In this business environment, you need to stop making Customer Relationship mistakes and hang on to each profitable customer. Although you may see lots of people making these familiar errors, you don’t want to be one of them. Use this as a checklist to make sure you are following the best business practices for building a solid customer relationship.
1. Using your CRM software primarily to monitor sales people. In its infancy, CRM software was developed for sales people to keep track of sales leads and sales managers to keep track of sales people. If that is still the way you are using this powerful resource, you are losing money that you should be making. It does nothing to deepen the customer relationship.
2. Trusting the optimism of salespeople for pipeline forecasts. By nature, a salesperson is going to be optimistic. They cannot survive in the brutal world of sales without the positive attitude. If you depend on salespeople to forecast future sales, pipeline reports will always be inaccurate. Instead, use the CRM software to track elements of the sales process. Then, when salespeople report on the steps taken toward the sale, you have data to support your expectations.
3. Not having an online CRM “in the cloud”. Even if you have an inside sales team, you will benefit from having access to the data anywhere with an internet connection. Most of your salespeople use smart phones and can respond to requests from sales leads any time and any place. Don’t lose business by having all your data in house.
4. Operating with CRM silos of information for each department. If you are smart, you use CRM software in other departments like customer service, marketing, accounting, etc. In the old days, departments were very protective of their own data. That’s a BIG mistake today. If everyone in the company has the same data, the customer relationship is in the center of every operation within the company. That is the path toward customer relationship loyalty.
5. Focusing more on lead generation than lead nurturing. Having a boatload of sales leads does not mean as much as it did in the past. In fact, with the internet having too many sales leads has become a problem in many companies. Sales team members need to know how to quickly disqualify any sales lead that is not ready to buy right away. Most of the sales leads will not qualify. Those leads are placed in email automation for lead nurturing.
6. Chasing every sales lead using tried-and-true closing tactics. Closing tactics will often lead to total dismissal by today’s internet empowered customer. They can see right through your tried-and-true closing methods and will shut down the conversation immediately. Bye-bye sales lead.
7. Sending email campaigns that extol the benefits of your product or service. Just like using closing techniques, today’s decision makers don’t care about you, your company, product or service. They want you to educate them with valuable information they can use to make a decision – even if the decision is to purchase from someone else. It sounds brutal, but it is real. Thanks to marketing automation, you can turn that generosity of information into inbound marketing success.
8. Writing original emails that are similar to ones you send to other sales leads. Talk about a time-waster…any time you write a similar email more than once per week, it should become a part of your email automation. The extra special benefit of automating these emails is you can track the effectiveness of the message and tweak it to be constantly improved. You can delight the customer, control the quality and save team member’s time. It’s all good.
9. Not communicating after the sale is made and the product has been delivered. We live in a world where buyers demand to be the center of your operation. You could call them selfish or narcissistic and you may be right. The way they see themselves is as good decision makers, always in search of the better deal. Customers will be extremely loyal, but it takes a concerted effort after the sale to build a customer relationship built on trust.
10. Not tracking which email is opened and if the recipient clicks on links inside the email. A good online CRM is a rich database of useful information about what works and what does not. Taking the time to set up your CRM to track “opens and clicks” pays off in spades.