Is Your Contact Management System A Glorified Phone Book?

B2B Sales Connections has a regular feature in our newsletter called “Ask The Sales Coach”.   As this month’s featured question was quite interesting, I thought I would share it on our blog as well.

Dear B2B Sales Coach:

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

– Todd, Seattle, WA

Dear Todd,

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’, I would have to say it would be creating an organized follow up or customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Regardless of the type of system you use, be it manual, be it automated in computer software or on a PDA, it is important that you use some sort of follow up system.  In fact, I think it is critical for success in sales!

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.  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.

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.  Any time I have worked with sales people 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!

I give detailed instructions on exactly how to organize yourselfso you can maximize your sales results in my book, Action Plan For Sales Success.

Do you have a question for the B2B Sales Coach? Send an email to  Every email receives a response.  For more B2B Sales Coach’s Questions & Answers, check out

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Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections,, or

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