We all know that follow up is essential for sales.
But how do you make your sales follow up better?
Consistently better. Every time. Whichever sales person is following up.
Here’s 10 ways CRM can help.
Harvard Business Review has published research showing how much more likely you are to have a real conversation with a decision-maker if you follow up online enquiries quickly
A properly configured CRM can allocate leads to the right people in real time. CRM can create and schedule follow-up tasks for each sales person. Even better, it can send them emails (even SMS if you prefer) notifying them of a new lead.
Lead allocation can be done in multiple ways to suit your business rules. This could be by existing connection with the individual or company, by the lead’s industry, by their geographic location, on a simple rotating basis or almost any other way you can think off. Once your CRM is correctly configured, this will happen automatically for every lead you get.
Your sales people won’t always get through on that first phone call. So what happens next in the follow-up process is vital. Maybe your company’s business rule is to call and leave a message if you can’t get through, then call again within a half-day. With a well designed CRM workflow, a simple click on a drop-down list can:
update your task with the time you called and the result (left message on voicemail)
create a new task to call again half a day later (if you don’t work 24×7, the Opsis Worktime for Workflow add-on can manage this so tasks are all scheduled within business hours)
send you reminder notifications at the appropriate time.
So now none of your leads slip through the cracks where you forget to call a second time.
Your sales people need to have all the details of an enquiry right at their fingertips when they call. This includes:
Your CRM keeps all this information in one place. Some solutions (for example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM with ClickDimensions added) even pull information about the lead in from their social media accounts. So your sales rep has a more rounded view and is better able to connect from the very first call.
CRM also makes it easy to check any previous interaction between your business and the lead. For B2B sales, that includes interactions with other individuals working for the same company. Not only can you see internal notes on meetings, you can also pull up documents which may have been sent to the lead or their colleagues. This could be:
This means your rep can get a 360 degree view of the lead quickly and won’t get caught unawares.
It goes without saying that the CRM contains all the contact details you have for that particular lead. So if you can’t get through on the direct line, you can try the mobile, or send an email. Or if you get through to a human being who gives you additional contact details, you can save them centrally while you’re still on the phone.
Most businesses want to follow up phone calls with confirmation emails. Some of these emails are very standard. For example an email to send if you cannot reach the prospect by phone, or additional information about a certain product people are enquiring about. Or a covering email to go with a quotation.
Create these emails as standard templates within CRM, and your system will automatically personalise the email with the correct details for a specific prospect. So now your follow-up is quick and accurate, with no important points left out.
There are probably certain things you want to know about every lead you qualify. They might be common questions like size of company, industry sector or size of budget. But some are probably more specific to you and your business.
For example, at Opsis, our entire focus is on helping companies with their CRM. So we want to know what CRM software and version they are using. We’re also interested in how their accounting and marketing software, since these often need to integrate with CRM. So whenever we have a qualification conversation, we’d like to find out about those areas.
Within CRM, we can create a specific view or form which includes data fields for all these questions. The sales rep can use the form to guide the conversation and make sure no key points are missed.
With all your data in one CRM, it’s easy to analyse and assess your sales follow-up in all sorts of ways.
Which reps are following up promptly?
Which lead source is delivering the best leads? (Ones which qualify in, rather than qualify out.)
You can also use reports to improve your follow-up.
An exception report for all overdue tasks will stop anything falling through the cracks completely when a rep is sick or on leave.
Download the free Opsis e-book ‘Achieving Sales Excellence with CRM’ for more information on reports you can use to improve your sales process.
Here’s an advanced idea! Why not try two alternative sales follow up processes and compare them with each other? For example,
Within CRM, you can set up an alternative process to test. Then apply it to one team and easily track whether the results are better or worse than your original process.
There will always be some leads which you don’t want to let go completely, but which you don’t want to spend too much time on. Use CRM to automate follow-up, to nurture them, so you save time but still stay connected. You can promote trust and familiarity without investing too much time. Then when the lead is ready to move to the next stage, you’ll be the first company they call.
We mentioned this before, but it’s so important we need to mention it again. Clever automation means you can save time and still personalise.
CRM can personalise with details about the prospect you are communicating with. It can also personalise with details of the CRM user sending the email, or the one who owns the prospect. So Peter, Paul and Mary can all use the same template, but their leads all get emails from the correct sales rep. Remember, the ‘R’ in CRM stands for ‘relationships’!
Can CRM help your sales follow up – and your sales results?
We’re sure it can! If you’d like to find out more, why not contact Opsis for a no obligation chat?
Opsis is an expert CRM consulting company. We are not an IT company, nor a management consultancy, although we often work with both of these. Our focus is wholly CRM, and particularly Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are based in Sydney, NSW, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. Our range of CRM services include CRM strategy, CRM scoping, CRM implementation, technical support and CRM training.