This is a story about Alice, a business owner of a small HVAC installation and service company. She works primarily in the B2B space by servicing owners and managers of commercial properties including shopping centers, hospitals, restaurants, and office buildings. Alice is in charge of the sales team and Max who reports to Alice is in charge of each HVAC project with 2 crew chiefs under him.
Max’s production team uses the CRM effectively to manage projects, maintenance contracts, and to remind customers automatically about upcoming service dates. Because of great service, they have a high customer retention rate. However, Alice notices that her sales team is not efficient in prospect follow-up. They do not follow up in a timely way and seem to be chasing the wrong prospects. As a result, they are starting to exhibit symptoms of Follow Up Fatigue such as excessive phone calling to close a sale and going after “low-hanging fruit”. She decides to track prospecting with her CRM and use her CRM’s Sales Funnel. She wants her team to go after prospects that are ready and willing to use her services instead of following up with mediocre leads that are always on the fence with little in return.
Knowing that Alice is not quite sure how to do this, she reaches out to a consultant who specializes in customer prospecting. The consultant tells her to create the ideal “Prospect” profile. To accomplish this, the consultant helps her answer the following questions:
- Who buys Alice’s services?
- Which real estate industry segments need her services the most?
- What do customers in these segments have in common? Pain points? Needs?
- Who in the prospect organization has the greatest level of influence?
- What are the characteristics of the prospects that have the shortest sales cycle?
These are questions that will take time to answer. Alice is resourceful and knows how to use hard data. This data can be found in her CRM. The consultant helps Alice look at her data and here is what she found:
- Of all of her real estate customers, the ones most likely to buy are the ones who must have a working HVAC system running 24/7.
- What do the customers in these real estate industry segments have in common? If the HVAC system is down, it could affect their ability to perform their responsibilities and those who they are helping.
- Those with the greatest level of influence or have the authority to make decisions usually oversee operations.
- The shortest sales cycles happen when Alice’s sales team shows the prospect a plan of action that leaves little doubt in the prospect’s mind.
This leads Alice to see that her ideal prospects are in the healthcare and first responder industries such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations, and police stations.
Alice wants to share these insights with her sales team, but she does not need to create a spreadsheet. Instead, she creates a report in her CRM and shares it with her team. She uses this report as a baseline for prospect tracking. Defining the ideal prospecting profile is just the beginning. In Part Two of this story, we will see how Alice and her team can work together using their CRM to improve prospecting.
Can you relate to Alice? Is your sales team tired from chasing mediocre leads? Prospecting is an important part of sales. It helps you see the patterns of those who need your services the most and are most likely to buy. When you focus your prospecting on your most needy prospects, you are likely to reduce Follow Up Fatigue. If you are not using your CRM for prospect tracking, you can do so by starting with defining your ideal prospect. Do you have questions? We would love to talk to you. Call us at 301-332-0613 or fill out the form below.