Using a CRM to Improve Your Sales Performance

For any company aiming to boost sales, managing customer and sales lead relationships is essential. However, keeping track of lead relationships and the data that goes along with them may be a difficult endeavour. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems come in. In this blog, we’ll explore how using CRM systems can help you improve your sales performance and grow your business.

Lady sat in front of computer showing CRM dashboard

Why Should you use a CRM System for Sales?

So why should you use CRM systems in your business? By using contact management, lead tracking and other features that provide visibility into available sales prospects, a sales CRM enables you to be more accurate when identifying a sales lead.

At Firestarter, we believe that CRM systems are a vital tool for businesses looking to improve their sales performance. CRM solutions provide you the ability to manage and track these relationships in a way that is both effective and efficient by bringing together all the data and information your business has about its customer and sales lead relationships

According to a recent report by Global Newswire, the CRM market is projected to reach a staggering USD 145.79 billion by 2029, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5%. While competition continues to tighten in sales, the adoption of CRM systems is becoming increasingly necessary to remain ahead. More and more businesses are recognising the importance of CRM systems and with the right tools in place, businesses can streamline their sales processes, build stronger customer relationships, and ultimately achieve greater success.

The CRM specialists at Firestarter can assist you in selecting the right CRM for your business, migrating your existing data to your new platform, and setting you up for success. We aren’t affiliated to any single provider, and have extensive experience in using a wide range of CRM systems – meaning we can give you honest, unbiased advice.

How CRM Systems Manage your Sales Relationships

CRM systems at their very core house a centralised database of lead and customer information. From a sales perspective this database can include contact information, company size, annual turnover, company domain name, lifecycle stage and other relevant data that can help sales teams understand their sales prospects better. By utilising this data, sales teams can develop new leads, build stronger relationships with prospects, and ultimately improve sales performance. For example, a sales team might use a CRM system to target leads who have filled in a contact form on a service page regarding ‘sales outsourcing’ which prompts the leads to answer various questions before submitting, thus giving the sales team the ability to approach the lead in an informed and personalised manner.

By having a complete view on their leads, sales teams can tailor their interactions and communications to meet their leads preferences and needs, which can help build stronger relationships leading to a higher chance of converting a lead.

Using CRM Effectively to Automate Sales

By automating your sales process through a CRM system, you are essentially saving your team additional effort by automating time-consuming tasks such as calendar management, publishing, lead data entry, and other processes, leaving only the reliable data needed to make decisions.

Your CRM system uses different forms of AI to automate workflows by utilising human input procedures and processes. You programme your CRM system to perform certain actions when specific triggers are activated. So for example, you may set your CRM system to send out a follow up email two weeks after a lead has first been contacted, this is a very simple form of automation but it can easily become more intuitive based on your sales team’s needs.

CRM automation can offer many benefits to your sales team such as:

  • Improved efficiency: CRM automation can sales team’s save time and resources by automating repetitive processes like data entry, lead nurturing, and email marketing campaigns, allowing them to concentrate on more high-value activities.
  • Increased productivity: By automating routine tasks, sales teams can focus on more complex and strategic tasks, such as building better relationships and closing deals.
  • Better customer experiences: Automation can help businesses respond to customers faster and more efficiently, improving the overall customer experience. For example, automated responses to customer inquiries can provide customers with quick and accurate answers, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced chances of human error: By automating detailed processes such as data entry, CRM automation helps to reduce errors and ensure that your teams data is more accurate and up-to-date.
  • Improved pipeline management: Because CRM automation allows your team to follow up on leads quicker than previously, you will see your qualification rates improve as you’ll be able to generate MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) much faster.

To optimize your existing CRM system, it is crucial for a sales team to have a clear understanding of what’s needed from your system to achieve your business goals. At Firestarter, we offer expert consultation services to help you identify and implement strategies that will maximise the benefits of your CRM system. Our CRM experts will work with you to ensure that you are getting the most out of your system to support your businesses growth.

Using CRM to Manage Your Sales Process

With the endless amounts of channels feeding into your sales process, it is important to optimise and solidify it. To truly optimise the process, using a CRM system can make a big difference. By using CRM systems such as Hubspot for example, businesses are able to not only track and manage their sales pipeline, but to closely nurture their leads throughout their lifecycle and increase the probability of sales conversions.

With lead nurturing being such an important part of the sales process, it can be helpful to use a CRM system to categorise your leads. This is often referred to as the ‘sales pipeline’; your pipeline management is key to turning leads into prospects, and prospects into converted sales.

A sales pipeline can be used to effectively increase your chances of closing deals with potential customers. At Firestarter, we use a system called ‘zonal pipeline management’, focusing on the actions that are needed to move prospects up the scale from one ‘zone’ to the next. Your pipeline can be broken up into as many “zones” as you like, but we recommend keeping this as simple as possible. For example, you could take the A-D approach, where new and largely unqualified prospects are classified as a D, and then move up the scale to an A, which is where a deal has fundamentally been agreed and the sale will most likely convert. The objective here is to manage the pipeline effectively with actions that will move as many prospects through the stages to a closed sale.

The below image shows examples of a typical zonal pipeline and some lead scoring actions.

How to Choose a CRM System

Now that we’ve explored CRM systems and the ways in which they can help your sales performance, we should now discuss the importance of choosing the most suitable CRM system for your business.

There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself, such as:

  • Do I want my CRM system to connect my marketing activity and outreach to my sales processes?
  • Do I need to nurture sales prospects over a significant period of time?
  • Do I need to co-ordinate multiple opportunities and sales pipelines from a large sales team?
  • Do my customers make one-off purchases, or are there multiple sales interactions?
  • Do I need to manage an after-sales process with my customers?

At one end of the scale, there are a number of simple CRM systems that enable you to manage contacts at different stages in the sales process, track sales activity, set actions and nurture a sales pipeline. For very simple sales requirements, this may be just right for many organisations. However, if your needs are more complex you should consider the key requirements you will need from your CRM system.

To help you decide, we will discuss the various types of CRM systems and the factors that you should consider when making your decision.

Just about all CRM systems contain a wide range of tools, but some may vary in terms of their focus, to help identify their focus they are typically broken down into 3 categories:

  1. Collaborative CRM Systems
  2. Operational CRM Systems
  3. Analytical CRM Systems

Collaborative CRM systems

A collaborative CRM system facilitates the collaboration aspect between teams and departments within your organisation to help serve your customers better. This type of CRM system best serves multiple departments such as sales, marketing, and customer support to deliver a streamlined process when it comes to customer interactions. The main benefit of a collaborative CRM system is that it ensures all interactions remain efficient, effective, and most importantly consistent.

Some of the leading collaborative CRM systems include:

Salesforce CRM: One of the most popular CRM systems on the market which includes a wide range of collaborative features such as shared calendars and real-time chat

HubSpot: HubSpot is a cloud-based system that includes features such as team dashboards, marketing automation, shared email inboxes, social media integration, operational management and team performance tracking

Zoho: An online sales CRM software, made for managing sales and marketing. Zoho offers a team communication service called ‘Zoho Cliq’. The purpose of Cliq is that it’s designed with collaboration in mind simplifying your teams’ communications with easy-to-find information, day-to-day tasks and calendar schedules and many more features.

Operational CRM systems

The main objective of an operational CRM system is that it’s designed to streamline your sales teams’ operations by making their lead engagement as efficient as possible. It does this by centralising sales, marketing, and customer service, this helps with customer acquisition and retention.

Freshsales: Its solid workflow automation capabilities streamline processes allow sales teams to work efficiently with the focus on closing deals and driving revenue.

Pipedrive: This platform offers AI capabilities that can help sales teams gain valuable insights into their customers and prospects, enabling them to make more informed decisions and close more deals.

Analytical CRM systems

Many modern CRM systems offer analytical CRM as standard, typically it is viewed as a subset of CRM. Analytical CRM is the behind-the-scenes process which isn’t visible to the client but does capture and analyse their actions, such as form enquiries, emails received/sent, eBook downloads and many other forms of interactions. As mentioned previously this type of data is useful for lead scoring and is one of the core elements that helps to build a sales pipeline.

Some benefits of analytical CRM include:

  • Ability to conduct thorough market analysis before running campaigns
  • Increase customer loyalty and satisfaction
  • Improve financial planning and forecasting accuracy
  • Utilise analytical CRM for customer behaviour, buying power, and needs
  • Enhance understanding of customers for better sales performance
  • Focus sales efforts on targeted products and communication strategies


The importance of managing customers andlead relationships cannot be overstated when it comes to boosting sales. However, keeping track of all the data and information involved in these relationships can be a challenging task. Fortunately, Customer Relationship Management systems offer a powerful solution. At Firestarter, we understand the importance of CRM in driving sales performance and growth. Our expert team can help you identify the right CRM solution for your business needs, and ensure that you are getting the most out of your investment. By leveraging the power of CRM, you can improve your customer relationships, streamline your sales processes, and drive revenue growth for your business.

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