Is Your CRM A Glorified Phone Book?

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Is your customer relationship managment system organized alphabetically? Then here is how to change your CRM from a glorified phone book into a productive sales tool.

Ask The Sales Coach

I am a sales coach active on many social media platforms. As such I am often asked questions from sales reps all around the world. This particular question I am asked quite often. My answer, although surprising to some, is always the same.

Dear B2B Sales Coach:

If you could give sales people just one piece of advice to improve their sales performance, what would it be?

The B2B Sales Coach’s Answer:

Is Your CRM a Glorified Phone Book? - Sales Tips from B2B Sales Connections

It is hard to pick just one!  However, if I look back on my career and search over the years for the one thing that made the most difference in my personal performance, and that of my sales teams', it would be this. Create a properly organized follow up or customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Salesforce defines CRM Management as technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. It doesn’t matter the type of system you use. It could be manual or it could be automated in computer software. These days it could even be online on a cloud-based system.

It doesn’t matter. It’s just important that you use some sort of follow up system. In fact, I think it is critical for success in sales!

How Sales Reps Should Organize and Manage Their Contacts in Their CRM

Most sales people have some type of follow up system, and most take the time to enter contact information like name, phone number and email address into them. Some even brag about their huge databases of thousands of companies and contacts they have collected over their careers.

However many forget the most important piece of information when entering in their contacts into their CRM and that's the “Next Sales Contact Date”.  Without this, even the most expensive CRM programs are only glorified phone books.

How to Change Your CRM From a Glorified Phone Book to a Productive Sales Tool

If you are not using a CRM system, start.  If you do and your contacts are only organized alphabetically like the phone book, reorganize it chronologically by the date of your next sales call.

Check it daily, no ifs, ands or buts! If it says call today, call today. Never leave the office until you have filed each call you made that day by the date you want to contact them next.

Any time I have worked with salespeople to change their filing method of contacts from alphabetical to the date of next contact, follow up activities, and more importantly sales results improve dramatically!

How to Design a CRM System

    Your CRM as a Glorified Phone Book – The Bottom Line

    Organizing your follow up file by the date of your next contact ensures you are working with the right prospect at the right time; that being when he is mostly likely to buy. That's like having a license to print your own commission cheques!

    If you would like more information on how to design a CRM system that will maximize your sales results yet will only take minutes per day to manage, download our free white paper, How to Design a CRM System from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre.

    Remember, a database itself doesn't make you money. It's what you do with it that does.

    Aim Higher!

    Susan A. EnnsB2B Sales Coach and Author
    Schedule a free sales coaching strategy session with Susan here.

    “… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”

    Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone.  Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.

    Want to generate more leads, reduce the length of your selling cycle and close more sales?
    Then check out our “How to Sell Virtually” Video-on-Demand Training Series for Sales and Sales Management!

    For detailed instructions on how to create your follow up file to maximize your sales results, check out Action Plan For Sales Success.

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