We’ve developed a CRM Adoption Process to answer this exact question. A key component of this strategy is to first assess your current situation starting with the quality of contact with customers and prospect. This can best be done through one-on-one interviews and ride-alongs. The next step is looking at the rest of your sales process to identify areas for improvements. Since time and resources are typically limited to complete larger projects like this, we will elaborate on a shorter process that can yield quicker results
|CTRAX||If you are happy with a team members sales do you care about how many contacts they make?|
|CTRAX||What about if they are getting all of their sales from existing customers?|
|Client||Then yes, I do care – they need to be creating new business|
|CTRAX||Do you know how often opportunities are or are not identified on call they make?|
|CTRAX||Do you have an idea who might be the most effective at finding them?|
|Client||I would assume it is my top producers but I do not know|
Would your answers be any different? To sell more you must sell more to existing customers, convert competitive customers, and or create new ones. Creating new ones can be difficult, if not impossible, so that leaves it to selling more to existing and converting competitive customers. In the quest for increased market share, there is one factor that is more important than any other, early identification of opportunities. If your team is finding opportunities and finding them early, you have a chance. If they find them late you typically get to the opportunity to compete on price. If they are not finding them, there is a different problem all together.
We need to emphasize the word EARLY because this is the key for a few reasons. Most organization we interviewed are extremely reactive. They move from the hot deal at the moment to the next. When customer are in purchasing mode, they are price sensitive, not a place you want to be. This leads to lots of negotiation and lower margins. Identifying opportunities as early as possible and moving them along prior to purchase gives you time to understand what customers need when they are willing to share it. They will not divulge the information you need to provide value and close a sale during price negotiations.
Accounts (customers and prospects) fall into one of two buckets. They are in a buying cycle, meaning you have some idea about their next purchase, no matter how far out, or you don’t know. Top producing organizations work on both buckets to take advantage of the high times and minimize the low. To illustrate this point let’s look at an oversimplified sales funnel. All of them, no matter the industry start with some form of contact.
Bucket 1 = Contact – You do not have any or enough information to identify an opportunity
Bucket 2 = Opportunity – The potential to sell something within a certain timeframe
- Contact (proactive or reactive) – Your organization initiated contact via your team or marketing efforts, or the account reaches out to you. Proactive contact could be any form of contact letting the account know you still exist and want to do business with them.
- Opportunity – An account is assessed for an opportunity to buy. Either something is identified, or they go back into the contact bucket to be contacted again or receive marketing promotions.
- Negotiation – This typically involves pricing, configuration changes, etc. to result in a purchase, lost sale, or the account does nothing. A lost sale or nothing could lead to finding another opportunity, or they go back to “contact” outside of the buying cycle.
- Fulfillment – Is follow through on the deal by completing setup, services, delivery, etc. This includes any step completed by any team member that would be expected by the customer.
- Follow-up – This can involve many steps, sometimes complex, to ensure customers are satisfied and you get the opportunity to sell to them again. At this stage, further opportunities are identified, or they go back into the contact bucket.
What is your sales process? Where are you weak and where are you strong? You do not need to go into uber amounts of detail on this. Simply document enough to identify what stage you first need to improve. Once you have found a step or stage that needs improvement ask yourself what would be the benefit if you did? The goal is to find something that if you change it can have a dramatic impact. The smaller the change and the bigger the impact the better.