Does your sales leader love your CRM?

Best Practices | Sales

In B2B sales, the role of a sales leader is both exhilarating and challenging. Juggling targets, managing teams, and making critical decisions can be demanding and overwhelming. This is where the power of a well-implemented Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) comes into play.

Ask yourself the question “Does your sales leader love your CRM?” They should because they’ll spend A LOT of time in it.

Insightly partnered with RevGenius to host a webinar with Mallory Lee VP of Operations at Nylas and Ping Del Giudice, a revenue leader and former VP of Revenue Operations at Leapsome. The moderator was Insightly CMO Chip House.

The webinar, entitled “7 Ways a CRM helps your sales leader stay sane” was a lively conversation among these exceptional professionals. Because if your CRM is keeping you sane, you’ll start to love it.

You can learn more about the full event, watch the video below, or skim this blog post to catch the main points of discussion.


CRM: beyond the tool

CRM isn’t just a tool but a strategic ally that empowers sales leaders to maintain their sanity amidst the chaos. The webinar delved into seven key strategies that transform a CRM into a force multiplier, enabling sales leaders to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and elevate the entire sales ecosystem. And yes, getting your sales leadership to love it.

Here are the 7 ways with detail on each.

1. Making your CRM the single source of truth

A great mantra for this is “If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” In B2B sales, clarity and accuracy are paramount. A CRM acts as the anchor, the single source of truth that centralizes every customer interaction, communication, and deal-related detail. When sales leaders can rely on the CRM for a complete and up-to-date history of engagements, they gain an understanding of each customer’s journey. This clarity eliminates confusion, enhances communication, and empowers informed decision-making. The CRM’s role as the repository of accurate, comprehensive information ensures that sales leaders can confidently guide their teams and respond effectively to opportunities and challenges. In order for this to work, it must be enforced by leadership and they have to walk the walk, not just talk to the talk. A great way to support this daily is having managers use the CRM on their one-on-ones with reps. 

2. Keep your data clean with data hygiene practices

A cluttered CRM filled with outdated or duplicated data can quickly become a nightmare for sales leaders. Data hygiene practices involve consistent maintenance, such as regularly updating contact details and purging redundant entries. Clean data translates to efficient operations, as sales reps spend less time deciphering information and more time engaging with prospects. Here are some practical ways to keep your data clean:

Driving Consistent Behaviors and Discipline. By instilling a culture of discipline and accountability among sales teams, sales leaders ensure that every team member understands the importance of accurate data entry and ongoing maintenance. When everyone understands the collective responsibility for data integrity, it becomes a shared goal that contributes to the overall success of the team.

Use of CRM Validation Rules

CRM validation rules act as automated guardians of data quality. They enforce standardized data formats, required fields, and other criteria essential for accurate reporting and analysis. By implementing validation rules within the CRM, sales leaders create a safety net that prevents incomplete or incorrect information from entering the system. This ensures that data integrity is maintained from the outset and reduces the risk of errors or inconsistencies that can lead to wasted time, misinformed decisions, and compromised customer interactions.

3. Ensure you are enforcing definitions

A unified understanding of key terms and definitions is crucial for effective communication and collaboration across sales teams. Sales leaders play a pivotal role in enforcing these definitions within the CRM. Defining what constitutes an opportunity, aligning on the stages of the sales pipeline, and establishing clear criteria for lead qualification are vital steps. When everyone speaks the same language and follows the same playbook, misinterpretations are minimized, accountability is increased, and sales leaders can confidently evaluate the health of deals and pipelines. Here are some areas to contemplate:


What Constitutes an Opportunity in Your Organization? Is it BANT (Budget-Need-Authority-Timeline) or something else? Defining what qualifies as an opportunity in your organization sets the foundation for consistent pipeline and lead management. The BANT framework is commonly used to evaluate prospects’ readiness to buy. Customizing BANT criteria based on your industry and business model helps sales teams identify high-potential leads. This clear definition prevents ambiguity, aligns the team’s efforts, and ensures that resources are directed toward prospects with the greatest potential to convert into customers.

The Right Depth of Information for Opportunity Health. Striking the right balance in gathering information about opportunities is essential. Sales leaders need enough data to accurately assess the health of each opportunity, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming for sales reps. Information about the prospect’s pain points, challenges, timeline, and decision-making process is vital. This depth of information empowers sales teams to tailor their approach, address specific needs, and anticipate potential roadblocks, resulting in more effective interactions and higher conversion rates.

Pipeline Stages and Probability of Close: How Sales Leaders Develop and Enforce It. Defining clear pipeline stages and assigning probabilities of closure at each stage empowers sales leaders to manage their teams effectively. Sales leaders develop these stages based on their unique sales process, breaking down the customer journey into distinct phases such as prospecting, qualification, proposal, and negotiation. Assigning probabilities of closure helps assess the likelihood of a deal progressing to the next stage. Enforcing these stages encourages consistency, enables more accurate sales predictions, and aids in resource allocation for maximum impact.

4. Customize the CRM to support your business

Every business operates differently, and a CRM should mirror those unique processes. Sales leaders can customize the CRM to align with their specific business needs. Tailoring page layouts, fields, and workflows ensures that the CRM becomes an intuitive tool that enhances productivity rather than hindering it. By accommodating the intricacies of the business, sales leaders can create an environment where their teams spend less time navigating complexities and more time nurturing relationships and closing deals.

Customizing page layouts within your CRM is like tailoring a suit to fit perfectly. Every business has unique processes and data needs, and page layouts allow you to design the CRM interface to match your specific requirements. Whether it’s capturing industry-specific information, highlighting key metrics, or streamlining workflows, page layouts ensure that your CRM becomes a natural extension of your business operations. Sales reps neglect to update CRM because it’s too cumbersome and time-consuming, so your page layout design can be an underrated factor to consider. 

Often, the user experience within the CRM can significantly impact adoption rates. Cumbersome layouts or excessive data entry fields can discourage sales reps from consistently updating the CRM. By designing intuitive and user-friendly page layouts, you eliminate friction in data entry and retrieval. A well-designed layout ensures that essential information is easily accessible, saving time and making CRM usage a seamless part of the sales process. Page layouts play a pivotal role in enhancing information organization across teams. By strategically arranging fields, tabs, and sections, you create a logical flow of data that mirrors how your teams work. Sales, marketing, and customer service teams can effortlessly locate and update the information they need, leading to smoother collaboration and more accurate data-driven decisions.

Determining what fields are included in each section of your page layout will make It easy to find and act on information. Thoughtful consideration of field placement can significantly impact user efficiency. Essential fields like contact details, deal value, and timeline should be prominently displayed for quick reference. Action-oriented fields, such as follow-up tasks or next steps, should also be easily accessible. Organizing fields in a way that aligns with the sales process ensures that sales reps can quickly identify what needs attention and take informed actions to move deals forward.

5. Keep It Simple (and Safe) by Limiting Data Access

Too much information can overwhelm and distract sales teams. Sales leaders can alleviate this by using the CRM’s permission settings to control data access. By limiting access to relevant information based on roles and responsibilities, sales leaders foster focused and productive work environments. Additionally, data security is enhanced as sensitive customer information remains visible only to those who require it. This balance of simplicity, focus, and security provides sales leaders the peace of mind that their team members are working efficiently and responsibly.

6. Eliminate Time-Sucking Tasks

Repetitive manual tasks can drain the energy and enthusiasm of sales teams. Sales leaders can harness the power of automation within the CRM to free up valuable time and mental bandwidth. Workflow automation handles routine processes, like follow-ups and reminders, reducing the administrative burden on sales reps. This efficiency translates to higher morale, better engagement with prospects, and more time for meaningful interactions that drive revenue.

Using Workflow Automation. Workflow automation is the secret weapon against time wastage. By automating routine tasks such as data entry, follow-up emails, and task assignments, sales teams can reclaim valuable hours that were once spent on manual work. This automation not only accelerates processes but also ensures consistency and accuracy, freeing up sales reps to focus on more strategic and value-added activities.

Reduce Repetitive, Manual Tasks. Repetitive tasks can drain energy and creativity, diverting sales reps from high-impact activities. Implementing automation tools to handle these tasks slashes the time spent on administrative work. This reduction in manual effort empowers sales reps to allocate their time to activities that truly drive revenue, such as building relationships, nurturing leads, and closing deals.

Allow Reps to Focus on Great Customer Experiences. When sales reps are freed from time-consuming manual tasks, they can redirect their efforts toward crafting exceptional customer experiences. Building rapport, understanding customer needs, and providing tailored solutions become their main focus. This shift in emphasis not only strengthens customer relationships but also increases the likelihood of repeat business and referrals, ultimately contributing to revenue growth.

7. Real-Time Data at a Glance (Helping You Hit Quota)

Sales leaders are tasked with achieving targets and quotas, and real-time data is their ally in this endeavor. By creating dashboards that provide instant insights into team performance and pipeline health, sales leaders gain the ability to make agile decisions. When they can identify bottlenecks, trends, and opportunities at a glance, they are better equipped to lead their teams strategically and take timely corrective actions. The data-driven approach facilitated by CRM dashboards ensures sales leaders stay on track and work towards consistent quota attainment. And since everyone is on the go today, ensuring those dashboards and reports are easily accessible on a mobile device is essential. 

Fall in love with with Insightly CRM

Just like there is a difference between buying a gym membership and going to the gym, there is a difference between buying a CRM and effectively using it. From basic contact information and purchase data to deeper insights like customer behaviors, attitudes, and preferences, the right CRM empowers your team to serve every customer, every time. 

The more your team uses it, the more information you will have as a sales leader and the more you’ll love the platform that drives your business. 

Insightly CRM was designed to help teams build lasting customer relationships through a simple, scalable platform. Insightly’s unified solution aligns cross-functional teams like sales, marketing, and customer service on a single, shared data platform with a single customer view. The result? Unprecedented transparency, better decision-making, and a seamless end-to-end customer experience.

Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, watch a demo on demand, or request a personalized demo to see how it can help your company achieve its business goals.