Ask most salespeople why they don’t use their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System and they’re likely to say that it’s too clunky, they don’t have the time, and they don’t see the value in it. But those of us who use a CRM—we recognize that it helps us listen to what our community is saying and collaborate with our team to provide better services—increasing productivity by 32%.

But what do you do when technology seems to overshadow your genuine intentions, and you have access to more data than ever before? The answer: fuel your work with a human touch.

Social Selling Is Here

Business is quickly moving to a social selling model. And fueling the social revolution in sales is a trust revolution. The traditional sales funnel has undergone a transformation. Instead of dealing in information asymmetry, where the salesperson had the upper hand and it was up to her to educate the consumer, it is now the educated consumer (thanks to the Internet and social networks) who often can educate the sales rep. Consumers come with their mind mostly made up, only needing that final bit of information—or reassurance—before signing on the dotted line.

More Data Than Ever

The next phase of the sales process is the data collection, and at any given sales cycle, a lot of data is generated. It seems that these days everyone is enamored with the concept of Big Data. But as much as CMOs and Sales VPs embrace the numbers and qualitative entries, the question remains: What now? How do you turn all this stuff in your customer database into actionable knowledge?

Instead of being overwhelmed by data, salespeople should go back to basics and remember that they’re human. Technology has led to a wonderful change in our behavior: Salespeople who are truly passionate about their craft can actually become better at it thanks to increasingly personalized tools.

Take a tool like Yesware for example: Yesware automatically syncs your email data to Salesforce without any manual entry. And with background sync, your data will sync even when you send from mobile. Use the Salesforce Sidebar to see your contact’s recent activity and create new Salesforce tasks, right from your inbox. Send activities to CRMs with a Salesforce integration that automatically does it for you. Now you can say goodbye to manual data entry forever.

“The only time a robot sells is online. Don’t be a robot.” – Matthew Bellows, Founder of Yesware

Organize Data Around Human Touch

We’re all looking to save time and money and to expand—all while doing more with less. Getting our sales staff on board with our CRM strategy is key, especially since a recent study by Nucleus Research found that 80% of companies are not reaping the true rewards of their CRM.

So how do we get the whole team using CRM? Start by making sure your company has a clear plan around integration, extension, and collaboration. There’s no doubt that incorporating a social solution, especially a social CRM, is essential to success. A study of 1,709 CEOs conducted by IBM noted that they think social is the most important way to connect with their customers. Approximately 70% of all companies now use social to interact either with their customers or vendors. McKinsey & Co. pegs the social sector at adding $1.3 trillion to the global economy, and it is growing at a rate of 47% year-over-year according to IDC.

This all points to how important maintaining that human touch truly is. Even though we all sit with our computers to find support, share a customer success story, or vent, what we’re really seeking is to connect with a person at the other end. By learning how to harness the data you collect from your sales tools and plug-ins, you can make a deeper connection with your customer. One that will lead to a longer-lasting relationship, and that’s what we’re ultimately after. Not just the deal, but the relationship. Because business deals aren’t done between companies. They’re done between people.

 

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