It was the best of sales; it was the worst of sales. As salespeople, we have experienced both extremes. We want to tell you a tale that is common in any industry that involves inside sales. This tale involves two salespeople, Fred and Mary, who work at competitive software-as-a-service (SAAS) companies. Both companies use inbound marketing strategies to attract leads. Fred’s and Mary’s responsibilities are to follow up and close sales. Both follow up with their leads as soon as the inquiry hits their inbox, but, more often than not, Mary closes more sales at a faster pace than Fred. To understand why let’s look at how they follow up and manage their leads.
First, we look at Fred. Fred uses spreadsheets to manage his leads. The leads come in the form of emails, phone calls, or business cards. When he receives the lead, he manually updates his spreadsheet which already has thousands and thousands of leads. He is often frustrated because he cannot remember if he sent a follow-up email, so he has to look through his sent box to see if he followed through. If he did, he needs to re-read the email to remind himself what he said. On top of that, sometimes he forgets to save his spreadsheet, or when his software or computer unexpectedly crashes, he must go back and re-enter his lead information and remember the details from conversations. As a result, it takes him longer to respond to leads, follow-through, and close sales because of Follow Up Fatigue. At the same time, customers are getting frustrated with the time it takes for responses.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Because Fred manually manages his lead follow up, he does not have time to think about other ways to nurture his customers and stay in front of them. He does not have the time to respond to individual customers or even groups of customers in the same phase of the sales funnel, so he tries things like a merged email list to send a mass email. However, he often experiences problems such as bounce-backs because the email is no longer valid or responses from irritated customers wondering why he is trying to suggest a product or service that they have already bought.
Fred is trying to do it all himself, and because of this, he experiences the worst of sales more than he would like to admit.
Now, Mary takes a different approach. She wants to close as many sales as she can in the least amount of time while continuing to offer great service to both leads and customers. She researched CRMs and presented the profitable and efficient benefits to her executives. They saw the need to invest in the CRM and made it happen.
With CRM, Mary has been able to streamline many responsibilities. Here are just a few:
- No matter where she is or what device she is using, she can access her up-to-date contact information.
- She created dynamic mail lists to segment her prospects by industry, geography, and size. Every time Mary makes a new contact, that person is added automatically to the specific list based on her criteria. When Mary wants to target a group, her dynamic lists are up to date and she does not waste time organizing her lists.
- She set up automated emails for leads. As a lead, they receive a warm welcome email followed by additional with frequently asked questions, testimonials, and product comparisons. The emails are non-intrusive. Rather, they are helping the lead make an informed decision.
- She set up another set of automated emails for customers. These emails include a satisfaction survey, new products that might interest them, and an assurance that she is available to assist them.
- Mary sets up notifications to contact customers that meet certain criteria such as a birthday, 6-month anniversary of becoming a customer, and so on. When she gets the notification, she reaches out personally to her customers.
- She can easily create accurate reports, so her company leadership can see goals and if they are being met or if they need to make adjustments to marketing campaigns, strategies, or tactics.
Mary often experiences the best of sales since she started using a CRM. So, what’s the point of this tale? Is Mary a better salesperson than Fred? No. In fact, they are both amazing with their leads and customers, but Fred is spread too thin as he tries to manage his data with a spreadsheet. In contrast, Mary, on average, boosts her sales by 29% and forecast accuracy by 42% by using her CRM, and at the same time, she reduces lead cost by 23% according to her Finances Online report.
Who are you? Are you Fred? Are you experiencing Follow Up Fatigue because you are trying to manage her leads and customers with a spreadsheet? Or are you Mary? Are you closing deals quickly and nurturing customers through new opportunities? If you relate to Fred, we would like to talk to you about your CRM needs and how it can improve sales while reducing Follow Up Fatigue. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-332-0613.
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- On August 4, 2020