Managing Your Sales Leads
Efficiency is important in every business, and especially in Sales. Managing your sales leads can be a burdensome task. However with a CRM, it can be the easiest thing you do each day. CRMs are the most effective way to manage your leads. If you use them properly.
What is a CRM?
A CRM – Customer Relationship Management – tool provides a structured way to track and follow-up with your leads and customers, increasing your overall efficiency. Are you currently using a spreadsheet or pen and paper while prospecting? Is your office wall covered in post-it notes with your most promising leads and priority tasks?
Let me just clarify, I love post-its. My wall is covered in them, but these are my long-term goals, dream projects, etc. I grab a note from the wall when I have spare moments in my day and tackle one of these non-urgent tasks. My priority items are all digitally stored, so that I can get pings, dings, emails, alerts and whatever other automated reminders I need to keep me on task. This is the way I run my business and manage my sales pipeline.
Why do I need a CRM?
Maybe you just have a couple of leads right now, so few that you remember every conversation perfectly. That’s great that you are making personal connections with your customers, keep it up! You expect your business to grow, right? If you are reading a business blog, I’m going to assume that is a goal of yours. So, what happens when 10 become 50, 500 or 5000? You need a system in place that works just as efficiently for a handful of leads as it does for thousands. Rather than waiting until after your start to grow, feel completely overwhelmed and most likely have lost leads due to lack of process, start now by putting a system in place that will work for you as you grow.
What to do with your leads once you have them
Most people follow-up with a lead 1-2 times. Studies show that it takes between 5 and 12 contacts with a person before they buy from you. A CRM will help you make all those touch points in a variety of ways.
- Notifying you, at intervals you set, based upon your sales process, when your next action is due.
- Sending automated emails based upon where a prospect is in your sales process.
- Providing date-based alerts – birthdays, anniversaries, expiration dates, service due, etc.
These are just a few of the many efficiencies and accountability measures a CRM puts in place. Reminders and follow-up will become second nature. Let your CRM be your automated assistant.
Additionally, with a CRM you can segment out your leads based upon purchase history, interest type and virtually any other category you can come up with for your business. If you offer multiple products or business lines, this is a must when you are trying to effectively market to your audience.
What should I look for when selecting a CRM?
When determining the best CRM for your business, you should consider factors such as what features you need, how many leads do you have and how much does it cost. One of the key pieces necessary to understanding this is know your sales process and finding a tool that aligns with that process. I included more tips on selecting the best CRM for your business in a previous post.
When is the right time to get a CRM?
Now! And yes, I can confidently say that, now is the right time to get a CRM. If you are reading this post, or asking this question, then now is the right time for you to get a CRM. This doesn’t mean run right out and get the first one you find, however. Do your research and pick the right CRM. And it case you missed it when I said it before, you should do this now.
Sales expert and author of High-Profit Prospecting and High-Profit Selling, Mark Hunter, said “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” You can purchase an incredible lead list, or spend a ton of money on marketing, but if you aren’t managing those leads daily through a CRM, you are wasting your time and money.
So, once you have the best CRM for your business, make sure you are fully utilizing it! Even the most expensive CRM does you no good if you don’t use it. Every. Single. Day.