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.

Why Questions Matter When Qualifying Your Sales Leads

using_questions_qualifying_sales_leads

In the early ’80s, there was a saleswoman who was awesome at selling mainframes. But really, she just walked into businesses and asked questions. Then she took their responses back to the engineers, they told her what the client needed, she told the customer, and they’d buy.

Obviously, the company loved her, so they sent her to school to learn more about the interworking of the mainframes. After six months of intense training, she knew everything there was to know about them. And her sales were thoroughly average after that. Why? She stopped asking questions. She thought she knew what the customers needed and stopped listening to them.

Being a rock star doesn’t mean knowing the most about a subject — it’s knowing what questions to ask so you can find the right solution.

Questions Start the Story

Qualifying sales leads is all about asking questions. Then, as you come to understand the environment of the company, you can tell your story and make a sale.

As you ask questions and talk with them about their business, you’re not only learning the information, but you’re often validating what they’re doing. Plus, they’re thinking through why they do what they do. Either way, you’re now on a deeper level of conversation.

Now you have the chance to reassure them they’re in a good spot or show them how your product meets their needs. If it’s not a good fit right now, it’s okay to admit it. Every relationship has a beginning, middle, and end. And when the timing is right for them, maybe you’ll be able to work together.

But if you ask the right questions, you’ll know if they have needs you can meet. Then you share your story as a part of that conversation. Maybe you say, “This is why we’re here. Our clients are the same way you are. That’s why I asked you the question. We can solve your problem. You just need to decide how important this need is to your business.”

Related: Sell the Value of Your Product, Not the Price

If You Don’t Qualify Leads

So what happens if you don’t qualify a lead? Well, a number of things can go wrong. Here’s a few:

  • Lose sale opportunities
  • Waste time
  • Send wrong marketing material
  • Nurture prospects in the incorrect way
  • Propose the wrong solution
  • Never figure out what’s really going on

Some of those problems can be avoided if you plug prospects into a marketing analysis to see user variables. But qualifying a lead through conversation takes the business relationship to the next level. Sales happen when you have conversations that lead to the right solutions.

Signs of a Qualified Prospect

So how do you know if a prospect is a good fit? Well, during the conversation, you’ll know if your product lines up with their needs. But in order for them to pull the trigger, they’ll need trust, timing, and money.

Trust begins as you start the relationship and develops over time. As you’re building trust, be consistent. Stay in contact and follow through with what you say. The timing also has to be right. If you have the right process, you’ll know if it’s the right time for them. Money is the easiest factor to check. Look at their business size compared to your cost and see if they can afford it.

Deal With the Decision Maker

You’ll never sell if you’re not talking to the right person. Knowing how to qualify leads is irrelevant if you aren’t dealing with the decision maker. Ask yourself, “Does this person have the authority to make purchasing decisions?”

In a business, there are asset owners (the owner of the business) and asset custodians (the directors). And the priorities of owners and custodians are completely different. If you’re selling a commodity that’s all about lowering the price per product, talk to the asset custodian. The focus is on offering products for less money.

However, if you’re selling value of service, talk to the asset owner. A service is all about the relationship. So you need to explain the benefits of the service to the person who has the most liability. Once they’re on board, they might pass you off to the asset custodian to work out the details, but it takes owner buy-in first.

Qualifying prospects doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about a conversation. Ask questions that help your prospect talk about their needs. Then you’ll know if you have the solution to make the relationship worthwhile.

 

Why Pharmacy Reps Should Use a Sales Tracking App

pharmacy_reps_sales_tracking_app

Ever played the game “telephone”? You know how it goes — you give someone a message, and they pass it on down the line. Maybe they think they heard you clearly, but by the time the last person says it aloud, the message isn’t so clear anymore.

Isn’t that how it is to be a pharmacy sales rep? Your job is giving someone a message they can clearly repeat to someone else. Maybe you thought you had a good conversation with a doctor, but the results don’t turn out like you’d hoped.

Pharmacy sales is all about professional referrals. The customers are the patients. But the patients choose you because of their physicians. So your job is to maintain those professional relationships so the doctor remembers you when it’s time for a referral. And the best sales tracking apps will help you stay at the front of their minds.

The #1 Mistake: Being Forgettable

Your success depends on doctors remembering you and your product at the right time. Maybe you have a great conversation with a practice provider at a “Lunch and Learn” event. You tell them all about the advancements in your therapy, medication, or pharmacy, and they realize you’re a great match for their practice. But, if you never talk to them again and a referral opportunity doesn’t come up for months, they won’t remember you. Why? Keeping up with your information isn’t their main job. So you need to stay on their radar.

You want to be their first thought when the opportunity arises. So, for actively writing practices, visit every 30 days. For practices in your nurturing process (maybe they already use a compounding pharmacy or it doesn’t come up much), visit once a quarter. Meanwhile, keep in contact via email or messaging to develop your relationship and raise their awareness of your business.

Related: Looking For A Sales Lead Tracking App? Use This Checklist

Multiplying Your Efforts

What’s great about the rep-doctor relationship is that a referral partnership with one doctor usually means a relationship with many. Doctors tell their colleagues what works. So news spreads fast.

That means your return is exponential when you meet new clients. Establishing a relationship with one new doctor could lead to many more referrals. So don’t just visit your current clients. Make time to see new practices where you hope to gain referrals. Because a new relationship with one client may unlock the potential to work with many others.

Essential Tools for a Pharmacy Rep

Now, you need a way to keep track of it all. Here’s what you need:

  1. Reminders for maintaining relationships
  2. Opportunities to build more relationships
  3. A way to keep track of meetings in real time
  4. An easy mechanism for managing follow-ups

A sales app like CallProof gives you all those tools. First, you’ll get regular reminders to visit your clients (based on how frequently you need to see them). Then you’ll have access to a non-typing mechanism that shows you even more prospects. As you meet those prospects, you’ll be able to log their location and contact info with the push of a button on your phone. Plus, you can track your notes with a voice-to-text feature so you don’t even have to take the time to type it out. After that, you’ll just select your frequency for making contact. Then the app will remind you when it’s time to contact them again.

Related: 7 Must-Have iPhone Apps For Salespeople

But I’m Already Great at Finding New Prospects…

Many providers and practices are in medical complexes. So, when you stop by to see a regular client, you can visit other doctors nearby to develop new relationships. Ever realized the problems that can cause?

Without the right tracking mechanism, meeting unscheduled prospects costs you time. The first problem is forgetting to follow up. If you spend time beginning those relationships but do nothing with it, you’ve wasted time you could have spent more productively.

But maybe you mean to follow up, so you take their contact info, spend Friday afternoon entering them into your system so you can follow up — but you never do. Why? Following up is easy to put off. There’s almost always something better to do, so you rationalize your way out of it. Then you’ve wasted even more time. Making new contacts is great, but if you don’t do anything with the new leads, you’ve cost yourself time that doesn’t pay off.

Until you have an app to help you manage new contacts, you’re giving your competitors the advantage. They may not be out there getting cold leads, but they’re also not spending their time on fruitless activity.

Use Tools to Make Work Actionable

The key is getting a tool to make your work actionable. With a sales tracking app that tracks your contacts in real time (so you don’t have to take the time to enter them) and reminds you when to follow up (and won’t leave you alone until you do!), you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.

Rely on the best sales tracking apps for your business. You can’t rely on the individual diligence of your entire sales team. Not everyone is a top performer. Let technology do the work of logging contact info and reminding you who to contact. Then you can focus on building relationships, advocating for your pharmacy, and being the one physicians remember.

 

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

auto_glass_sales_crm

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

mobile_crm_advantages_sales_team

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.

A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

Sales_Lead_Management_Process_You_Can_Count_On

Want a more profitable business? (Dumb question. Of course you do.) Whether you’ve been around for a while or are just starting up, every smart business owner wants to increase their sales.

So what’s your lead tracking process?

Too often, a quality system for tracking leads falls through the cracks — and so do potential customers. It’s tempting to take each lead individually and patchwork your responses based on what’s worked in the past. But that’s not the most effective method.

Instead, you need a sales lead management process you can count on. And good sales lead tracking does one thing: follow the right leads systematically.

How to Qualify Your Leads

Before you meet with people, ask yourself, “Who is a real potential client?”

Make sure leads can afford what you sell. Not sure? Try this simple calculation.

Perceived cost x 1,000 = Minimum Business Revenue

Let’s say your product costs $12,000, but clients pay monthly. That means they perceive the costs to be $1,000. When you multiply $1,000 by 1,000, you’ll know you should be selling to businesses who bring in at least a million dollars. Otherwise, it’s too expensive for them.

Then find a niche so your leads can be more specific. A specific market lets you stand out as a specialist for your product, as it applies to certain clients.

Related: Looking For A Sales Lead Tracking App? Use This Checklist

Let’s say you sell scissors. Everyone needs them, and all businesses are prospects. But you’ll get a better result if you tailor your specialty. So become an expert at selling scissors to insurance companies. Now, when you sell, you can say, “I know everyone sells scissors, but I work with people just like you. Here’s my story…” Through the course of your story, you’ll show your understanding of how they use scissors in their industry and how you can help with that.

Selling isn’t just about what they literally want (i.e. the scissors). Selling is about the aggregate experience that you have in dealing with people just like them.

How to Handle Leads Systematically

Once you find leads that can afford your product and fit your niche, put them in your “mechanism” immediately. This mechanism, or system, for following up helps you know what action to take when. Here’s how it works.

1. Start the Funnel

Contact your leads at regular intervals. I start with an email and a phone call. To begin a “trust bond” — a connection point that starts building their trust — I’ll email them, “Hey! I got your name from here. I’m going to call you right now.” This isn’t about marketing or a grand introduction. It’s just a way to make the first contact.

Then I call them. If they don’t answer, I leave a message and immediately email them with the subject: Just left you a voicemail. More often than not, people will respond to the email but won’t call back, even if they’re interested.

After this first touch, I start my call funnel. I’ll call back the next day (and leave a message if I don’t reach them). Then I call back at these intervals:

  • 2 days later
  • 1 week later
  • 2 weeks later
  • 1 month later
  • every 60 days until they buy

You’ll need to tweak your timing depending on your industry. But the key is to be professionally persistent. You don’t want to be in their face. And you don’t want any of these touches to seem like triggered responses (even though they are). Instead, you want clients to feel like they’re your only lead. Make it seem like they’re the only client on your agenda.

2. Script the Process

In reality, all these responses are triggered. So establish a way to respond every single time. Whether you’re a one-man business or a 20-person team, you need the process scripted.

Related: 5 Things Your Sales Script Should (and Shouldn’t) Include

3. Tweak It

Then tweak it if it’s not working. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Once you have a place to start, you just need to edit.

Think about the sales lead management process like writing. The hardest part is getting the first draft on paper. It’s much easier to critique and edit. It’s the same with the sales process.

Get your process on paper — even if it’s wrong. Then, if you’re losing people, figure out where you’re losing them and fix it. That doesn’t mean you make changes with every piece of feedback, but you look at the big picture to see where a repeated breakdown happens. Then adjust.

If you want to know the best way to make changes, ask your clients. After they’re on board, just say, “Thank you for your business. I know you’re a new client, and I’m looking forward to working with you. By the way, how did you feel through the process?” They’ll tell you what they liked and didn’t. Then you’ll know firsthand where to improve in the future.

Solid sales lead management can make all the difference in your revenue growth. A CRM like CallProof will help keep you on track.

 

Anatomy of the Perfect Sales Follow-Up Call

how_to_make_a_sales_follow_up_call

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Well, he may have exaggerated a little, but it sure does seem to apply to sales.

Sales relies on persistence. And often, that persistence relies on following up.

When you’re dealing with clients, you should always have a next step. No matter what. Follow-up calls can be the perfect way to close the loop and provide your next interaction with a prospect.

Contact Them… Then Contact Them Again

Sales is based on a series of touches. Sometimes you call prospects, and sometimes you need to make contact in another way. Before they buy, people need trust, timing, and money.

The faster and the more frequently you can interact with them, the faster you can identify those needs and build trust. Some interactions directly affect the sale. Others focus on building a relationship with the client.

Here’s how we get to know your future clients and move them through the buying process.

Ask, “When should I follow up next?”

Always pin down the next action step at the end of a sales meeting. Just ask them, “When should I follow up next?” so you know where the prospect is in the buying cycle. This closes the loop for the meeting and helps you plan your next steps accordingly.

Mail a Handwritten “Thank You” Note

Always drop a “thank you” note in the mail after your meeting. And, if you can, make sure it’s sent from their town. I write a note as soon as I leave a meeting and mail it right away.

Send Your Quote ASAP

If the call to action is to send a quote or proposal, send it soon. It’s helpful to tell your prospect exactly what to expect. I might say, “I’ll send you an email right now to make sure you have my contact information. I’ll get a quote together for you later today or early tomorrow.” Now, they have your information and know when to expect the proposal.

Follow Up Immediately After Sending the Quote

After you send your proposal, call your client ASAP. That way, you can make sure they received the quote before they can form an opinion on it. This conversation isn’t about finding out what they think about your quote, but rather confirming they have the information. I might say, “Hey, I just sent you the quote and wanted to make sure you received it…. Great! When should I follow up with you next?” They’ll tell you.

Call Back

Now, when you call for the next step, they’ve given you permission to contact them. Check and see where they are in the process since they’ve had some time to think about the quote.

As you take these steps, you build in touches along the way. From your first sales meeting, you’ve worked in three more interactions before discussing the quote. Some people say it takes 6 to 7 touches to close a deal. Obviously, that varies with different products and services, but consistent contact builds trust and moves prospects toward a sale.

If You Don’t Follow Up

Consistency takes discipline. As a salesperson, you need to follow a plan — not just for the sake of checking items off your to-do list, but because follow-through builds confidence and increases your likelihood of success.

People want excellent customer care. If you don’t follow up when you’re in the sale phase, you probably won’t respond to them in time once they’re a client. The sales process is like an interview. Prospects want vendors who stay organized, respond immediately, know what they’re doing, and know the next steps. And with good sales follow-up, you get to show them what it’ll be like to do business together. If you don’t follow up, they won’t want to work with you.

How to Make a Great Follow-Up Call

Before you reach for the phone, do your homework. Check your notes so you know what to say in a follow-up call. You’ll need to remind yourself when you last spoke and how you left the conversation. Here’s the basic outline for a great call.

1. Immediately say your name and your company.

2. Remind them when you spoke last and what you spoke about.

3. Quickly recap any of their concerns and provide solutions. This will remind them why they’re on the call.

4. Be persistent and polite, not obnoxious or pushy.

When to Follow Up

Generally speaking, you want sales follow-ups to be tight. Leads are like fish — the older they get, the more they stink. So keep leads fresh with a quick follow-up. If you’re selling to a really busy person, make their next steps easy so you can keep them in the sales process without taking up too much of their time.

Active and Latent Buyers

Also, consider what kind of buyer you have: are they active or latent? Active buyers are an active opportunity in the pipeline. You’re following up with them in 60 days or less, and they’re ready to buy a product.

But, if a prospect asks you to wait more than 60 days for your next follow-up, consider them a latent buyer. That means you’re nurturing them to become an active buyer in the future.

How a CRM Helps You Follow Up

A good CRM makes sure you don’t miss anything as you work to close the loop and set your next follow-up actions. Successful people in sales do two things:

1. They schedule a follow-up action every time they speak with someone.

2. They make notes about every interaction. Sometimes they even add notes that say, “Nothing to note.”

That’s why you need a CRM that plays well with the tools you use to keep track of your life. It needs to integrate with your calendars and to-do lists so no one falls through the cracks. You’ll also want a solution that files notes with each action step. That way, it’ll be even easier to access the information you need to make a great follow-up call. And, if the CRM is easy to use on the go, you can make your updates and action steps immediately — which is even better.

The Most Successful Sales Teams Avoid These Time Management Mistakes

time_management_for_salespeople

As a salesperson, you have a say in how your day unfolds. But as you balance working in the office with prospecting and helping clients, are you really making the most of your time?

Below we’ve listed the most common time management mistakes that salespeople – and sales managers – make. If you want your sales team to run smoothly and effectively, avoid these mistakes and follow the steps listed for a more productive schedule.

The Biggest Time Management Mistakes That Sales Teams Make

Being busy doesn’t mean you’re effective. So look at how you spend your time and schedule your day to see if you’re maximizing your work hours.

Mistake #1: Spending Time on Software Updates and Data Entry

A salesperson’s day should be focused on talking to prospects. You have to work within the office hours of your potential clients. So spend your day making those connections. Other activities can be done other times. The CRM software can be updated anytime. It’s not bound to the 9-5 workday. So save it for a less valuable time of the day.

Mistake #2: Leaving the Schedule Open

Each night before you leave the office, figure out the best plan of action for the next day. If you don’t have a plan, you won’t accomplish as much. Make a schedule of when you’ll prospect and contact clients so you don’t spend your best hours figuring out what to do next.

Managers, help your team by setting clear goals for activity and creating a sample salesperson daily schedule. Then your salespeople have a model of how to structure their day to best use their time.

Follow These 3 Steps to Increase Your Sales Productivity

As you look to increase productivity every month, the key is knowing what works. So, after you set activity level goals for each individual and teach them to schedule their day, you need to check on what’s happening. It’s all about the plan, the reality, and looking for ways to improve.

1. Know the Plan

As a manager, I want to know how my salespeople schedule their day. I want to know who they plan to see and how they envision spending their time. For example, they’ll tell me, “These are the 10 people I’ll see today.”

2. Know What Actually Happened

Next, I need to know how the plan unfolds. What really happens? Do they see all 10 people? Maybe they only see 7 of 10 prospects on their list for the day. Now I can follow up.

3. Calculate the Difference and the Cost

What’s the difference between their plan and reality? In this case, they missed three of their planned contacts for the day. So I ask why. The salesperson says, “The expense report took up my time so I could only get to seven people.”

Now I know the expense report is costing us three visits. If we close 30% of our contacts, that expense report costs us $35K in potential earnings. If my salespeople have to do one expense report a month, it costs us $420K per year per salesperson. Sounds like I need to figure out how to eliminate the expense reports for my sales team. And with that amount of potential profit, I can afford to hire someone that handles expense reports for my team.

When you crunch the numbers and see the differentials, you’ll see what’s standing in the way of closing more sales. Don’t let the we’ve always done it this way mentality stand in your way. Instead, take an honest look at the numbers and eliminate the tasks that create unnecessary obstacles.

Time Management Tips for Sales Managers

Managers, with intentionality, you can teach each member of your team how to be a successful salesperson. Don’t leave it up for them to navigate on their own. Here’s how.

1. Figure Out What They Should and Shouldn’t Be Doing

What’s getting in their way of meeting prospects and closing sales? If you can eliminate unnecessary tasks, do it.

2. Find Solutions

Are expense reports getting in their way? Hire someone to handle those. Is CRM reporting taking up too much time? Find a CRM that automates activity reports. There are solutions out there for these time-consuming tasks — you just need to implement them.

3. Check Activity Levels

Work backwards with your numbers. How many average clients will they need to meet their sales goal? To close that many clients, how many people should they quote? In order to get that number of quotes, how many prospects should they see? How many prospects is that per day?

Then, if you can tell a salesperson exactly how many prospects they should see each day, you’ve taken out your guess work. With an automated CRM, you can hold them accountable to maintaining the activity level they need to meet their goals.

Time Management Tips for Salespeople

1. If It’s on Your Calendar, You HAVE to Do It

It’s easy to snooze a task for later. Don’t do it. Make your calendar sacred. If there’s a task on it, it’s not optional. If you get into a cycle of picking and choosing which tasks you’ll do, you’ll always avoid the most difficult (and maybe most lucrative) ones.

2. Focus on the Highest Payoff Activities

When you have the choice, pick the activities with the highest payoff. Sure, updating your data for the week is important, but what’s the payoff? Cold-calling prospects may be more taxing, but it holds the biggest potential return. So, when your list gets long, don’t start with the menial tasks that don’t make much difference. Instead, start with the ones that pay.

If you’re not using your flexible schedule to your advantage, it’s time to start. Choose activities that bring the most reward and delegate the tasks that don’t.

The Value of Having ALL Sales CRM Data in One Place

value of having CRM data in one place

Have you ever made a list, only to lose it before it was even used?

It’s frustrating to take notes and keep track of information, only to misplace it later. But while it may be frustrating in some circumstances, it’s costly in others. Client information is one of the most valuable resources in business. If you misplace it or the right people can’t get to it, your business suffers.

We want ALL client information in one spot. No matter who talks to the client at what time, all calls, emails, files, interactions, and notes need to be in one place.

How It Helps

Centrally located information helps in many areas, but transition periods reap huge benefits. When you promote a salesperson and reassign their territory, a new person shouldn’t start from scratch. Often, outside salespeople work a territory for a few years, and when they leave, they take their information with them. Then the new person gets a new prospect list and spends months re-creating those relationships.

But what if they could pick up where the last person left off? With a CRM that stores information in one place, they can. And the transition becomes smoother for everyone prospects, customers, and salespeople.

How It Works

So how does that happen? You could require salespeople to log all client interactions diligently (and hope they do it). Or you could use a system that automatically updates itself.

That is what CallProof does. It logs all the phone calls, emails, and meetings automatically. Salespeople handle clients the way they always have, while CallProof syncs up and logs the interactions.

Here’s what used to happen. First, I had to remember to call or email Joe. If I remembered (and didn’t snooze my calendar alert for six months), I logged into the CRM afterwards, and made my notes.

Now, CallProof tells me to email Joe. I email Joe, and CallProof automatically updates itself. If I included an attachment, it automatically uploads that attachment to the client’s file. If anyone else on our sales team emails Joe, it stores the information too. CallProof aggregates the information for us.

I hate change. So I do the same things I always did. But CallProof figures out the way I work (so I don’t have to change), and then puts the information where it needs to be.

Why It Works

CallProof offers this solution, but no one else does. Why? We found out what the people who buy and use CRMs want. Only after talking with usability experts, aesthetic consultants, and many marketing and IT buyers, did we build our CRM.

Salesforce.com was one of the earliest “software to service” solutions. Buyers consider it a safe buy because it’s well known. No one will fault them for buying this age-old service. But just because it’s popular, that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution.

The Right CRM

If you want to buy the right CRM, recognize each solution for what it is. Figure out why it works the way it does. Was it built to market or built to work?

CallProof was built to work, then we just happened to sell it later. We built it because we realized that the other CRMs didn’t work. They operated, but they didn’t fit with sales culture. When they were effective, it was because salespeople changed their mode of operation. They took on extra work to get data into the system.

Marketing buyers think about the end goal. They want to be able to market to any potential demographic middle-aged dog owners who live on the east side of town and drink coffee. They want options to create “cool charts” with the variables. But they forget to think about how that information gets in the system to start with. Sure, the marketing options and campaign potentials are appealing, but they’re useless without accurate data.

IT people look at solutions in terms of technology. They want a solution with a solid operating system. Since they know how to build systems, CRM services sell to these buyers with discussions on certifications and firewall technology. CallProof has all that too, but that’s not the most important factor.

No matter how solid the technology or what demographic specifications it pulls (which CallProof does too), the solution won’t work without data. And that’s the last thing people think about when they’re buying, even though it should be the first.

FreeEbook

How to Calculate the Real Cost of a Sales CRM

calculate cost of CRM

The best deal on paper isn’t always the best deal. Your CRM invoice may look like you’re spending a few hundred dollars when you’re actually investing thousands. So how do you know the true cost?

When you’re calculating the real cost of a CRM, start by adding up the setup fees and monthly costs, but don’t stop there. You also need to calculate the value of your time.

Time: The Hidden Expense

Time is money especially when you’re on the job. When a CRM requires a large time investment from you and your employees, you lose money. So ask yourself, “Do I make more money for the company updating the CRM or doing my job?”

Here’s an example. If an engineer’s billing rate is $100/hour, and they spend six hours managing the CRM, that time investment results in $600 lost revenue.

If you decrease the time you spend managing the CRM, you save major money. Let’s say this same engineer now uses a different CRM that only requires two hours to manage. That time shift saves the company $400.

How to Figure Out Your Total Cost

Start with setup fees and monthly fees. Then factor in the time it takes to set up the CRM, who does it, and what their time is worth. Now, add the amount of time that each employee spends in the system every week according to their approximate hourly rate. That’s your true cost.

Here’s how it adds up. Which of these solutions costs less?

  1. You spend $10 per user/per month. Then each user spends 40 hours a month updating data.
  2. You spend $30 per user/per month. Then each user spends five hours a month updating data.

When you factor in time value, B is your obvious deal.

A CRM may seem like a good deal on paper, but when employees have to spend numerous hours working for the system (rather than it working for them), you lose more money than you may realize. Instead, calculate the real deal. Spending a little more on an efficient solution saves you thousands in time.

FreeEbook