Recently, the Aberdeen Group published results from a November to December 2010 survey of sales management executives from a wide array of industries. The intent of Aberdeen’s study was to identify best practice methods and technologies utilized by the sales organizations of Best-in-Class firms, which are defined as the top 20% of all respondents in terms of aggregate performance. Key findings from Aberdeen’s report, which is entitled “Streamlining the Top of the Funnel: How Inside Sales Teams Source, Qualify, and Close Business,” include the following:
Best-in-Class (Top 20%)
Laggards (Bottom 30%)
Achievement of Annual Sales Goals by Inside Sales Reps
Year over Year Increase in Lead Conversion Rates
Year over Year Increase in Corporate Profit Margin
Aberdeen’s research shows that Best-in-Class sales divisions attain the aforementioned successful results because they share many defining characteristics, such as the following related to technology:
82% provide their inside sales producers with a CRM platform that integrates with email
66% track their web visitors in real-time (key players in this space that integrate with CRM include CoreMotives and ClickDimensions)
One of the overriding themes throughout the report is that a properly-deployed CRM system is an essential enabler of strong performance, not just for inside sales reps, but also the whole sales team, and really the entire enterprise:
“Email-integrated CRM is the leading current Best-in-Class enabler, with more than four out of five top performers supporting it, while barely half of Laggards do so. By blending email with the most common of sales-oriented applications, inside sales reps are able to launch messaging directly from their CRM interface, and relevant stakeholders can quickly track the conversational history of each prospect and customer within the selling technology portal.”
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 certainly addresses a firm’s need for email-integrated CRM. As you can see in the screenshot below, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is embedded within Outlook.
Since users are already familiar and extremely comfortable with the look and feel of the native Outlook application, they will experience a significant reduction in the number of ALT-TAB clicks and have to switch less between systems. As a result, sales reps will increase their productivity and be better positioned to improve their sales effectiveness, and ultimately grow revenues.
To learn more about how CRM 2011’s new functionality and tight integration with Outlook can empower your sales team, optimize your sales efforts, and help achieve or maintain Best-in-Class status, you can click on this great post previously written on the Customer Effective blog.
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