Sell Better. Sell Faster. Sell Smarter.
By Tony Cole, CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group
When a company first starts out, there probably isn’t much of a sales process, or team, in place. The one or two advisors target prospects, introduce them to the company, and close deals according to their own preferred methods.
Of course, as the business grows, sales leaders must implement a repeatable, scalable process to turn a trickle of income to a steady, predictable stream. With all salespeople using the same systems and playbooks and adhering to the same process, the sales organization (hopefully) becomes a well-oiled machine instead of a Frankenstein-esque contraption stuck together with duct tape.
What’s the secret to accelerating sales growth? While people and process usually precede systems, sales is somewhat of an exception. The right customer relationship management system (CRM) can help empower people and define process.
The right CRM system can accelerate your business’ growth, bring in profitable, happy clients, and enable your sales team to sell better and faster.
Sales today is a far cry from what it was just 20 years ago. The advent of search and social media means sales requires research and careful customization as well as knocking on doors and building relationships.
But different doesn’t always mean better. Even though changing times necessitate new approaches, some salespeople merely transfer their old methods to modern channels and sometimes they are still effective because of their relationships and network.
As with the introduction of technology into the workplace, change is coming if it hasn’t already- and change is hard. But the right CRM system can not only enable salespeople to update their practices, it can also give them a competitive edge.
Contextualize Sales Outreach
When a salesperson receives an inbound lead or decides to target a specific company or decision maker, they don’t have to go into the initial outreach blind. Today, there is a plethora of buyer information at the salesperson’s fingertips. Before picking up the phone or writing a cold email, advisors can research their buyers on:
- Search engines
- Company websites
- Industry-specific sites
Unfortunately, these virtual spaces don’t give the advisor context on what the contact already knows about their company, nor does it provide evidence of an already existing relationship.
CRM to the rescue. A CRM that integrates with your marketing automation system gives sales reps a comprehensive picture of the prospect’s recent interactions with your company. Clearly this knowledge is valuable.
Let’s say a prospect downloaded an eBook on a specific industry trend yesterday. Armed with this insight, the salesperson can subsequently customize a cold email to mention this trend, and offer expertise. Since the topic is evidently top-of-mind for the prospect, the advisor stands a much better chance of grabbing their attention with this email and receiving a response.
On the other hand, the advisor might take a much different approach if the same contact checked out the product’s pricing page in the last hour. A demo or free trial is a more appropriate and interesting offer in this case.
A tight bond between marketing automation and CRM enables FAs to layer context onto their outreach. And this, in turn, helps their emails and calls to stand out amidst a sea of bland, generic pitches.
Make Sure Nothing Falls Through the Cracks
It’s rare to get a prospect’s attention on the very first outreach attempt. More often than not, a sales rep will need to reach out again, and again … and again.
Persistence is a virtue in sales. Most sales experts espouse making between six and 10 attempts before giving up on a prospect. Abandoning prospects too soon could leave money on the table.
But how can a sales rep keep all their assorted prospects and outreach attempts straight? Depending on the number of leads a salesperson is working at any given time, trying to remember to call Company X on Tuesday, Organization Y on Friday, Business Z on Monday, and sending check-up emails on Thursday, Wednesday, and Saturday is all but impossible.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the CRM took this memory game off sales reps’ plates? With the right system, this isn’t just a pleasant dream — it’s a reality.
Many modern CRMs include task modules that automatically alert sales reps of who to follow up with and when. Salespeople can simply set a reminder, and forget it.
When the time rolls around to reach out again, advisors also benefit from having all prior contact attempts at their fingertips. HubSpot’s CRM automatically saves and logs voicemails and emails, as well as any buyer interactions that have taken place in the interim. With the right context at hand, salespeople can tailor their follow-ups based on what the buyer’s done and what’s already been said.
As outreach becomes more and more personalized, reps become more likely to receive a response, not less.
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