Yes, you do.
So often I come across organisations who are asking staff to build pipelines and nurture relationships, ultimately to increase sales. But they still don’t see the vital importance of having a system that captures conversations with customers or prospects who aren’t interested right now.
At first this may seem like a thrifty, productive move – there’s no point collecting information from a ‘no’ call right?
To put it bluntly, if you’re not collecting this information then you’re being incredibly short-sighted. You see it’s not just about capturing information; recording what you do and what your staff do helps with future planning, understanding trends, analysing the success of certain offers, approaches or market segments and many other things. Far too many things to put in this article.
On top of this many organisations still don’t see that there’s anything wrong with five different employees from the company ringing the same prospect or customer, sometime in a short space of time. Not only is this annoying for potential prospects but by not sharing information you’re giving the message that your staff don’t communicate with each other internally.
Not great for your credibility.
I myself fell foul of this mistake many years ago. I’ve been in business for 25 years and fully admit to being guilty of this in the ‘old days’.
My CRM was sheets of paper and an excel spreadsheet. None of these could be shared. My staff had the same too and it was painful when they left trying to find the ‘bits of paper’ or making sense of a spreadsheet I’d never seen before. I had 15 staff at the time, they did tend to talk to each other and shared information, the problem was that it was often diluted or highly personalised. But at least it still existed.
Fast forward 20 years and whether it’s to make time or cost savings or simply because they don’t know better, some companies still use this method.
So what should you be doing when you use a CRM when making calls? Here’s my list of essential dos when it comes to internal communication, information sharing and recording
- Do record information that captures what was said during a conversation – you never know when you might be able use it again to ‘warm up’ a call. It also helps build a great profile of your potential customers going forward.
- Do use an automated tool that allows you to create follow up calls. Calling when you say you will doesn’t go unnoticed and is normally a reflection of how good you are at managing customer expectations going forward. Very important should that prospect ever become a client.
- Do create campaigns with potential prospects. Those who might have said ‘no interest now’, with permission still could be open to knowing more about you. Brand awareness has to start somewhere. In these days when consumers and businesses have so much choice, many like to take their time and build a relationship before parting with cash. With the right nurturing a no can become a maybe which could become a yes.
- Do recognise that when someone says they could have a need in 12 months, this is a great opportunity (if you’ve identified needs through questioning) to fit them into a pipeline. You can’t do that without an automated system! You can when you use a CRM. Follow these calls up.
- Do remember that trust and credibility are built over time. So take time to know those who aren’t in the market straight away. Social media is a great way to find out more about your ideal market – have somewhere to record this.
- Do put the cost of a CRM to one side. There are so many out in the market place, suiting so many different budgets it begs a question – why would you not want to record what you know on your customer? The initial investment usually pays for itself over time.