New salespeople quickly learn that to do well, they are to prevent opportunities from disappearing from their sales funnel. The advice is easy to give, but not to implement.
As a former salesperson who began in the profession before the internet or the idea of CRM came into being, I whole-heartedly welcomed the software announcement. The comparison of before and after is light-years apart. Most of all, the new efficiencies were almost startling.
In the early years, the instruction was to knock on, at a minimum, fifty doors per day.My personal goal was to collect sixty business cards each day to ensure a healthy pipeline. Late afternoon, the team would return to the office with stacks of cards. I prioritized mine according to the dates for callbacks. And I invested in rubber bands to sort the cards by month.The other reps just let their cards sit in tall stacks on their desks. The joke was they were each building a tower to the ceiling.
You probably guessed the worst. Eventually, a majority of the business cards fell to the floor. The janitorial staff tasked with cleaning, would pick up the fallen business cards and put them in the wastebaskets. Their last step was to remove all of the trash in the office. The next stop was the waste bins outside. Many opportunities in the sales funnel were literally and physically lost.
As the representatives realized that they had nothing to pursue to make their quota, they quit their job. I soon became familiar with the terminology of ‘The revolving door syndrome.’The term refers to hiring employees, training them, and then either seeing them quit or having to terminate them.The syndrome was a monthly experience.
The loss of business and staff was financially staggering.
It was with delight and excitement that I embraced the new era of CRM systems. I gave strict attention to entering contact information into the database along with the date to reconnect with each prospect. Habitually, I checked the system every morning. I became known among my clientele for a timely follow-up.
As confidence with selling blossomed, I would jokingly forewarn my prospective clients. With a smile, I posed the following question; ‘are you certain you want me to follow-up? Because this is the area where I excel.’ The laughter eased the conversation. On the next visit, I received a warm welcome.
Having lived through this transition, I have been able to see first-hand how deals get lost.
1. The lack of timely follow-up
Excuses for not calling back overtake daily sales activity. Most are fearful of possibly annoying a prospect by calling back, so they don’t bother.
2. Forgetting to check back in with clientele
Long ago, representatives were instructed to call on at least fifty companies per day. Only a small percentage took the time to take note of the agreed-upon follow-up. The CRM system solves that problem.
3. Underlying fears of communication
Most will not reveal they are uncertain as to what to say or how to communicate to capture attention. So the timid will tell themselves, ‘no one will ever know.’ Sadly, the facts reveal themselves at the end of the month. Quota is out of the ballpark for reality.
Connecting on a professionally personal level took the process to the next level. As a prospect answered the phone, and after saying ‘hello,’ I would politely remind each person that they asked me to call on that day and time. The statement was quickly followed with the question, ‘does now still work for you?’ The answer of ‘yes’ always gave me the green light for proceeding.
Everything is at a faster pace today. Some companies have large inside sales teams devoted to telesales. Many feel the fierce competition among the group with management following every step. On the other end, we have independent remote workers who need to motivate themselves every waking hour to do more.
The GetCiara software is a stroke of genius.The design is to help sales representatives of all types communicate and perform well. By integrating brief sales tips throughout the sales cycle with the CRM in use, each representative is far more likely to earn business.
A variety of sales leaders and influencers contribute their unique sales playbook tips for advancing the sales cycle. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a serious look. The best of all worlds is, GetCiara offers the potential to boost your team morale and bottom-line.
The ultimate goal is to earn a returning and referring clientele, known as The Smooth Sale!
Thank you again to Elinor Stutz for writing & sharing your insights with us!