Sales Influence Demands Sales Force Automation

I recently contributed a post on sales influence to the Sales Bloggers Union. There’s a really interesting conversation going on there about sales influence. Check it out here.

I got to thinking though… about how Influence is nice but, Trust is more lasting and more powerful.

In other words, its fine to be able to get people’s attention, give a great presentation, bond with them, have the gift of gab, etc.

However, it takes real trust to get a significant order. And in today’s fast paced, Internet world, we don’t have time to build trust the old fashioned way.

A sales person can build trust more quickly by creating opportunities to meet or exceed expectations. In other words, rather than ending a meeting by saying “I’ll get back to you soon with more information.”, you say “I’m going to prepare a summary of the needs you’ve described to me and some recommended solutions for you and I’ll email that to you by tomorrow at 10am.” By being more specific, you’re setting the customers expectations more clearly and then when you meet or exceed them, he learns to trust you.

So, can your online CRM system help build trust? Can a sales force automation solution create opportunities to meet and exceed expectations?
I think a web based CRM software solution combined with an email marketing solution can!

Think about it…

If your process is a series of steps including some follow up calls, sending a proposal, scheduling a presentation, and emails sent to the prospect to inform him/her about specific strengths of your company, etc., then why not describe that whole process in detail. Tell the customer, “Tomorrow, I’ll send you a detailed cost analysis, then on Monday morning, I’ll send a side by side comparison of our solution with your current vendor.”, etc.

Then just schedule the campaign in your online CRM or sales force automation system and have it automatically meet your customers expectations. Of course, you could be more subtle and specific with this approach. Try it and let me know how it works!