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CRM concept featuring a hand pointing at the word ‘CRM’ surrounded by male and femal client icons in a web.

Every business owner should strive for a streamlined sales process because it will help win more deals, which in turn leads to bigger profits!  This can be achieved quite easily using the right apps and software, alongside a review of business processes.   Making the processes more efficient and integrating your tech stack will make the operation more reliable and robust – it’s going to make life so much easier for everyone.

 

Where does the CRM fit into the sales process?

A CRM (customer relationship management) app holds the key data for your customers.  This includes details about the people, the company and the opportunities you have with them.  An opportunity is sometimes called a ‘deal’, which is a qualified lead for a potential sale.

Using a CRM, you can organise your opportunities into a structured sales funnel where there are tasks or activities at certain stages.

These activities could include:

  • Sending emails
  • Arranging meetings
  • Making calls
  • Sending documents

 

How can I streamline my opportunities using a CRM?

If you can automate parts of the sales funnel then there is less chance that leads will be lost or forgotten.  You will eliminate human error and create a consistent process.  Automating manual tasks will save time for the parts of the funnel which need a human touch, such as making a phone call.

 

Sales pipeline concept featuring a hand drawn bucket outline with the words ‘LEADS’, ‘PROSPECTS’ and ‘CUSTOMERS’ with an arrow pointing at a dollar sign at the bottom.

 

Using a CRM also means that you’re not reliant on a single team member for working on an opportunity.  If the data is held in a central CRM, you will have full visibility of the sales process and there will be no cross-over or duplication of effort.   If a staff member is off sick then someone else can easily pick up the reins, and you will have an audit trail of who has been involved in each sale.

 

How do I choose a CRM?

There are many CRMs on the market so it’s important that you choose one that fulfils your business requirements.  Your options may be different depending whether you’ve got a B2B or B2C business, although many can be adapted to support either model.

Examples of popular CRMs include:

You can often try out a software application for a trial period, which is a good way of finding out if it will suit your needs.  You can reach out on social media to see what others are using and which CRM they would recommend, although you should be mindful that they may have a different use case than you.

There are comparison sites that may help with the selection process, such as GetApp and Capterra.

We would also recommend using a CRM which can integrate with other software tools so that you can send data from one app to another.  This will save time, reduce human error from copying data manually and make the sales process more efficient.

CRMs usually include some prebuilt integrations directly with other apps, but if not then if they integrate with Zapier then you’ll be able to connect with over 3000 software applications.

 

What can I automate with my CRM?

Modern CRMs usually include the option to set up workflows to automate certain tasks, which will save time so that you can concentrate on other (more important) parts of the business.

You can send emails automatically, for example, to a contact when a sale has been made.  Or you can create a new opportunity or deal when a webform on your website has been filled in by a sales prospect.

We still value the power of the human touch but recommend automating the manual tasks which can just as easily be done by a computer and saving valuable staff time for those which can’t.

Automating your leads using a CRM means that you’re not restricted by your business’s working hours; using automations means that you can respond to leads 24/7, using bots, or webforms that automatically feed data from one system to another.   You can schedule meetings with potential clients too, without needing to be at your desk.

 

Where does Zapier fit in?

Since most CRMs have native, in-built integrations, you may wonder whether you need Zapier too.  Zapier connects over 3000 apps, and if you want to link your CRM to another app in your tech stack which doesn’t have a native integration then Zapier can help.

We would say that one of the boxes you need to tick with your CRM is that it can integrate with Zapier, as this opens the door to a whole world of opportunities for automation.

Things that you can do when you add Zapier into the mix include:

What’s more, if you visit the Zapier website and find your CRM app then Zapier will suggest automations for you. Here is an example for Pipedrive.  It allows you to pick or search for an app, and below that is ‘Popular ways to use Pipedrive workflows’.

 

Screen print from Zapier showing apps which can integrate with Pipedrive CRM.

 

This is great as it means you can see how other businesses are using automation, and allows you to quickly try them out using templates.  All you have to do is log into your CRM and connected apps, and you will set up a new automation within 5 minutes!

 

More about Pipedrive CRM

As Pipedrive CRM Certified Experts, we help businesses of all sizes streamline their processes using Pipedrive.  We’ve also written several blogs about how to increase efficiency by automating processes in Pipedrive, and connecting it to other apps, such as ActiveCampaign, Gmail and Slack.

Here is some further reading if you’d like to find out more:

 

Find out more

The possibilities are truly endless, and if you want to find out more, with examples of triggers for each app and action event then our founder, Kelly has written a book, Automate It with Zapier, which is available on Amazon.

 

It is perfect for guiding you through a range of automations and you can download her templates to get started really quickly. It’s available through the publisher Packt here, all major book retailers, and on Amazon, Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.

The book is perfect for new Zapier users as well as seasoned pros.

 

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation then we will be launching the Solvaa Automation Academy in early 2022, providing you with a bunch of training courses to help you run your business on autopilot.  You can join the wait list below to keep up to date with the latest news.

Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

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