Most companies use a sales application or a CRM to manage the sales funnel, gauge performance and forecast their sales. CRM usage has grown from 56% to 74% within the last year alone, with more than 91% of businesses with 11 employees or more now using some form of sales application.

The right sales tools are increasingly becoming a necessity, particularly as affordable solutions enter the market to help businesses of all sizes and budgets level the playing field. Today’s solutions largely focus on flexibility, communications, automation, and user-friendliness to provide reps and sales leaders alike a streamlined, more informed path to sales success.

Must-have Features of a Sales Application

That said, you can look at dozens of sales applications and find that each one has their own unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. Functionality can vary between each sales application, but as a baseline, companies should make the following six features non-negotiable:

sales application - infographic

1. Mobile Access

Sales reps are increasingly mobile. They’re running to meetings, hopping on flights, and working remotely to take care of clients. Your sales application should be as mobile as your salespeople to ensure there’s no loss of productivity or functionality while they’re out of the office.

Ideally, the app will also have offline capabilities so that sales reps can serve their clients without being dependent on the internet. Changes can sync once the rep regains connectivity to avoid doubling up on data input.

2. Lead Management

Companies spend countless dollars, hours, and other resources on pulling leads into their sales funnel. But few companies have a robust, systematic process for handling those leads once they arrive.

sales application - lead management

Look for a sales application that prioritizes end to end lead management. Your app should be able to track leads at their source so you can identify where leads are coming from and double down on channels that are proven to be a source of quality leads. From there, you can use your sales app to determine the lead quality and score each lead before sending it to a sales rep. This way, the salesperson can see where their best opportunities are at all times and respond quickly to leads who are ready to close.

Better lead management can also help you improve the follow-up process, set up alerts and action items for sales reps, and track deals at scale with little manual involvement.

3. Automation

Automation continues to be a top priority in the marketing and sales departments, with more than 91% of users agreeing that automation is essential to their sales success. Companies who use marketing and sales automation typically perform better than their competitors who don’t use it, with the average user seeing a sales increase of 34%.

But what exactly does automation look like in a sales application?

sales application - automation

One of the most popular functions to automate is email followup. Prospects who aren’t sales-qualified or those who have entered the sales funnel and are working their way down need a reason to stay in the conversation. Sales and marketing reps can stay top of mind and encourage action by sending purpose-driven content via email, which has been shown to generate more than 18 times the engagement than a generic email blast.

Studies also suggest that more than half of the users who are looking for a solution will go with the company that responds first. Timeliness is essential, which is why sales reps often automate outreach and follow up. By sending a response the moment a prospect reaches out, he or she has already significantly increased their chances of closing the sale.

4. Reporting Features

Sales leaders have an in-depth relationship with reports. They use them to forecast sales and make business decisions. They gauge individual rep and company-wide performance to see if goals and metrics are being met. They identify bottlenecks in the process and make adjustments when needed. With all the data that goes into a sales platform, you should be able to find out just about anything you want to know.

You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to create a customized report. Consider what reports the sales app is capable of creating, how you can customize them, and most importantly, how you can use their data to strengthen your team from within.

5. Intuitive User Interface

When you introduce a new solution to your sales team or new members join the team, one of the most time-consuming tasks is getting used to a new way of doing things. There will always be a learning curve, no matter which sales application you use, but a user-intuitive interface can significantly shorten the curve so that sales reps can ramp up production quickly.

It’s in your best interest to try sales solutions prior to committing to one. This gives you a first-hand look at how the platform works and how easy or difficult it is to navigate its features.

6. Ongoing Support

The company you choose matters just as much as any feature or benefit. To get the most from your sales application, you’ll need to consider the level of support the company offers after you purchase.

Some companies will provide support for the first 30 days after going live, then go radio silent on you unless you’re paying for a support plan. Other companies will direct you to their online knowledge, and while it can be helpful, many companies don’t have the time or patience to spend pouring through articles looking for an answer.

Ideally, the company you partner with will provide ongoing support 24/7 so that no issue will come between you and doing business. They’ll not only help you set up your new app, but also be available to answer questions, provide training and guidance, and help you get the most from your investment.

Why Use LeadSquared as Your Sales Application?

When comparing different sales application options, it’s essential to first figure out what you need and expect from your software. Choosing the right solution the first time can help you transform your sales approach, fill existing gaps in the process, and help you jump to new levels of sales success.

As you’re exploring your choices, consider the benefits of LeadSquared. As a comprehensive sales solution, LeadSquared provides everything sales reps and leaders need to create automated workflows, manage leads, and provide a better customer experience throughout the sales cycle.

Try LeadSquared free for 15 days and see for yourself how a powerful sales application can improve the way you sell!

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