By Bryan Estep, Chief Revenue Officer at PipelineDeals
Managing leads using a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) should be an easy way to make you more productive and puts you in control of your selling activity. If you’ve ever asked yourself, what did I speak to that client about last or what should I do next, your CRM answers those questions for you. It is in effect, a history of your client relationship and a roadmap forward.
Determining Your Sales Process
The first key to successful lead management is identifying your sales process. For anyone who has written down the sales process steps and instructed a sales team how to consistently do so, it may seem hard to believe that many companies have never defined their own process.
For example, here at PipelineDeals our sales process looks like this:
Trial Initiated > Initial Call Made > In Conversation > Demo Complete > In Negotiation > Closed Won or Lost
Speaking of, if you need help defining your sales process we are happy to help you with this. It really is a basic element that effective sales teams use to determine what to do next, measure progress, and forecast results.
Nearly any interaction with a client will drive an activity or set of activities, which you can assign to yourself or to others within a CRM. Depending on your business, this might be sending samples, providing a quote, sending educational material, and so on. It is certainly common to have multiple activities within any stage of the sales process.
Normally the activities are completed on the spot, so assigning a delivery date and time is a good way to ensure the activity gets done. Once you mark the activities as completed you can move on to the next thing on your calendar.
Ideally, a salesperson will have a sizable number of prospects, meaning even more activities. Calendaring these activities takes the thinking and human error out of the equation for you.
An activity that is particularly important is e-mail communication. One of the most valuable features of a CRM is seamlessly storing all e-mail interactions with prospective clients so you can look back to see what’s been sent and responded on.
A CRM has a variety of list filtering tools that will help you with your selling strategy and effectiveness. For example, if you are nearing the end of the month or quarter you can filter to companies in the later stage of the sales process and focus on those. You might also filter to a particular industry or geography, for consistent talk tracks and time zones.
CRM for the Administrator
We’ve mainly been looking at this from the point of view of a sales person, so let’s take a look at how CRM features helps owners and supervisors with lead management.
For the business owner, it gives you true ownership of the client in that you can transfer the prospect, along with it’s history and next steps to another salesperson is not available for whatever reason. You can also look across a number of salespeople to measure which are most successful at lead conversion to then develop those with lower results to improve.
CRM is a tool to help you manage leads and grow your customer relationships. Let’s face it, software can be daunting for some people. We focus on building a CRM that is easy to use while providing human-centered customer care. Our team is always just a phone call away and will promptly help with any questions you might have along the way.
If your interested in trying out our CRM, start a 14 day free trial today.