Jive is thrilled to share this guest blog post from Evan Kirstel. Evan is one of the most influential voices in a number of key industries, including social media, B2B sales networking, and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
You’re in sales—B2B, B2C, or some other sales situation—so you know how complex the sales process can be, for you and your customers. But is there a better way? After conducting surveys for more than three decades, I’ve found that business customers want one thing above all else—one-stop shopping.
The reason is simple. In most B2B sales, more people are involved on the customer buying side than you’ll ever know. For most purchases, you’re looking at interactions with the decision maker, but on their side, they’re dealing with other influencers, including consultants, C-levels, etc. The easier you can make it on the decision maker’s end, the greater the likelihood you’ll win their business.
Your choice in technology plays an incredible role in simplifying the process for customers. CRM (customer relationship management) software and UC (unified communications) systems are two tools that facilitate one-stop shopping. CRMs do so by tracking and managing every customer interaction and offering a one-stop selling system. With UC, you can call, chat, text, video, email, tweet, meet, concall, present, and more with a prospective customer/client, which helps manage sales expectations.
So let’s discuss how integrating CRM-UC technologies creates a one-stop shopping experience by creating a one-stop selling platform for you.
Integrating your CRM-UC provides you with the tools for one-stop selling communications. Here’s how this integration works: After the initial sales call or presentation, a decision-maker goes through a series of private evaluations to which you’re generally not privy. Much of the challenge faced by any sales executive is closing an enterprise (or any sale) that involves more than one decision maker. But that’s the case with any sale, really.
Some of the steps that take place on the buyer’s end may include:
Depending on the project, there could always be other steps. As you can see, this is a complicated process. This is where an integrated CRM-UC makes the process easier.
An integrated CRM-UC means you can share presentations and other critical closing documents easily, quickly, consistently, more accurately, and with greater quality. Other documented benefits of CRM-UC are, among others:
Here are some of the interesting issues you’ll face when selecting a B2B CRM-UC system. These aren’t the only features available, nor an in-depth review of them, but they are key concepts for consideration:
Timing is everything in sales. Zoho’s CRM uses the data intelligence of Zia, its automated sales assistant, to analyze response patterns and auto-suggest the best times to call or email customers. Zia removes the guesswork and increases the chances that a contact will respond to your calls or emails. Zia also helps your busy salespeople plan their day, carry out their follow-up tasks effectively, and meet their goals.
Not everyone wants to get a phone call from a prospective service provider. Not everyone will respond to an email, no matter how well-timed. You can enhance your outreach methods by integrating Zoho’s service with Jive Communications’ UC offering. Jive provides you with a range of communication options and advanced voice features (listed below) so you can adapt your approach to your contact’s preferred communication channel. If your prospect prefers a well-timed chat, or they want everyone involved on a video or audio conference—those are all available through Jive, along with:
Preventing unauthorized access to your business data is a major concern in cloud security. Zoho CRM’s IP restriction feature lets you limit unauthorized users by only allowing sign ins from designated IP addresses in your corporate network. This means that even if your users have their credentials stolen, your CRM will still be protected from unauthorized access because the thief would also need to access a user’s computer.
Additionally, most managers need to monitor their sales team’s activities. Zoho CRM helps you confront that challenge with audit logs so you can track who did what and when. You can be aware of what happened before and after an event, identify records associated with certain events, and make proactive decisions.
Customer records are important assets that shouldn’t be shared with everyone. Zoho CRM’s enterprise-level security features allow administrators to set different levels of access permissions so you can monitor who has access to sensitive information. User profiles in Zoho CRM also restrict users from deleting or exporting customer records.
Managers can also give each team member access to only the functions they need. Information like deal size, sales stage, and commissions are important for your sales reps to know when following up with prospects. However, these details may not be required for your marketing or support team. With field-level security, choose which information appears for which users, and decide who’s allowed to edit it.
When you discover new prospects and leads on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ follow their posts, view their profiles, and use context provided by your CRM to communicate with your customers in real time. Create your own listening streams to focus on your most important contacts and get instant updates when keywords are mentioned.
Zoho SalesSignals lets you reach out to prospects in real time. With an organized feed, you can see how they are interacting with your website, marketing emails, social media, outreach, and more. You can stay on top of your customers’ activities to gain better insights and have more engaging conversations.
Finally, The Zoho CRM integration with Jive’s UC gives sales teams access to simplified call-activity management. When a prospective or current client calls in, Jive’s advanced voice features search through Zoho’s data to find a phone number matching the caller’s. Once that’s found, the integration puts the caller’s information on the screen. Your salespeople can have all the information they need at their fingertips without having to jump from one screen to another, all while making the caller wait. Other simplified functions include click-to-call dialing and automatic call logging.
During our discussion of my proposed integration of your CRM and UC, I’ve reviewed a number of factors. But you’ll notice I didn’t review every possible feature and benefit. That’s because specific features are often key to on company and not to another. The tact I took was to introduce one-stop selling (and by extension, one-stop shopping) from the perspective of a corporate provider for an enterprise customer.
My main focus here was was to provide some key insights into what Jive and Zoho are doing better to provide a unified solution to you. As we see greater consolidation of services, particularly in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry, you’ll no doubt find other instances of providers integrating their service platforms so they can offer more simplified, streamlined selling experiences that benefit both salespeople and the customers they serve.
Integrating your CRM with your UC is only one way to take your business to the next level. Discover more strategies in the whitepaper below.
Guest Author: Evan Kirstel @evankirstel