6 Tips for Using CRM Software to Become a Super Salesperson
I have long argued that sales is a noble profession. One which requires skill and practice, and which is often under estimated by both employer and customer alike.
Let’s face it, sales people get a bad rap. Anyone can put on a pressed suit and shiny shoes and declare themselves “in sales” but to be a real sales person you have to acquire hours and hours of practice (10,000+ say some) to learn the craft. And you have to display large doses of emotional intelligence (EQ), which is difficult to fake.
How can CRM (customer relationship management) software help with that?! I hear you ask.
- Become more trustworthy
If you’ve worked in sales a while, you will know that you inevitably have to jump the “trust hurdle” early on in the relationship (sometimes more than once).
To the prospect, you are always “trying to sell them something”.
Everyone involved knows what’s in it for you as the sales person, but your role is to guide the prospect towards understanding what’s in it for them.
Hard to do if they don’t trust you.
Genuine sales people won’t be interested in selling to a prospect if it isn’t right for them to buy. But there will be plenty of disingenuous sales people who won’t care.
You need to differentiate yourself – and fast.
Trust starts with something as simple as calling when you say you’re going to; down to the minute. If someone asks you to call at 4pm, you need to do it. If it’s 12.15pm, lift the receiver at 12.14pm. Even if the prospect can’t take your call, you’re still sending messages that you are good to your word.
Likewise if a proposal is to be with the prospect by Friday afternoon – send it Friday afternoon.
Salesforce automation within good CRM software will send you alerts (via email or on your screen) with call reminder times. Task management will help you to achieve key sales tasks (like sending proposals) to deadline.
The key is that the system remembers everything for you but only alerts you when it’s time to action it (as you programme it).
It’s management by exception so you don’t need to worry about that all to human frailty – forgetfulness.
2. Free up your time to sell
A good CRM software will automate much of what you need to do.
For example, you only need to enter the data once, at lead creation stage [to watch our training video on how to create a lead within NetSuite click here]. Thereafter you will just be pushing it through the sales pipeline by pressing buttons or selecting items from a drop down.
Also, you can create templates for the emails you most commonly send, or for quotes, or sales orders. Simply by selecting key pieces of information in a systematic way you can create the documents you use most in an automated fashion, freeing up bags of time to simply sell.
3. Standardise best practice
As a natural continuation of the above, by standardising your quotes, orders and emails you will be creating best practice which can be shared across the group.
As well as being a real time saver, your company will appear more professional and the customer will have a better overall experience.
You can also use CRM software to replicate your sales process.
For example your process might contain a certain number of “touch points”, or guide you to capture certain information, or have defined stages of sale, expected opportunity to close times….. what ever fits your business.
If all sales staff use a system which pushes them down this predefined route, then even the most inexperienced of sales people will learn best practice early on. It will fast track their success.
Anyone interested in learning about the importance of a sales process, I can highly recommend this book.
4. Improve your forecasting
How good are you really when it comes to forecasting?
I’ve worked with all kinds of sales people. They largely break down into the following personality types:
- The Sandbagger: those who under promise and over deliver. The pipeline is dry. The clients are not available. Then lo and behold, a day before deadline things start coming good. That way, falling short of the target still makes them a hero because they’ve gone from nothing to something.
- The Optimist: those who over promise and under deliver. The pipeline is stuffed full of opportunities that your optimist is convinced will close this month. They’ll behave this way because they like the praise and adulation they get through the month. When they fall substantially short of forecast at the month end, the day of pain is worth taking for the month of adulation.
- The Secret Squirrel: those who don’t even attempt to forecast. They want to avoid telling anyone anything about their sales forecast. Knowledge is power to this person and they don’t want to relinquish it if they can help it.
- The Manipulator: those who have already hit their target so they deliberately delay other deals in order to help them towards the next target, even to the detriment of the company
- The Team Player: the pipeline is accurate, and usually looks good. If it doesn’t look good, it’s not for want of trying. They won’t hide sales and will happily oversell one month – even if it means underselling the next – if it helps the team or business.
Guess which one is preferred by customers, employers and colleagues?
Getting good at using sales pipeline tools will make you a better sales person and it will help the business with cash flow, planning, resourcing and stability.
In sales, it’s part of your job. If you’re not doing it right, you’re not as good as you could be.
5. Build relationships
This is an obvious one. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. The software has been designed to help you build your relationship with your customer and prospect.
It does this by holding crucial information about your prospect so that you can deliver relevant information in a time sensitive and customer centric way.
You should be able to use your CRM software to slice and dice information so that you are sending marketing specific messages or having appropriate conversations with your customers, rather than wasting their time with irrelevant messages and conversations.
You can also capture all the things you think are appropriate to know (or remember) about that customer against their record. I’m sure many a salesperson has achieved success by remembering the name of the prospect’s dog.
6. Make you more desirable in the market place
Most companies use some kind of CRM software these days. Being able to use one of the better known ones (like NetSuite CRM software) will make you really desirable to future employers.
Being able to use a CRM software well, will improve your value in the market place.
Written by Emma Stewart – CRM Evangelist at Cofficient Ltd. We provision really smart CRM software to enable really smart sales teams.
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