How do you track your prospecting activity? Do you simply keep a stack of business cards in a pile on your desk and write notes on them? Do you keep everything in some sloppy Excel sheet? Or do you have a powerful system for organizing all of your different contacts that links to your calendar?
If your answer is not the latter, then you are leaving a ton of money on the table in lost sales.
Meet Dave. Dave is the owner of a $2M printing company. He has 20 key clients and is the only prospector in his company. On his desk, he keeps a box with all of the business cards of all his important prospects piled up inside. Every time he reaches out to a prospect, he makes a note on their card and marks when he should call back. Whenever he has time to prospect, he simply flips through the pile of cards.
However, Dave admits that a bunch of potentially big prospects have ‘slipped through the cracks’ in the past. Those possible opportunities could have helped Dave bring in an additional $400K just last year. Finally, Dave realizes this problem is unacceptable, so he takes my recommendation to invest in a cloud-based CRM system.
In this case, Dave signs up for Salesforce.com. For only a few bucks each month, Dave is able to import all of his data into the system and link any future calls with his calendar. When an opportunity arises, Dave creates and Opportunity in Salesforce and can then look at all of his upcoming Opportunities for sales this quarter. He has a clean prospecting list. He has all of his appointments linked to prospects in his Salesforce calendar. He has put all of his critical information into the system.
As a result, Dave gains an additional 20 minutes each time prospecting since he doesn’t have to sort through all of the cards each time. And, most importantly, nothing ever slips through the cracks anymore. The investment of about $25 per month allows him to make those additional $400K in sales this year.
I have seen this story many times. If you do not have an effective CRM system right now, get one. It is costing you too much not have one.
Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales management speaker.