How to Make a Print Sales Rep’s Head Explode
Looking to get a sales rep to bristle? Utter the acronym “CRM” within earshot. You are sure to get the reaction you’re looking for.
In the eyes of many salespeople, CRM’s are created as a management-control mechanism. To them, it’s one more thing that keeps them from selling.
Few see the real value.
I get it. I see both sides.
While I agree anything that slows down a hungry sales rep is bad, I also understand the need to keep track of activity. But when does that need start and how much is enough/too much?
I see no need to record every contact detail right out of the chute.
Start light: Contact name, company, phone, and email. This represents the bare minimum. And don’t feel the need to use any fancy recording tool or software. At this early stage, use a pad of paper if you like or, at most, a spreadsheet.
During the prospecting process, the only additional record-keeping is the date and outcome of any ongoing attempts. For example, “10/20 LVM” denotes, “I left a voicemail on October 20.” All you really need to know during this prospecting stage is what you did and when you did it. That way, you are able to look at the history of past attempts.
You can stay at this record-keeping level until they prove themselves to be worthy of more. Worthy, in this case, means some actual correspondence between the two of you. Perhaps they responded to your email or picked up the phone and took your call. These are both good signs. At that point, you’re going to want to step up to something…
More robust: One of the most important features of a good CRM is keeping track of the contact you have with this person. You’re going to want to take note of the date, communication method (email, phone, etc.), and details of the conversation … EVERY detail, no matter how small. It’s here that you want to use a good CRM.
Only after this prospect moves to a more serious stage do you really need to think about gathering details such as address and website.
In the end, the most important part of the CRM conversation isn’t the contact info. It’s detailing the conversation(s). You want to be able to go back and recall what was discussed and what was important.
Given the fact it is easier to be the 25th caller for Springsteen tickets than it is to get an appointment with a prospect, you can start out in the shallow end of the CRM pool and go from a few contact details to a full biography of details as you head into deeper waters.
Have a great selling week!
More tips and ideas and motivation from Bill Farquharson can be found at BillFarquharson.com or by calling Bill at 781-934-7036.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.