Are you losing track of your possible clients?
Whether you are selling solar panels or nutritional supplements, you need to be keeping track of all your prospects. If your way of keeping track of leads is with a pen and paper, you might be losing money! I can remember one of the first jobs I had when I was first starting in the workforce I was working for a company who kept their sales leads on index cards. Each sales agent had its own stack of cards and their own index box. I sure hope that the company evolved with the times and invested in a better way to keep track of their leads. We all understand smaller businesses have smaller budgets, but tracking your leads is basically tracking your money. So this is one of the most important investments you’ll be making in your business. All large companies use what’s called CRM (customer relationship management) software.
What does CRM do?
The CRMs of today’s market can do just about anything, from saving the contact information on a sales lead, to actually calling that lead from your computer via a VOIP softphone. But to give you a basic idea of what a simple system can do for your small business would be the following items:
· Log & track all contact information on a lead; name, phone#, fax#, email address, address, etc.
· Logging of all the dates and times you might have spoken or emailed that lead
Reminder: it can set appointments and follow up calls to your leads
· Monitor your sales team work process & sales history
· Keep track of marketing, what type of marketing is working best for your business
· Projections: based on history, it’ll be able to tell you projections
Those are just some areas of what you can expect out of a decent CRM. Imagine if you had the ability to check and balance your sales team, if you knew from pulling a report from your CRM if your sales agent will hit their required sales. If that sales agent was on a draw, and it would normally take you 4 to 6 months to figure out if they were going to make it out in this business. Using the reporting in a CRM might be able to tell you if it’s worth keeping them on the draw for those extra months or it might tell you to cut them from the draw earlier, which will end up saving you money!
Another great feature to most CRM’s these days is the fact they are web-based or cloud-based. What that means is the software won’t necessarily need to be installed on a server or individual workstations, if you have secure access to the internet you would be able to access the CRM, yes they even have CRMs that will work with most smartphones and tablets! If your small business doesn’t have the working capital to invest in a CRM, our suggestion would be to look around for ones that are free. They might not be as robust, but it’s a great start to get an idea of how they work and how it can turn some old leads into sales!
After you spent all that time, effort, and money on marketing and getting that lead, why would you not invest in a system to keep track of those leads? A good analogy is like, saying you worked all those long hours to make a sale and you finally have cash and you decide to take the cash and put it in a shoebox versus putting it in the bank where it’s safe and you can keep track of it. So please, invest a little money or time, and put those leads somewhere safe instead of your shoebox.