Daily Archives: September 10, 2014

5 Ways to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your CRM Software

Buying CRM software is just the tip of the Customer Relationship Management iceberg. You’ll need to conduct additional planning if you want to utilize this software to its optimum potential. We understand it can be difficult to accept change and learn about a whole new system, but it’s true that this type of software is supposed to provide an ease of use for relationship management within your company. Check out these five tips and tricks to explore the full benefits of the process.

CRM Tips and Tricks

Develop a roadmap. It’s crucial to put a plan into action prior to buying your CRM software, so you must know ahead of time what your plan is for software implementation as well as your long-term goals. Put it all on paper and brainstorm some actionable items for your CRM approach before implementing it.

Keep the whole team in the loop. If your CRM plan is to be successful, you’ll need to be fully committed, and this means all of your teammates, too. Train all employees in the use of the software and invite them to strategy discussions to keep everyone updated. Your team should understand that this process should eliminate unnecessary work for them over the long haul, with a goal to maximize communication through a central hub of activity where everyone knows all parts of the conversation taking place.

Track important information. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed in tracking the minutiae of customer information. Instead, track the most important information across the board with a standardized template within the software. To tap into the full potential of CRM software, you must track every communication you make with a potential customer so your team is always on the same page at all times.

Determine metrics for tracking on your dashboard. As the eyes and ears of your campaigns, the CRM dashboard helps you determine what works and what doesn’t. The metrics you select are highly dependent on the overall goal of each campaign. For instance, when it comes to lead generation campaigns, track the number of leads you receive and where they originated. Engagement metrics like click through rates are the focus of lead-nurturing campaigns.

Provide consistent updates. To keep track of sales growth, it’s essential that you update all customer information as it happens, noting each move your clients take throughout the sales lifecycle. Don’t forget about those prospects who eventually turned into customers and what they bought. Sales leads will also need to be tracked so your team can make the appropriate calls at the right time.

Implementation of CRM software may sound difficult at first but you will reap the benefits over the long run if you follow these tips and explore the advantages this process provides your company.

Craig Klein

Craig Klein is CEO and Founder of SalesNexus.com, a leading web based customer Craig-Headshot1relationship management (CRM) and email marketing solution for sales teams. Craig’s passion is helping businesses grow. He believes that when businesses grow, employees, customers and families lives improve and communities thrive. Craig’s the author of “Grow Sales with Emails” and several other popular e-books. He is a contributor to Small Business Today Magazine and has appeared as a featured speaker at the Digital Marketer’s Email World 2013, the TEANA 2012 Conference and many other exhibitions and conferences. Read more from Craig here. Connect with Craig – @craigklein or on LinkedIn.

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3 Reasons to Look Externally for Sales Coaching

It’s well known that sales coaching can have a positive effect on the results a sales team garners. However, you have two different options when it comes to delivering on that coaching need. Either the management team can offer one-on-one coaching sessions in-house, or it can look outside the organization to outsource a sales coach to work one-on-one with each sales person. You’ll see below why the latter could be an advantageous option for your company.

1. Open Communication

In order to have effective coaching, you must maintain an open line of communication between client and coach. If the sales person feels uncomfortable opening up to the coach, the results will not be as positive and the effectiveness of making improvements will diminish. This often happens when an internal manager and sales person are paired together for coaching, as the sales rep may not want to divulge all his vulnerabilities to that in-house manager.

When you provide external sales coaching, the lines of communication typically open up because there is no fear of retribution or competitive drive. It also helps that there’s usually a confidential agreement signed between coach and client to keep everyone honest and willing to open up freely.

2. Internal Exploration

More challenges exist when you have a sales manager providing sales coaching, as a sales manager and a sales person will usually share the same goals – generate more business, close more deals, etc. This share-goal element makes it difficult for the sales manager to be objective throughout the duration of the coaching session.

For example, it natural for a sales managers to often feel the need to correct the sales person when they are doing something wrong. And this desire can easily and frequently arise during a coaching session. But it’s important to hold back on the direction and instead let the sales person use self-reflection to learn what’s the best course of action. With the specter of the chain of command looming over their heads, this can be challenging when an internal manager is providing coaching.

3. Coaching Expertise

Most sales managers have several areas of knowledge they are proficient in, mostly due to many years of experience in managing sales teams. They also typically possess deep knowledge of the products, policies and processes of the company.

However, even though there knowledge and experience is likely impressive, it can be very possible that they may not have a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of sales coaching. Coaching is a skill and this may be one that might not have been taught or developed by the sales manager.

To perform powerful and productive coaching,  there can be elements of discovery, active listening, brainstorming, action planning, progress tracking, etc. This can be difficult for someone that has not deep knowledge about sales coaching. Even is a sales manager has been trained on coaching, they still might not get in enough practice in that area to become really effective in breaking into the minds of the people he or she is coaching.

Going External for a Sales Coach
When you look at those three factor, you can see how the utilization of an external sales coach can have some positive benefits. By having someone that is an expert in coaching with that being all they do, and having the ability to bring down the walls around a sales person and establish very powerful and productive discussions, you can create a coaching program that is better positioned for noticeable performance improvements.

Michael Halper

Michael Halper, founder and CEO of SalesScripter and author of “The Cold Calling Equation – PROBLEM SOLVED, is an expert on how to penetrate new accounts, get meetings with executives, and generate leads. His mastery of this area began while working in hunting roles selling technology products to large corporations and took it to the next level while building and managing an inside sales call center.

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