Anyone in sales has a love-hate relationship with their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. After having worked in sales for 15 years, and having worked at several multi-billion companies, I have witnessed some extreme inefficiency with sales reps using their CRM systems, costing themselves and their company lots of money. So I wanted to give two helpful suggestions you can use right away to start to maximize your sales by using your CRM more effectively.
First, get it out of your mind that you don’t need a CRM! If you are lucky enough to have a company that has one for you, be grateful! It can be one of your biggest weapons with driving sales and making more money.
How you structure your day is everything, I am pretty obsessive about how I structure my day/time, and there is no exception when it comes to structuring my CRM, it is critical. This is the first step where I see sales reps start to go wrong. They have absolutely zero structure to how they are using their CRM. They simply click open and just start calling. Now, why would you do that? We want our calls to be purposeful and impactful, right? This is how I Structure my calls and have my team structure theirs.
We use the pyramid system, meaning we start by calling our best leads first, and then work our way down in a descending order of priority. So at the top of the pyramid are the leads that are the most likely to generate you money and a sale in short order, they are our “hot leads”. So I always start my calls with those first. Why? Well, why would you not want to call the leads that are going to be the most likely to generate you income??? That’s, why I do it. Next, I go to my second tier leads, things I am working on, but still, need some more massaging before they might close. Next, on my third tier, I am calling people I have had good talks with, but maybe they are not actively quoting my product, they have shown interest but we are not engaged to do any business. So, I am trying to push those people up to the next level of my pyramid. After I get through those calls, then I start to target people who used to do business with us but currently are not engaged, so it is a re-engagement call. If I can establish some rapport, my goal is to push them up to the next level of my pyramid, to be once again interested in what I have to offer. Lastly, once I have gotten through all of those calls, then I am going to call my “cold leads”. These are the leads that are the least likely to generate me money or sales, so I am going to call them last. Now these leads are important, its always important to be working on your pipeline from all angles, but I get pulled in lots of different directions during the day, and there are lots of days where I am only in for half of the day and then out on meetings, so if I have limited time on the phone, I want to make sure the calls I do make are going to count, and by count, I mean I am calling the leads that are going to generate me money and sales! Here is the pyramid broke down again for you:
Tier 1 – Call First: Hot Leads – most likely to close
Tier 2- Call Second: Leads that are in the hopper, but are not at the decision making stage
Tier 3- Call third: shown interest, but still in rapport building stage
Tier 4 – Call Fourth: Reegagement call, prior customer, or someone who was close to buying before
Tier 5 – Call Five: Cold leads, these are the ones, you are not sure if they even have a need for your product or service
The other major component to using your CRM system correctly is taking notes! And lots of notes! So many salespeople rely on “I will remember” or some insane sticky note bulletin board system. The more information you have written down the better. You want to know why they would be interested in your product or service, their pain points, any personal info that was disclosed in the rapport-building stage, i.e. favorite sports team, if they have a dog, kids, favorite color, etc. There is nothing worse than calling a prospect and having the same conversation 2, 3 or 4 times, because you had nothing written down about your first encounter.
This shows that you care, it also keeps you up to speed with where they are in the buying cycle. Notes are vital but go underutilized, don’t make that mistake.
Implementing these two processes consistently will improve your income, closing ratio and over the profitability of your company dramatically.