business.

The trouble is, a CRM can easily become just as much a burden as it is a useful tool. Yes, it keeps track of important data on leads, like their contact info, their wants, their concerns, but to most sales reps, a CRM also represents a massive time sink.

Where Most CRM Setups Miss the Mark

The reason why comes down to how information is entered. Under most setups, data of all kinds must be entered into a CRM manually, which in most circumstances results in sales reps performing data entry instead of handling actual sales.

This isn’t some problem I’m pulling out of thin air. At Wildix, we carried out surveys of various sales teams, and we found that 76% of polled sales reps said they struggle to reach quarterly goals. They made the reason why obvious: According to those surveyed, they spend 40% of their day just entering data into and managing their CRM.

For sure, this inefficiency suggests normal CRM setups can negatively impact team morale. But adding onto that is the high possibility of human error that comes with dissatisfaction: Given how negatively sales reps feel about data entry, how often might they simply forget to enter that information after the call? After all, dissatisfaction with a tool just makes professionals that much less likely to use it, even when company standards require otherwise.

Communication (Technology) is the Solution

If this resonates with you, don’t take it as a sign to uninstall your CRM — it’s actually not the system’s fault! Again, a worthwhile CRM is still a great tool to keep stock of all the deals in your pipeline. If used correctly, it will easily speed up sales processes and add to team morale.

The root of this problem is not the CRM itself, but how information is put into it. By and large, sales reps’ frustration with this software comes from how it often forces them into a data entry role instead of one where they talk to customers and advance the sales pipeline.

So, if sales reps aren’t doing the data entry, who should be in charge of those operations?

The answer here is the same solution to how best to deal with other tedious (but important) tasks: get a machine to do it for you!

In this case, that machine is your communications system. After all, consider the typical process of manual data entry into a CRM: here, all the relevant data from potential buyers, from their contact info to their business needs, are gathered via your communications system, whether that’s over a VoIP call or an online chat.

So, why not just have the communications system do the heavy lifting of transferring that relevant data to the CRM?

Imagine that when a potential lead reaches out to your sales team, all their contact info is instantly added to your database. Imagine that the business issues they describe during calls are transcribed and also submitted to the CRM.

And imagine that not only does all this happen automatically, it happens on a continued basis with prospects, logging new information for each and every interaction with leads.

Visualizing an Integrated CRM

To go more in-depth on how this integration would work, consider a sales process that looks more like the following.

A sales rep contacts a lead over the company softphone system. Automatically, the communications system transfers the lead’s name and contact info to the CRM database, creating a space to track all info relating to that lead. Now, the system automatically tracks both that lead’s position in the sales pipeline and the instances that a sales rep contacts them.

But what about the concerns that a customer voices on the call? Well, that can be handled through a combination of auto transcription and AI, as in the following process.

First, the system transcribes the call to text, while also separating which speaker is which. Then, an integrated AI scans the complete transcription to instantly identify questions or issues expressed by the prospect. After a review from the sales rep, these AI-identified points are sent automatically to the database under the prospect’s contact info.

Thanks to these automated procedures, your CRM stops being an obstacle to sales efforts and starts working as a complete platform for sales support. Instead of being a time sink anymore, now it’s just a resource for tracking key information on leads.

Integrations through x-bees

Of course, to actually pull any of this off, you’ll need a unified communications system that not only integrates with your CRM, but performs all the functions I described in sending that information to the database.

Luckily, one system in particular is built right for that purpose: x-bees by Wildix.

Unlike other communication systems, x-bees integrates natively with the most popular CRMs on the market, including SalesForce and more. Through this integration, calls with leads are logged and tracked into your existing CRM right as they happen.

Then, for information within calls, x-bees uses to transcribe and identify important parts of the conversation, which are also sent to your current CRM for future reference.

All this adds up to a communications system that processes key information automatically, freeing up sales teams to focus just on selling while leaving data entry to the system.

Learn more about x-bees in our previous blog post.

Putting Focus Where It’s Needed

Landing a deal takes just the right amount of effort and focus, and if sales reps are stuck punching numbers into databases, they may not have time to accomplish either.

However, simply through integration and automation, the mundane part of working with a CRM becomes a thing of the past. The focus of sales departments is refocused to just that one main effort: contacting leads, talking with them and, eventually, convincing them to buy from you.

Not only do efforts readjust to more productive activities, with data flowing into your CRM automatically, there’s a greater ability to understand what went on with those deals that went through and those that were unsuccessful. Switching to an automatic model in this way just gathers more data overall, meaning there’s far more data to actually learn from.

This, of course, is just on top of the improved morale that comes with lifting dull tasks off the shoulders of employees. And better yet, it’s all achievable while keeping both your old CRM and its existing benefits in place.

It’s just common sense, then, that if you want to do the most possible with your CRM, you need a communications system that’s not just willing to work with it — you need one designed to work with it!

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