The reason why so many companies are having great success with CRM solutions is that it creates an atmosphere of courtship that can lead to trust.
You may remember the days…not so long ago…when good sales people could make a cold call to a prospective buyer and close the deal that day. That type of selling is becoming ancient history. The companies who continue to expect that kind of sales technique are losing skilled sales staff, customers and money.
“Marry Me Syndrome”
Imagine being a guy who is invited to a large party where you don’t know many people. You spot a woman across the crowded space and instantly know that some day she will be your wife. You are confident that you have demonstrated all the characteristics this woman would ever want. Excited about finding the girl of your dreams, you hurry up to her…look her in the eyes while gently grasping both of her hands, and say – “Will you marry me?”
They say that women like a man who makes them laugh and that is exactly what any self-respecting woman would do in this instance. It would sound like the worst pick-up line ever and she would laugh at you immediately. It would be a story she would tell all her girlfriends and each time the story is told, giggling laughter would be part of the experience…at your expense.
Ask Her to Dance
A smarter way to get the girl’s attention would be to simply ask her to dance. While you are dancing, you get to know one another. You get to discover if first impressions are accurate. It is part of your “sort and qualify” system of meeting new women. If things go well, you may proceed to another part of the party where you can have a personal conversation. With time, the question about marriage becomes natural.
I’m sure you can see that this parable can easily relate to the way sales happen in today’s pressured sales environment. Less than 20% of the leads result in sales – across all industries with some of them coming in below 10%. The aggressive “sell, sell, sell” closing techniques that used to dominate sales teams are quickly losing power.
CRM to the Rescue
The good news is that you can automate “the dance” with new prospects. CRM technology opens up an unlimited number of ways to get to know your best customer, target your budget of time and resources, and increase the close ratio of your sales team.
Done right, online CRM software enables you to augment your current systems of product development and fulfillment – in addition to supporting the efforts of your sales people. Here are a few things you can expect from a properly implemented CRM program:
1. Systematize all your commitments, information and communication across all departments within the company. With input and collaboration with the sales staff, the entire company becomes a support system offering an exceptional customer experience.
2. Categorize your opportunities for sales success based on potential profitability. With the data gathered in a good CRM program, you can easily see trends and forecast cash flow. You can also clearly define the profile of your best customers and use that profile to prioritize the activities of your sales team.
3. Clarify your goals – both in the long term and the near term – based on more than historical revenue numbers. When you can confirm your expectations with concrete numbers, your forecasts become more accurate and the company is able to move forward with confidence.
Stop asking for the sale by knocking on the door of a prospect with a request to buy. Send your sales staff into the field with viable information about the qualifications of the prospect. Make it worth the sales professional’s time to contact them. Until the prospect has been vetted and qualified as a buyer – just ask them to dance awhile with a good email campaign and CRM.