Craft Beer Distribution: How to Get Your Beer into More Restaurants

Craft Beer Distribution- How to Get Your Beer into More Restaurants

A guy walks into a bar — not just any bar, a brewery. This place makes great beer — but no one knows about it yet. So the guy asks the owner, “Have you thought about getting your beer into more restaurants and bars?”

“Are you a distributor?”

“No, but I know a way you can do it yourself.”

“Well,” the owner replies, “I have an agreement with my distributor not to sell my product directly. Otherwise, they’re not going to bring my product to all of their customers.”

“Well, there’s a different way… and it doesn’t violate that agreement.”

What if you could get people to ask your distributor for your beer? You don’t have to distribute, and you’ll give your distributor more business. Now that’s how to sell beer.

How to Promote Your Beer Distributors

So how do you compete against the big distributors who have thousands of brands? It’s not as complicated as you may think.

In fact, you do the same thing everyone in the beer distribution business does — you walk into bars and restaurants and talk to the owners. You meet people. You put together events that promote your product. You hand out free beer mugs, tap handles, and swag. You say, “This is the best beer in the world. It’ll sell like crazy. Ask your distributor about it.”

But you add one extra piece of information at the end of your promo: the distributor’s name. Make it personal. Say, “Hey, Ralph is the guy that distributes beer to your store. You see him every other day. Ask him about it tomorrow.”

That one extra piece of info makes all the difference. See, if you just tell them the general, “Ask your distributor,” they won’t. You have to make it specific.

Related: Tell the Story, Make the Sale: Sales Conversation Starters to Improve Your Pitch

And you can even tell your distributor what you’re doing. You aren’t a prisoner to the distributor. Just say, “Hey, I know you distribute beer for my competitors too. That’s great — you’re the one there and they buy from one person so they don’t have a million invoices. I get it. I don’t want to run trucks; you don’t want to make beer. But I’m going to go increase your sales for you for nothing. I’m going to get them to order more beer from you and it’s going to help us both.”

Your goal is to influence the buying decisions.

How to Keep Track of the Distributors

But how do you get the information you need to be successful? Well, you could research and get organized before you see each new place… but you’ll miss out on about five stops you could have made during that time.

Instead, you need some sort of mechanism to keep track of all those distributors. You need a tool that tells you the name of the distributor, what’s important to them, and what’s selling in that area as soon as you walk through the door. An app like CallProof keeps that info at your fingertips.

How a CRM Keeps Your Craft Beer Distribution Contacts Organized

When you’re looking for a good CRM, you may think you want something that emails a report at the end of each day. You want it to include where you went today and where you plan to go tomorrow.

But here’s what you need:

You need a tool that gives people on the street a way to enter information about their stops so that you get quality information. Otherwise, it’s just garbage.

Just because a salesperson tells you they stopped somewhere, doesn’t mean they did. What are you going to do — call and ask, “Hey, was he really there?” Of course not. Managers don’t call, and salespeople don’t make all the stops they claim to make. They go out and see a few people in the morning and a few others in the afternoon. Then they tell you they went to 20 places, when they really went to the same five places that morning they visit every Tuesday because they’re buddies. It’s not the way it started. It’s not even what they want. But after 18 months selling beer to place after place, that’s the way it ends up.

See, they probably drove past four bars on their way to see one they visit every Tuesday. Why aren’t they stopping? Well, they don’t have the information they need to be successful. They think, “I’ve got to stop in a new place and interrupt someone’s day to have an uncomfortable conversation. Even if the conversation turns out good, I have to remember everything we talked about, take it back to my office, and try to enter it all into a program that doesn’t work right. This is a waste of everyone’s time. Instead, I could just go the bar I always visit and they’ll keep ordering beer.”

Related: Why Your Salespeople Hate Using Your CRM – And How to Change Their Minds

What’s driving your beer sales right now is not your sales team — it’s the distributors. But if your salespeople had a mechanism to hold them accountable and give them information about nearby restaurants so they can make each stop worthwhile, that could change.

If you’re making great beer, more people should know about it. With the right tools, your sales team can make that happen.

How to Sell Food Products to Grocery Stores Without Competing on Price

How to Sell Food Products to Grocery Stores Without Competing on Price

If you’re like most wholesale grocers, you work more with existing accounts than new customers. You built a client list early on, and now you focus on their orders and maintaining their accounts. Most of the time, they need the same products, depending on the season, and you essentially just take their orders.

You can do more.

And it doesn’t take much to see those sales increase. See, the same order keeps your sales the same. But if you can get your current clients to increase their orders, your sales jump too.

How do you do it? You keep your thumb on the pulse of the local market.

You’re already equipped. You’re already in the market. You just have to put your resources together.

How to Sell More to the Grocery Stores You Already Serve

Your current customers are your best prospects. So how can you get them to buy more? This isn’t about changing their marketing strategy in an effort to increase foot traffic. It’s about selling more food to the people who already come. You do that by keeping the top items in stock and adding items that sell in other places. If something is flying off the shelves at the store down the street, it’d fly off the shelves here too.

How do you know? Typically, you live near the stores you sell to. You’re in the same region, shopping for the same food as everyone else. So if, as a customer, you notice stores can’t keep Sunset Farm Foods Cracked Pepper Sausage stocked, let your stores know about it. They’ll order more, increasing their sales…and yours! It’s a win-win.

How Product Tracking Works With a CRM

If you’re a wholesale grocer living in your sales market as a consumer, you have this unique sales opportunity — but most don’t take advantage of it. If you want to be different and really maximize your position, you need a way to keep track of what’s selling in real time.

Maybe while you’re shopping you realize, “Whoa. That product sold out and people seem to like it!” You’re highly unlikely to drive back to the office and put that in the CRM so you can remember to tell the store rep next time you talk. Maybe you make a note on your phone or in a notebook, but that’s it.

What if you could make a note in your CRM as easily as you can in your phone’s notes app? That’s where a mobile CRM becomes a game changer. If you can log your product notes about what is selling, you’ll naturally start suggestively selling to your clients.

Related: The Value of Having ALL Sales CRM Data in One Place

You’ll move to a consultative approach in your sales rather than just taking repeat orders.

Principal-Led Sales

Only people with a vested interest in the success of the business — that’s either asset owners or people with the research at their fingertips — use the principal-led sales approach. You may not be the asset owner of your company, but with a mobile app like CallProof, you can have your resources with a couple of clicks.

If you make your notes about hot products as you shop in the various stores you sell to (or other stores nearby), you can pull up those notes geographically. The best CRM doesn’t just sort your clients alphabetically — it sorts them by location. Then, when you approach the grocery store rep for their next order, you’ll be able to quickly see notes about what they need to increase and what’s selling in stores close by. They’ll then have the knowledge they need to add products or increase quantities so they sell to their potential.

How to Keep Products on the Shelves

Once a product is on the shelf, you have to figure out how to keep it there. So follow these steps:

1. Suggest things based on what’s selling, not on what’s “predicted” to sell or what they always order.

If a product expires without selling, they won’t order it anymore. You have to keep your thumb on the pulse. Have conversations with people to know what’s moving. Then the products you suggest will be products that actually sell.

2. Take notes in your CRM.

As you have these conversations or notice certain items selling like hotcakes, make notes in your CRM so you can track it in real time. Take notes from each store you visit to see your aggregate experience. What sells best in your region?

3. Suggest products to department managers.

Based on your notes and conclusions, make your suggestions to the people who manage those departments. If you take the notes down right away in CallProof, you’ll be able to recall those notes instantly when you visit anywhere nearby.

4. Become the guru!

When you follow these steps, you become the all-knowing salesperson. Why? No one else does this! You’ve got the information — you see their competitor’s sales sheets and you have the conversations with managers from stores across the region. Use that knowledge to help everyone boost their sales!

So how do you sell more food products to grocery stores? Use a mechanism that tracks your notes geographically in real time from your mobile device combined with your insight and relationships. Grocery reps need someone on their side — someone to help them provide the products their customers are looking for. And you’re just the person to help them do it.

5 Steps to Build a Steady Home Health Marketing Pipeline

5 Steps to Build a Steady Home Health Marketing Pi

If you’re in home health marketing, you’ve got a unique set of challenges. You’re not marketing to people who will buy your service, but to the people you want to recommend it to. You’ve got a guy being discharged from the hospital who needs home health aftercare. Who gives him the referral? The hospital. And how do they decide who to refer? Well, they have two options:

  1. Choose at random from a list of companies
  2. Refer a person they’ve come to know and trust

You can be that person — but it takes intentionality and follow-through. With these five steps, you’ll build a steady pipeline and see your home health sales rise to a new level.

1. Identify Referrals

Who are you contacting regularly? As you’re planning how to market your home health care services, consider the different types of people you’re visiting. There are two types of referral sources: active and prospective.

Active referrals are the people you already know. They’re the companies who already send patients your way. Now, you just need to keep that relationship steady.

Prospective referrals are hospitals or doctors you’d like to win over. It’s time to start making face-to-face visits and building the relationships.

Who are your referrals now? Make a list. Do you need more active referrals or prospectives on your list?

2. Find a Rhythm

Now, think about how often you visit these contacts. Visits shouldn’t be random — they’re planned and intentional.

For your active referrals, set a routine period for seeing them — every 30, 45, or 60 days (depending on what works for you and feels right).

Then schedule time to get to know your prospective referrals. Fact: It takes 5 visits for hospitals and doctors to know who you are and what you do. Sure, they’ll know what you do and why you’re there sooner, but it takes five visits for them to understand that you’re interested in their referrals and willing to earn them by maintaining a relationship.

They have lots of people working to earn their referrals for different products and services — sales equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and home health. But after five visits, it’ll click. Even if it takes you 10 months to see them five times, that’s okay, as long as your consistent.

3. Be Consistent

Make your visits consistent. Consistency builds trust — and hospitals and doctors want to feel comfortable recommending their patients to you. So, if you’re routinely coming by the office, following through on what you say, and generally proving yourself to be organized and reliable, you’re building their confidence in you.

4. Use the Waterfall Approach

Once you know what types of referrals you have and set a schedule for maintaining consistency, simplify your sales funnel. Keep your prospective client visits simple and in the same stage. Let’s say this month I meet five new prospective referral sources. Next month, I’ll visit those same five again (so I’m on the second visit). I keep this going until the fifth month when I “re-classify” them as active referrals. Then I’ll find five new prospectives to put through the five-visits rotation. This way, you’re building a healthy pipeline so your sales don’t drastically move up and down.

5. Use the Right Tools

You can do what’s traditionally been done in sales by generating a list of people to see. Then you can see those same people over and over again hoping it’ll pay off.

Or you could find some sort of mechanism to keep track of how many visits you have with each provider, see who the providers are, and identify new providers.

We like tools. Tools also help us see the true value of each referral. Salespeople sometimes mistakingly place the value in the kind of relationship they have with a provider, not how many people that hospital or practice can actually send them. In doing so, they miscalculate the return.

Maybe they think Joe, the single general practitioner, is their best customer. But he’s only one doctor in the practice. Really, Suzy might be the better customer because she has six people who send referrals. But, without the numbers, a salesperson may misidentify that value. The value of the relationship isn’t in how “cool you are” with that person — it’s what the potential is.

Remember, your current customers are your best prospects. So figure out their value and invest your time accordingly.

Bottom line: Keep in touch with your referrals regularly because your competitors aren’t doing the same. They’re only keeping in touch with the current active referral sources. They’re not seeing new people and they don’t have a rhythm. They’re working off spreadsheets and memory, or some CRM solution that’s data-entry heavy that they only use because it’s a job requirement. They’re not using it as a tool. They’re using it as “a thing I have to do to keep my job.”

CRMs should be built for salespeople to want to use. A CRM is helpful, not time-consuming. In fact, it should take less than two minutes to update and input so you can do it while you work — from anywhere. You shouldn’t have to go back to an office to enter data.

So use a CRM like CallProof that keeps you working your plan and doesn’t let your referrals fall through the cracks.

Related: A Complete Guide to Sales CRM Implementation

While your competitors are taking shots in the dark, you can methodically and consistently work your plan to a better pipeline and better sales.

How Medical Equipment Salespeople Can Get the Most Out of Sales CRM Software

How Medical Equipment Salespeople Can Get the Most

Who doesn’t love a good lunch with friends? And if you can expense that lunch and have the potential for sales, that’s even better, right?

People who sell medical equipment know this first-hand – their success is based on a series of touches. Doctors don’t come in and say, “Oh yeah, I need a portable ultrasound machine!” (In fact, their ultrasound machine could be on fire and they likely still wouldn’t admit they need it!) Doctors only see vendors during “lunch-and-learn” types of meetings .

Why Medical Equipment Salespeople Need A CRM

As a medical equipment salesperson, you have to plan accordingly. You know you won’t get a sale on the first meeting. Instead, your approach is all about stopping in and building relationships so that you’re the first call when they’re ready to buy.

You do that by hosting lunch-and-learns, stopping by, and following up. And since medical practices are all grouped together, you do this for multiple prospects at a time.

But how do you keep track of it all? They didn’t hire you because you were awesome at data entry. They hired you because you’re awesome at relationships. So you need CRM sales software to keep track of it all rather than making data entry your full-time job.

What’s the Alternative to Using a Sales CRM?

Here’s what most salespeople are doing in an attempt to prospect without spending all day recording data. They stop by a new place, grab a business card on their way out, make some notes on the back, and try to remember to type it in somewhere when they get back to the office. Eventually, they build up some clients, and they only focus on the ones who are buying. Then they spend all their time on those 10 clients.

Later, the salesperson may get a new job. They just bring those 10 clients with them, until their new boss figures out they aren’t finding new clients. So they move to the next job with the same 10 clients.

It’s not pretty, but it’s reality. Too many medical sales reps have limited their sales because they’ve spent too much time on too few clients.

How to Calculate the Size of Your Medical Equipment Sales World

So how do you get out of the rut? It’s tempting to stop prospecting if you don’t have a system to keep you on track. Or you waste time meeting prospects because you forget to follow up.

But when you calculate your potential, you’ll see just how many sales opportunities you have. And if you add them to your rotation, your sales potential skyrockets. Here’s how to do it.

1. Figure out which practices could possibly buy from you.

In a perfect world, who would buy from you? How many practices are out there? How many gastroenterologists could use your product? Grab a phone book, google it, or find a medical directory and make your list. When you know your numbers and start to see your potential, prospecting gets new life.

2. Figure out how to methodically contact them.

There has to be a method to your system. Why? It keeps you consistent. When you consistently contact prospects, you build trust.

Compare that to an unorganized approach. First, doctors may not remember who you are if you never stop by. Plus, if you’re unpredictable when you’re selling to them, they’ll assume you’ll also be unpredictable on the delivery of the new beam transformer for their ultrasound machine.

They need to know they can count on you — which means you need to be reliable and consistent from the beginning. So plan your follow-up. When will you contact them again, and what does that look like?

Related: How to Prospect Smarter and Bring in More Sales Leads

If you’re not tracking this stuff methodically, you’re wasting your time. You have to build your world bigger than what you can remember in a day. You need to be able to quickly input contact info into CRM software for sales and marketing so you can do something worthwhile with it.

3. Inspect what you expect.

How many times have you visited Practice A vs. Practice Z? Why? Did you visit A more because they’re a higher-value prospect? Is it closer to your house? Is Practice Z out of the way?

You have to know the reason. Then you can be more intentional with the frequency and cost of each visit.

Most medical equipment salespeople see the same clients and prospects over and over again. You build your sales on lunch-and-learns. But with CallProof, you can maximize how much return you get from these lunches and make sure you visit more potential clients.

Let’s say you’ve got a lunch-and-learn budget of $20,000 for the year. And every time you host a lunch, you spend $75 at Moe’s. So, as long as you stay in budget for the year, you’re good. But are you maximizing those funds?

How often are you buying each client lunch? Are you concentrating that money on 10-20 of your best clients? Maybe you visit your favorite practice every Wednesday — they love Moe’s and you have fun hanging out with them. You know Sally at reception and have great conversations with Joe. But why are you going every week? Chances are, you could have a better return on your investment if you expanded your rotation.

What if you spent that same amount on 50 clients and prospects instead of 15? Your “regulars” won’t be mad. They have other people buying their lunch too. Plus, you’ll still maintain that relationship — you just won’t see them as often. Sales CRM software like CallProof helps you broaden your prospect base. Then it connects your meetings to follow-up activities and helps you track what to do with each client.

Lunch-and-learns are a great thing — you just have to spread them out! You want to spend your money on practices that will actually buy — not just places that are easy or close. You want practices that bring new business. So use a mechanism that calculates where your time and money is best spent.

It’s natural for us to make decisions about where we visit based on how much we enjoy it or how easy it is to stop by. But an app like CallProof helps you automate those decisions based on logic. You’ll be able to recognize where you’re getting the most return, who you need to contact more frequently, and where you can find new prospects. Then you’ll spend your time where it’s most valuable and the size of your world (and sales) will only get bigger!

How Is Your Field CRM Sorted?

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We’re brainwashed to sort lists by letter and number. It’s like once we start singing our ABCs, we think that’s the best way to arrange everything. Unless there’s a number. Then we can’t help but put lists in sequence.

But chances are your customer relationship management system has your clients listed by name or by number. Why?

Seriously. Why?!

Are the As your best clients? Does their phone number or account number make them easier to call? No.

So why do traditional CRMs sort clients and prospects alphabetically or numerically? Well, these systems are build by IT specialists, not the people who actually use them. They’re software developers, not mobile salespeople. But as a mobile salesperson, you need to use geography to your advantage. You’re moving, but your prospects aren’t. So the best customer relationship management software uses mobility to your advantage. Here’s how:

Sorting by Location

The best customer relationship management tools sort clients geographically. The only way you’ll really use a CRM to maintain your sales pipeline is if it sorts field sales based on where you are at that given moment. Then, if you’re on one block today and another block tomorrow, you’ll see different lists. The system feeds you information about clients nearby — saving your time and keeping your lists fresh.

And it needs to update in real time — it’s not about where you were this morning or will be later today. You should see your list arranged by your current geographic location. Then you can take advantage of sales-ready opportunities around you rather than travel all over town, or only sell to your clients whose names start with A or B.

Want more tips for Field Sales? Check out Field Sales 101.

Capturing Information On-the-Go

You also need a simple mechanism to identify and capture new prospects — no matter where you are. At any given moment, you should be able to figure out what new prospects are within two miles of you.

How do we do that? At CallProof, we’ve set up our system to connect to Google API. Then we pair it down by industry. So, if I sell to health care providers, I can just hit a button and see all the providers near me and whether they’re in my database. If not, I can add them to the CRM by interacting with them.

If you have to find your target and enter them into your database later, that’s not capturing. You need to be able to put that information into your CRM from the field in less than two minutes. Then you can immediately set your next action step, which should sync to your calendar or to-do list. It’s not an “I entered a new prospect in my CRM only to never do anything with it” mentality. Get client info into the CRM fast with an action step that you’ll actually take. That’s what makes field sales skyrocket.

Related: Four Mobile CRM Advantages Your Sales Team Will Love

Inside Sales

If you’re working inside sales, you need options too. Geography isn’t the best for you to sort your potential customers. Instead, you need to be able to identify the best contact time for each prospect, then sort prospects by when it’s best to reach them.

For example, no one will reach an insurance agent on Friday afternoon — but maybe you’ve found Wednesday morning is a good time to contact the insurance agent. So sort your clients by their best contact time. It’s all about when you have the best likelihood of contacting a decision maker.

Your CRM software should offer you practical solutions to viewing current and potential customers. So choose a tool that works for you rather than creating extra work for you.

 

A Complete Guide to Sales CRM Implementation

 

sales_crm_implementation_guide

You have a problem. And you need help. No, not as a person — with your CRM.

Here’s what you don’t want to do — try to set up your own CRM. It’s the first time you’re working with the system and it’s the only time you’ll ever need to do it. Instead, use a company that offers a CRM implementation plan. You want an expert in the CRM implementation process to do it for you and then provide the support you need as you learn the program.

Setting up a CRM is like tying your shoes. The first time you try, it takes a long time and you don’t do it right. But someone who’s been tying shoes for a while can do it quickly with a dang good knot!

So step one: find a CRM solution that supports you through the implementation process. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and end up with a better result.

Essential Features of Your CRM

Beyond choosing a company that sets up your system, you need four essential features in your new CRM.

1. Easy Input

Prioritizing the features of your CRM is counter-intuitive. Rather than starting with the types of reports you want to generate, visualize how the data will regularly get in the system. How will salespeople enter the data? Once you have reliable data, you can have whatever report you want — no matter the program. Everyone has cool reporting tools and a good-looking dashboard. What they don’t have is usability and ease of use. And ease of use directly relates to adoptability. It doesn’t matter what reports you can generate if you don’t have the data for it.

So when you’re choosing a CRM, think about the daily life of the people who drive the data. How will they enter the information? If they can update info easily, you’ll be able to do anything you want with the data. However, if you think about what report you want first, you’ll have an awesome report with either no data or bad data. Great reporting is easy. Getting data is hard.

2. Sales Monitoring

When you’re managing salespeople, you need a way to monitor their activities that lead to sales (i.e. phone calls, appointments, drop-ins). Choose a CRM that lets you see these activities easily so you don’t have to dig for them.

When you can monitor these activities, you’ll be able to change your management process for the better. Rather than counseling salespeople through what they think they’re doing right or wrong, you’ll have the data to say, “This is how many activities you need to get the types of results you want.” Then monitor what they’re doing. How many phone calls do they make? How often do they have meetings? If their activity levels are there, the sales will be too.

3. Auto-Updating

You want a record of all the emails and phone calls between your clients and salespeople, right? But if it takes longer to manually update your CRM than it did to complete the task, you’re using the wrong CRM. You need a solution that integrates with your system to automatically update the CRM.

Without auto-updates, you lose record of those customer interactions. Let’s say the CRM integrates with email. Then, when you send an email to a client, the CRM automatically updates with that data. With manual input, it takes too long to enter it. People won’t send a quick email, log into the software, and update the file. So mundane tasks need to update automatically.

4. Works With Current Apps

No need to fix things that aren’t broken. If you’re happy with your calendar, you want to keep it. If you’re comfortable with your email, you want to keep using it. So find a CRM that integrates with what you’re already doing. There’s no need for the CRM to change the way you work if you’re satisfied. It can be overwhelming to learn extra programs. So find a CRM that fits with what you’re currently doing.

Now, if you’re looking for a new calendar or email system, it’s great to have a CRM that gives you an option, but it should be able to function either way.

Getting Buy-In From Company Leaders

A healthy business keeps all customer and prospect information in one spot. An unhealthy company doesn’t. Talk to an unhealthy company and ask about their sales process. They’ll say something like, “Oh, sure, we have outside sales reps and inside sales reps, but they take care of themselves. We don’t have reporting.” It’s great to leave professionals to work their strengths, but as a business leader, it’s not sustainable.

You want to run a business that makes your customers comfortable too. Let’s say you have a sales guy that’s been working for the company for 35 years. He knows everything, everyone loves him, and his sales are through the roof. In fact, he accounts for 30% of your total revenue. But he works his own system. His process isn’t broken, so why fix it? Well, if something happens to him, will you still be in business?

If your customers find out you’re not tracking your sales activities and recording customer data, they’ll start shopping for a new vendor. See, they don’t want to have to shop for a vendor at the last minute when you’re out of business. So they may start checking out their options now.

If your employees find out that you’re not tracking data, they might start looking for a new job too. If the person who represents the 30% of your top line revenue gets hit by a bus and he holds all the information on his phone, who knows if the company is sustainable after that?

No one ever got the best deal on something they needed today. But if they’re able to shop around for a while, they know they’re more likely to find what they’re looking for. And if your customers or employees fear a sudden end to your company because it isn’t healthy, they’ll start shopping now so they’re not left in a bind when those unhealthy practices catch up to you.

Transferring Data to a New CRM

When you’re ready to make the switch and transfer data to your new system, call on the help of your CRM supporter. Let a pro help you make the transition.

Also, go broad with your input. It’s better to get everything in the system at once and clean it up later than to only add the minimal.

So, if you have 1,000 contacts, but you think only 300 are good, don’t clean it up first. Add all 1,000 contacts, then clean it up in your new system. That helps in two ways:

1. It ensures all the data makes it to the new system. You won’t enter it later.

2. If you clean it up in the new system, you’ll learn how to use it.

How Long Does CRM Implementation Take?

With the right software, the CRM implementation process should only take a few days. But if you have the wrong CRM, it’ll take weeks.

You really only need to know a few things to get started with the right CRM:

1. Where to find the history with the customer

2. What steps to take next

3. How to enter the data

Then, when you leave a meeting, you can enter the data. The other details about the CRM will come with time and practice. There’s more to learn that’s helpful, but it’s not mission-critical.

The right CRM shouldn’t be hard to implement. It should come with an expert to guide you through the process, and your team should be able to enter and access their data more easily than they ever have before.

4 Ways Auto Glass Salesmen Can Make Their CRM Work Harder for Them

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In the auto glass industry, you can’t create sales. You can’t increase sales by closing deals. Unless you go out and smash windshields, you can’t generate a problem to solve. You’ve got to wait for something to happen.

The waiting game can be hard. After all, in auto glass sales, success depends on how well you can sell to professional sources, like auto shops and insurance agents. And it’s tough to make the top of their list. Maybe you have a great meeting, but then it’s months until they have a claim. By that point, they’ve either lost your contact info or forgotten how great you were.

So how do you stay on their radar? Stay active! And how do you stay active? Use a CRM to keep you on track.

Here are 4 ways to make your CRM work even harder for your success.

1. Keep Real Prospects in Your CRM

Make sure your CRM has the right prospects. Do you have everyone who could send you a referral in your database? Your CRM should house your clients and your prospects. So think of every potential client who could possibly refer you for a car window replacement. Then include the contact information for those professional referrals in your CRM. From there, you can organize your notes and keep track of your contacts.

2. Methodically Contact Them

Now that you’ve got the right prospects and clients in your CRM, contact them regularly and methodically. Determine what activities lead to a referral. How many people do you need to see in a day, week, or month to meet your goals? A CRM will hold you accountable for making those touches.

Plus, you won’t miss a contact if you’re using a reliable CRM. Sometimes we mean to go see someone but forget. Then, when there’s a claim, the agents refer someone else because you weren’t on their radar. A CRM keeps track of your activities and reminds you when it’s time to make contact. That way, no prospect gets overlooked.

If you rely on “one-off” conversations, you’ll never make consistent sales. You need to have activities and accountability in place. A good CRM keeps you on track.

3. Inspect What You Expect

Use your CRM to follow up and keep track of your team’s activity wherever you are. If you’re managing a team, you can see who they’ve contacted in real time. So, if you expect 10 contacts a day, a mobile CRM helps you make sure your team is following through.

4. Tie Commissions to Activity

In an industry like auto glass, don’t just reward sales. You can’t rely on the same traditional compensation mechanisms that other sales industries use. Why? Because closing deals doesn’t generate more sales.

Instead, figure out a way to connect commissions to activity or offer bonuses for activity. Activities lead to sales. It’s the most important thing. If you focus on activity, orders will follow.

Being an auto glass sales rep is about keeping good rapport so that, when accidents happen, you’re the person professionals refer. So let your CRM help you stay at the top of their list.

 

4 Mobile CRM Advantages Your Sales Team Will Love

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Mobile phone use is no longer new or progressive. It’s expected.

99% of people old enough to work, own a cellphone. And 90% of those devices are smartphones. There are even more mobile devices in the world than people. So why not add an app to the device everyone has in their pocket?

If you’re not using a mobile CRM for your sales team, it’s time to start.

Keeps Your Sales Info in One Place

A mobile CRM keeps all your information in one spot. It doesn’t live anywhere else — you don’t have to upload from one system to another or worry about what information you stored where. With a mobile CRM, you know where everything is.

A Mobile CRM Boosts Confidence

Because you’ll use the CRM regularly on your phone, you’ll quickly become comfortable with it. You know the process and how it works. And the more confident you are in storing and accessing the data, the more confident you are in your delivery.

Related: How to Implement A CRM With Your Sales Team

Remember when you were scared to check your bank balance in college? You were poor, and you didn’t know how bad the numbers were. So what’d you do? Avoid it. The same happens with CRMs. If you’re not comfortable with the program, you may avoid it and skip follow-ups. But if you feel good about your CRM (and it’s helping you reach your goals), you’ll follow up.

Why Not?

As great as a CRM mobile option is, some people are hesitant to buy in. Why? Usually, it comes down to the decision maker’s needs and accountability.

Different people in the organization want different things from their CRM. Marketing and IT people want the reports and integration. Salespeople want a tool that’s easy to use. And whoever purchases the software decides which needs are most important.

Plus, a CRM mobile app is a newer concept, and some people don’t want to carry the responsibility of making a company-wide software change. It’s like my friend who was having trouble with IT equipment told me when I asked him why he didn’t change, “No one ever got fired for buying Cisco.” He knew other IT software worked better, but he was protecting his job. If a brand-name product had problems, blame wouldn’t fall on him. But if a lesser-known product messed up, he’d likely take the heat.

The Biggest Advantages of a Mobile CRM

But in reality, it’s not that big of a gamble. A mobile CRM like CallProof offers all the spreadsheet options marketing professionals love about traditional CRMs while increasing the reliability of your data and offering some great options for your sales reps. Here are its four greatest perks.

1. It Updates Data Immediately

The biggest advantage of a mobile CRM is the ability to update data as you go. You don’t put it off until later. Because you update the info right away, you won’t forget about it. After all, if you don’t have the data, you can’t get an accurate report.

Plus, you don’t miss the nuances. See, this is what usually happens: people write down their notes. Then, at the end of the day or week, they update the CRM. But they miss some things. When you wait, it’s easy to forget the details of the conversation. But if you update immediately, you keep the spirit of the message and still remember the details.

Related: Why Your Salespeople Hate Using Your CRM – And How to Change Their Minds

2. You Always Know Who’s Around You

A mobile CRM gives you the option to search by location no matter where you are. That means you can get real-time information on each business nearby. If you walk into a medical plaza, you can pull out your phone and see exactly who your customers and prospects are in the building. And if you have a GPS feature on your app, that’s even better.

3. Keeps Info Accessible

Once you see who’s nearby, you can pull up their full history. You’ll know exactly where you (or another salesperson on your team) left off and can pick up where the last conversation ended.

4. You Always Have Your Phone

A mobile device is the one thing you always carry with you. So you don’t have to think of another thing to bring to appointments. Having full access to your CRM is as simple as grabbing your phone.

Usually, you’ll use your mobile CRM immediately after an appointment. But there are some features even your customers will notice as a perk. We work with a lot of farmers. They love the speech-to-text feature (like I do) and the other hands-free options. Recently, I got a call from the VP at a farm equipment company. When I asked how he heard about us, he said, “Well, we were having a contest at an Ag show. As people entered, it took a while to get their answers to our questions and enter their contact information. Then this guy comes up to me and asks, Why don’t you have what my seed guy has?! He just hollers into the phone, and my seed shows up!’ When I talked to his seed guy, he told me about CallProof.”

Turns out, the seed guy used order forms on his mobile CRM. And not only did it make his life easier, it made the process better for his customers too.

A mobile CRM works better for everyone — it gives the salespeople an easy-to-use app where they can enter data in real time. And it gives the marketing and IT department information they can count on. Even the customers notice a difference in your efficiency. So, if you’re not taking full advantage of the device everyone already has, give us a call and see how CallProof can work for you.

How to Implement A CRM With Your Sales Team

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Productive. In a word, that was my weekend. I cleaned out the car, re-organized the garage, and even fixed a few things around the house. But there was a problem. I never did the one task I needed to get done. Why? I was avoiding it. And, in an unconscious effort to delay getting to it, I kept finding “better things” to do.

Have you ever done this? There was some dreaded task looming over your head, so you worked at any (and every) thing else?

We all avoid things we don’t like. And if your sales team doesn’t like your CRM, it’ll likely fall to the bottom of their to-do list: the task to complete once all other possible tasks are finished.

Sure, sometimes, salespeople deliberately try to hide their lack of activity — so they don’t follow your sales implementation. But more often than not, they’re just avoiding it. We can always come up with something better than the task we don’t want to do, right?

But why is a CRM so dreaded to the salesperson? Because it’s not built for them.

Who’s the CRM Built For?

Most CRM systems are built for the people who buy them, not for the people who use them. When marketing and IT directors purchase CRMs, they look for the benefits of various data aggregations and spreadsheets. They’re not thinking, “How user-friendly is this for a salesperson?”

Instead, they’ll choose the CRM with features they find helpful, set it up, then require the team to use it. The team will do what they’ve always done. They’ll keep writing things down throughout the week, following their individual systems for managing clients and prospects, but now they have an added responsibility to keep the software updated. So they likely need to block off 4-5 hours every Friday to update their data — a job no one really wants to do.

To the marketing director, the CRM is great because it generates fantastic reports. Yet, to the salesperson, a CRM can be difficult to navigate and entering data becomes cumbersome. So what do they do? Mediocre salespeople make up their data to get by. They want the spreadsheet to say they’re doing a good job. Top performers don’t have time for that. They’re out doing their job, not messing with reports. So they constantly tell their managers that they just don’t have time to get to the data entry. Consequently, the sales manager ends up with skewed numbers that don’t accurately reflect activity.

How To Implement A CRM With Your Salespeople

If you want to get accurate data, you have to find a sales implementation strategy that works for everyone — directors, managers, and salespeople alike. So choose a CRM that fits into their workflow — not one that creates more work. An easy-to-use CRM should make their job easier. It should be a tool that enables them to organize their prospects, document their meetings, and keep track of clients so they can boost their sales. It shouldn’t require them to change their schedule or add another item to their to-do list. A CRM should be a tool that will benefit both of you.

Once you choose your solution, find a partner to help you adopt it. The CRM needs to work for your company and your strategies. Then make sure you have the support necessary to train your sales team so that using the CRM is no longer an obstacle.

We all put off things we don’t like. So, if you want your team to use a CRM, choose one they’re equipped to use, not something they want to avoid.

4 Ways to Increase Adoption of Your Sales CRM

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The biggest problem with your CRM is that salespeople aren’t using it. And without salespeople on board, a CRM isn’t much help.

If you’re ready to get the most from your CRM, here’s how to get your team on board.

1. Input Data in the System

Without data, a CRM is useless. So, at CallProof, we launch our CRM with data already entered.

We start by interviewing the management. We ask, “If I started working with you today, how many prospects should I have in my database?” If a sales rep doesn’t have prospects, that’s their number one excuse for not using a CRM and for their consequent low activity. We want to eliminate all the objections to using the system. So, once we know how many prospects a salesperson needs when they start, we enter data for them.

We first collect their current prospects’ and clients’ information and enter it into the system. Then we find more prospects from a variety of lead sources. This way, your salespeople start off with a full database of their current contacts, plus new prospects they can reach with the push of a button.

Data is key. That’s why we load the initial data for you.

2. Establish Norms

Once you have the data, establish a process for using the CRM. Every sales team has their own sales opportunity file system or “steps of selling” process. So make sure your team understands classifications of clients and selling sequences. Clarify when a new prospect goes into the CRM — when you first get their information or after you’ve made contact?

Then create norms for classification. How should you identify customers? Do you distinguish between a pharmaceutical lead and a doctor lead? Know how you plan to sort clients. Are certain lead sources classified differently — like trade show leads? When you create a way to see where customers come from, you’ll understand which of your resources work best.

A clear process for sorting clients and understanding the onboarding process is critical. So make time for a management meeting that includes key salespeople to evaluate your process before you train the entire team. First, you have to build the plan. Then you can use the CRM to deploy it.

3. Teach the Process

After you’ve established your methods, we make the CRM work for you. We’ll teach you how it functions best for your company. Via training calls, we show you what the screen looks like when you’re adding a client, what to do when you’re done with a client, how to order notes, and how to sync the emails. We’ll use the app screen and web portal so the team becomes familiar with each CallProof interface.

4. Provide Ongoing Training and Support

We also record each training call so future salespeople have access to the same information. When new sales reps join your team, you’ll be able to onboard them right away with access to the pre-recorded training. We even use a company called Thinkific to host our content and provide a quiz at the end of each video. Why? Quizzes help people focus on the training material. Without them, they aren’t as engaged. So we help you hold your team accountable.

With intentional data and training, we make adopting CallProof an easy transition for your business. CRMs don’t have to be a struggle for your sales team. When a CRM really works for you, adopting it is easy.