Having better insight into your business relationships is a key objective in implementing any CRM system. Being able to quickly review the account and see who else at your company has been working with them is imperative. It’s also one of the most challenging things to accomplish. After all, you are relying on the users of the CRM system to actually track the interactions around these relationships. If it’s not easy to do, they won’t do it.
From a salesperson’s perspective, or anyone involved with “outbound touches” to customers or prospects, having an easy facility to do this is very important. But if you want to measure the volume or types of outbound touches being made across the sales organization you need to do this in a consistent manner and it needs to be integrated with a methodology and aligned to your sales qualification process.
Let’s take a day in the life of a sales person as it relates to prospecting activities. If a sales person is going through “call downs”, they are laser focused on nurturing existing customer relationships or finding new business opportunity with prospective customers. A sales person picks up the phone and attempts to reach someone from his customer or prospect list with the objective of having a conversation. The overarching objective is to qualify or disqualify potential business opportunity. If one salesperson only tracks some activities, like “good” conversations, while another salesperson tracks “outbound touches” in an entirely different way, you will never have visibility into the total outbound effort across the organization. This is a huge missed opportunity for the organization.
When it comes to prospecting you want to track all attempts in an easy, methodical way. After all, these outbound touches take time and you want to be able to quantify this investment. If someone leaves a voice mail, do you track it and schedule a follow up activity? If someone picks up the phone and talks to someone who refers you to someone else, do you track that conversation? And do you record the new person’s contact information and set a follow up activity with the person you were referred to? Do you have an easy way to schedule follow up activities so you can cycle through a list based on when you made your last outbound attempt? How do you measure marketing’s influence on the sales pipeline? Do you disqualify prospects or reposition your approach based on inactivity? These are all important questions any organization must ask if they are investing time in outbound sales activity.
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