Last month we defined Social CRM. Now let’s start leveraging this tool in order to close more sales and the best way to get started on that is to get ourselves organized! Salespeople, by and large, are notoriously bad record keepers. As far as that goes, a lot of salespeople flat hate CRM. Their reasons can vary …
- “Writing all of this stuff down takes my efforts away from valuable selling time!”
- “Hey, I don’t have the time. I’m closing business here!”
- “You want me to keep records so that … you can keep track of me?”
- “Please tell me how this is going to help me to make more sales.”
- “I’d rather eat bugs!”
The fact remains that, unless you are gifted with a photographic memory that includes complete records on each and every one of your contacts including dates, times, activities, and reminders to get back with them … there is zero chance that you are being anywhere near as effective as you could be. I’ll put it another way … YOU ARE LOSING BOTH SALES AND INCOME! Post-it notes and scraps of paper don’t cut it and that is still the case even if you have them in separate contact manila folders.
Any decent CRM will at the very least provide you with the ability to maintain up-do-date contact records including …
- Complete contact information (name, company name, address, phone, email, etc.)
- Custom fields for your specific information needs
- Time/date stamped notes of any activities that have occurred
- Tasks and appointments
- Reminders to get back in touch
- Records of email messages exchanged
All of this information will be there at your fingertips, well-organized, and the chances of misfiling these into the wrong folder (or having them fall out of the folder) are nil. Better yet, in most cases this information can travel with you on your phone, tablet, or laptop for anytime anywhere accessibility. Maybe you would rather pack around 100 or more file folders?
There is just one catch. You do need to keep the records updated and doing so needs to be a priority and not a dreaded chore. Let’s say you spent one hour per day on record keeping (if you are that concerned about “selling time” do it after hours) and your sales were to increase 10% -20% as a result, would that be a good return on your investment of time? It would and your sales will. You probably already spend that much time writing cryptic notes and then trying to find them.
Social CRM will allow us to take our organization up to an entirely new level and in so doing, it takes care of an issue that traditional CRM is not designed/capable of addressing. Our customers no longer want to chat strictly on the phone or by email. Now many are holding these same conversations on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+). First you have to be there in order to participate (if you are not, you lose). Next you need a way to track these conversations along with emails and those too need to reside in your contact records. I suppose you could have tab open for each of the services, find the individual update that you wanted to keep, and then copy that and paste it into a contact record. That would certainly be efficient. Now do the same for all of your replies.
Is knowledge power? I think so. I also know that you can use this same knowledge to increase your sales. Which statement will impress a potential client more?
- “When we last spoke on August 13, you had indicated to me that you were in the process of changing your system over from brand x to brand y and you also asked me to give you a call today so that we can set up a time to further explore our solution that you felt could potentially provide you with a 20% increase in your department efficiency. “ or …
- “Hi! I’m just calling to check and see if you are maybe ready to meet with me?”
Salesperson #1 has documented his or her conversations with this client, reviewed them in order to refresh his/her memory before he/she made the call, and planned the opening statement accordingly. Salesperson #2 still can’t find that scrap(s) of paper.
Practice only makes perfect if you practice the right things all the time to the point where they become reflex/habit. Practice always makes permanent and that can be good or bad. Becoming an effective record keeper will require repetition particularly for those of us who this behavior may not occur naturally. Fact is, the ONLY difference between a successful and an unsuccessful salesperson is that the successful salesperson will do those things that the unsuccessful salesperson will not even though the successful salesperson doesn’t like those activities any more than his unsuccessful counterpart does. Why? The reason for this is that the successful salesperson is motivated by the “results” rather than by the “methods”. “I don’t like to keep good records (methods) but I do because so doing has resulted in an increase in my sales (results).”
So, don’t do it for your Sales Manager. Do it for you and do it today! I’d sure like to hear from readers who would be willing to share their own personal experiences with social CRM’s. Has keeping good records allowed you to increase your sales?
Image courtesy of Kromkrathog / FreeDigitalPhotos.net