When I started my career in sales for Xerox over 20 year ago, the main reason for my success was having a high level of activity. I wish I had the tools then that I have now. So I want to share some insider tips. But first some background on the techniques:
Face to Face Cold Calls
In the past I used to make many face to face cold calls on companies. The purpose of this activity was to learn things that would help me tailor my sales approach. For our industry this included things such as: what equipment the company used, their level of satisfaction, who made office equipment decisions, their contact information, when their lease or maintenance contracts were expiring, and other valuable sales information. With this information I could start my “Manual” sales nurture process.
As I matured in my sales ability, I was trained on solution selling techniques. When I learned how to use “Solution Selling” my research turned from wanting to know about lease expiries and maintenance renewals to a greater understanding of what the company did, who their competitors were, their revenue trends, who the senior people or decision makers were, where they used to work, if any senior people in my company had a relationship with any of them, and much more. This research was very valuable but time consuming. I could only do this level of research for my largest opportunities.
High Value Activities
I also used to perform what we called high value activities such as cold calls, lead follow ups, presentations, demonstrations, proposals, and closing calls. We manually tracked this activity and worked hard to make sure we were doing enough of these activities each week. By doing this well I overachieved my quota each year.
When I look back now this foundation of activity management was the single reason for the sales success I have enjoyed throughout my career. As I was promoted through various sales leadership roles, I kept these key activities as the “basics” of success. As I was promoted from individual contributor to manager of people, the focus shifted to making sure my teams were doing enough of the right activities on the right companies. By doing this better than my peers and competitors our sales soared no matter where I worked or the role I was given.
So why am I telling you this? Well, now we have tools that make the process I have used for over 20 years much easier. Now we have CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. If you have or are looking for a CRM system, this is the central tool to your success. Our company has chosen Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM as our main tool to grow sales ourselves and to help other companies do the same.
Today, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is used to manage so much more than sales and marketing. Typical uses include case management, grant management, member management accessed through portals, project management, tracking 360 degree view of the customer relationship by integrating with other back office systems, and much more.
Now that you have the background, I want to give you specific ways to use a CRM in a successful sales process. In fact, I will focus on what I consider the single most important aspect of having a well-configured CRM… Growing your company’s revenue!
For more information on how to use your CRM to increase sales,
This post is part 1 in a multi-part series, Stay tuned for part 2.
“Rob is VP of sales for CRM Dynamics headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Rob helps companies increase sales through structured programs centered on CRM. CRM Dynamics is a Gold certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Great Plains partner with over 20 years’ experience building custom CRM systems and one of the first Dynamics CRM partners in Canada.”
Sales focused web site
CRM/XRM focused web site
by Rob Triggs, CRM Dynamics Ltd.