Lead generation and getting enough high quality leads to fill your sales pipeline has, and probably always be extremely challenging. Even though the marketing department tries to do its’ job and generate as many sales leads as “technologically” possible, that doesn’t mean that that acquits a sales rep to do some prospecting and research on his own. But what happens when things get messy and they start to lose track of all the information, either by forgetting it or getting lost in a multitude of details? Well, we’ll talk exactly about how you can prepare for an effective prospecting and what’s the sales tool that’s going to make your life easier.
Why is prospecting so important and how can you identify the right prospects?
So, if you’ve already been initiated in the sales success strategy theories, you probably know by now that in order to get closer to closing a deal you need to respect some stages. Prospecting is one of these stages. You can’t sell a traditional watch to a blind person, now can you? You need to research the people that you’re going to pitch to.
Basically, if you’re getting a lot of no’s it could mean that you haven’t been doing a good job at finding the potential clients that truly could manifest an interest in buying from you.
Also, organizing and analyzing your data is going to be an essential part of your sales success rate in a certain domain.
How to choose the right people to sell to?
Imagine the client market as a jungle and yourself as a hunter, scanning the terrain for a certain type of animal for a city zoo. You set out into jungle knowing exactly what you want to hunt and that’s bears!
But the jungle’s full of all sorts of animals, are you gonna waste time and bullets shooting at some foxes and dears or are you going to explore some more until you encounter your soon to be precious prize, the grizzly bear?
Of course you’ll wanna aim for your desired target, the one that you’ve been reading and researching so much about, the one that fits the exact “profile” of the bear you need to take home to your zoo.
The thing we do first is to look at what lies in plain sight, so we try to analyze some of our current customers and figure out some of their basic characteristics, such as their industries, job titles, and locations. To segment our customer base, or to build deeper profiles, we take a look for common characteristics among customers’ social media groups, technologies used and skill sets.
As mentioned earlier, planning and analyzing our current data, as well as our whole sales activities takes a lot of skills like focus, good memory and organizing, skill set that nowadays shouldn’t even be mandatory anymore due to recent technology and tools that help us in that department.
That’s why one of the tools that we use is a CRM system.
Why do you need a CRM system?
The other day, I’ve read an interesting post on Mark Hunter’s insight about why he doesn’t like CRM systems for sales prospecting.
The reason is pretty simple.
He found that sales people fall under two categories: the ones that either blame their CRM system for being so complicated that it prevents them from doing what they need to be doing and the ones that use the lack of a CRM system as an excuse for not doing anything.
So we said: challenge accepted! You don’t need a CRM software if all it’s going to do is hinder the whole sales process. You need it to help you, to help you make better decisions when it comes to choosing your potential customers and to eventually close a sale.
These are the reasons why, when creating Zimplu CRM, we’ve built it with a focus on simplicity, ease of use and efficiency. Our main aim was to create and develop a CRM that helps sales reps minimize the time that they spend on organizing their activity in the CRM system, so that they can maximize the time they spend on actual selling.
In order to achieve that goal, we’re constantly working on the evolution of our CRM interface and user experience.
How does a CRM help salespeople?
So getting back to how a CRM software helps you to prospect better...
Truth be told, you’ll never meet a sales reps that failed when using the right Customer Relationship Management system or had too many prospects to talk to.
For the majority of salespeople, finding new customers is without a doubt the most difficult and stressful aspect of the profession.
Prospecting should be viewed more as a mindset rather than merely as an activity. It is something you need to be constantly aware of because you never know where your next prospect will be coming from. It really doesn’t matter how competent you are or how well you know your product line, if you don’t have a CRM tool and qualified prospect in front of you, you just can’t make the sale!
How can a CRM system help you prospect better?
1. Don’t waste time prospecting bad leads
Does this situation sound familiar? You’ve just found what appears to be a great new prospect only to find out that the account is already owned by your colleague or recently closed. Without CRM data, you’ll waste valuable time prospecting companies that the CRM solution could have already told you that are going to lead to a dead end.
2. Stay connected to your leads and potential customers
Routines can be boring but they do have their purpose. Professional (and successful) sales reps prospect and use Customer Relationship Management daily.
They create notes and tasks (like calling to follow up) that the system is going to keep them updated with. You need to be thorough though. Write down everything you talk to your potential customer and every activity that needs to be done.
Sales reps should treat their prospecting and CRM time with the same respect as they would any other important pitch appointment, otherwise, there is a tendency that it will slip through the cracks.
3. Amass information and make sure of process continuity
Yeah, we love post it’s too, they’re cute to have on your desk but they’re not all that productive. Gathering all the information in one place is going to make things a whole lot easier.
Plus, disturbing situations that come about when an informational transfer needs to be done are the worst! The problem of lost information between former and current sales reps almost always arises when a team mate leaves and all the information he collected leaves with him.
Well that’s not going to happen when every piece of information is written down in a CRM system.
4. Connect while the situation is still “hot”
When working with a new prospect, it is important to make contact quickly and note any activities with your CRM tool. Prospects are perishable. No matter how interested a prospect may seem to be, never wait for them to contact you.
Several sales reps are competing interests for your prospect’s time and money. The CRM is going to permanently remind them about the activities that they need to do in order to figure out if a customer has potential or not.
5. Learn from your experiences
Sales reps shouldn’t just forget about the rejection they get. Any form of feedback can be used as a way to improve their presentation.
They can record the comments in the CRM software and, in time, learn from what they’ve done wrong, having the added benefit of helping other people out too.
Sales reps should never forget that with every sales rejection they receive, they get step closer to making the sale!
So, as you can see prospecting can be made a whole lot easier with the right CRM tool and we guarantee that your reps will thank you and see immediately how their sales go up.