CRM software is undoubtedly one of the greatest technological innovations affecting sales teams since the invention of the telephone, and the rapidly expanding Brazilian market is taking notice. Increased efficiency has allowed Brazilian enterprises to expand into new verticals and geographies thus increasing sales prospects in the region. As CRM continues to flourish on a global scale, however, the question arises as to whether enterprises' increasing reliance on such a tool has made CRM and the sales process indistinguishable.
“The View Beyond CRM: Reimagining Your Sales Process,” a recent educational webinar conducted by SAVO Group, would suggest that this is in fact the case, with almost three quarters of participants considering their sales process and CRM solution to be synonymous. Does this mean that CRM is all a company needs for sales success? Dan Schleifer, Senior Director of Marketing for SAVO, says no, asserting that this 74 percent of those surveyed have missed the mark, and equates this belief to ending up with "a very expensive accounting system without knowing what you're counting".
Customer relations tactics and methods are just as important as the management service that aggregates their targets, especially in Brazil, where, as fellow Loyalty World Brasil blogger Ana Lloyd writes, due to a rapidly evolving market it is increasingly important to understand changing preferences and class profiles of consumers. CRM software is merely a tool to this end, and business development professionals can not lose sight of certain other processes and factors vital to successful selling:
Knowing your customers buying cycle.
In addition to understanding the factors that interest and influence your prospect's buying behavior, knowing predetermined events in their buying cycle allows you to best align your sales process to their objectives at any every stage in the process.
Maintaining organizational coherence.
Various branches of any organization are directly and indirectly involved in sales campaigns, from marketing to finance to operations, even training, thus each of these departments must a) have a proficient knowledge of the sales process and b) coordinate to enable it effectively without competing for the seller's mindshare.
Reinforcing sales leadership.
Front-line sales managers must not fail to set solid expectations, both explicit and through example, to drive change. Sales coaching matters, and time and budget should be set aside for this purpose accordingly.
Utilizing appropriate supporting technology.
Businesses must distribute sales materials and subject matter through a variety of media, and then analyze which combination of channels yields the best results and in which buying markets. For example, ExactTarget found that 91 percent of Brazilian online consumers are subscribed to at least one email marketing program, and 68 percent of consumers, subscribed in programs or not, have purchased online after receiving some form of email marketing. In addition to email marketing, social media must be considered; almost 77 percent of Facebook users in Brazil actually interact with brands, and 42 percent of users purchase after receiving a Facebook message, while Twitter is less successful (only a little over a quarter of Brazilian users engaging in brand interaction).