CRM was designed to help us keep us organised, while the worlds number 1 CRM, Salesforce, does so much more, actually being organised is still its primary function! It’s never been a natural part of our make up as sales people to be particularly organised (I’ve been selling for 20+ years) so anything that helps us to stay on top of things, be able to communicate our numbers, know who to call and when and have all the information we need on demand, its clear, for me at least….CRM has really helped me be successful, that and my golf clubs ????!
But lets take a closer look….why does Salesforce give me the advantage? Surely it is more about how we perform in a presentation, the attractiveness of the product, solution or service we are offering, or how well you get on with a CEO over the phone or on the golf course…..But is that really how we sell these days, is it time to consign my golf clubs to the shed…..reality is that the world has changed and the dinosaurs need to catch up.
So its time to look at why my deals are slipping, its time to get organised, its time to use technology, workflow and process effectively.
It’s ‘time’ to get specific
Time specific tasks – or more accurately, creating and adhering to time specific tasks – are perhaps the single most important part of Salesforce for a busy sales person. If a prospect asks you to call them at 10am on Tuesday morning, it is imperative that this appointment is kept in order to avoid allowing the lead to fall by the wayside. Similarly, if a prospect does not specify a time to you for your next conversation, it can pay dividends to pin them down to a specific time, and enter it into Salesforce as a time-specific task. Additionally, it is vital to keep your tasks organised, so that this important time specific task does not get ‘lost’ in the crowd.
The importance of workflows
If you have a lot of things to do which are floating around in your Salesforce as tasks, you risk them distracting you from the time specific tasks which can be crucial the organisational aspect of deal making. That’s why using workflows makes so much sense for these non-time specific tasks. You can pick them up as and when you choose, depending on the priority of each area of work. And crucially, they will not get in the way of your tasks which must be done at a particular time.
Standardise you working week
Now you have channelled your non-time-specific tasks into workflows, it will be easy for you to plan the working week ahead, based on your time-specific tasks. Whether it is blocks for outgoing calls, hours set aside for revisiting prospects who have gone cold, or allocating time for conference calls; it all becomes a lot easier and more organised within your Salesforce. You will have the right information to hand, when you need it, and won’t fall into the trap of forgetting to make an email or phone call – one of the common ways in which a deal can slip or worst still lost.
As I get to grips with Salesforce the Silver Softworks team have asked me to guest blog from time to time. Check back for my updates and lets see if I can pull myself into the 21st century.
William Lynch is a veteran sales director that has worked for some of the world leading brands. Bill started back when personal computers where a nice to have and has seen technology grow at an unprecedented rate. Bill tours the country talking to company boards from companies who know they need to change, who need to better use technology and who are having to compete on a global stage…look back for more in the coming weeks.