Why do I need CRM software for sales?

by Shannon F. Many small businesses that we encounter prefer doing things the old-fashioned way—even if that means recording customer and prospect information in the margins of a mildewed ledger by the light of a dripping candle. We’ve found that making sales cold calls doesn’t actually take much time—it’s preparing for and logging those calls the old-fashioned way that can be time-consuming. Thumbing through spreadsheets to find your contact takes a couple of precious minutes, and after you’ve made the call, you’ll waste even more time scribbling notes, setting a follow-up call date in your calendar, and looking up the prospect’s email address to send a follow-up message. If you are doing everything manually, there are simply not enough hours in the day to make all the calls you need to drive revenue and achieve your sales goal this year. You better learn to like working by candlelight, because you won’t be able to afford your electric bill. The thing is, we understand why so many salespeople like doing everything on paper. It’s simple and intuitive to get your leads in a spreadsheet and work through them with nothing but a notepad and a telephone. It’s just slow. And unfortunately, today’s salespeople need to speed up productivity to reach their busy prospects. Gone are the days when you could get in touch with someone via a single easy phone call. The good news is that there are some pretty fast CRMs on the market that are simple and intuitive to […]

Is Your CRM Stressing out Your Sales Team?

If your sales team is frustrated by their CRM, you’ll see some signs like:   Decrease in productivity Failure to meet sales goals Low morale Outright refusal to use sales software Mood swings Teeth-grinding, hair-pulling, or general listlessness   As a sales manager, you’re understandably concerned when your salespeople aren’t performing to the height of their potential. Poor performance can’t always be attributed to insufficient tools and resources, but in the case of slow sales software in today’s fast-paced marketplace, it’s easy to understand why sales reps are getting frustrated. Let’s take a look at the average sales software. It’s designed for managing existing clients, so making cold calls to new prospects and suspects using this software can be arduous. Every salesperson knows that reaching prospects on the phone (and getting them to listen to your pitch) is now harder than ever. In fact, it often takes twice as many calls to reach a prospect as it did ten years ago. But does each call have to take so long? Sales reps use as many as 300 mouse clicks per ten cold calls and take an average of six minutes to log a single call. Since it takes about 7 calls on average to make contact with a decision-maker, a sales rep could be spending upwards of 35 minutes just getting a single prospect on the phone, once. (And of course, the prospect probably won’t say yes the first time.) That’s why faster CRM is a trend we’re seeing a […]

Top 5 Ways to Engage Prospects Before You Sell

If you’re familiar with the concept of engagement marketing, you know that giving prospects something valuable for free can help you close deals down the road. The trick is not to bring up your sales pitch yet—don’t even think about it. When you have wined, dined, educated, and inspired your prospect, only then can you seek an opening for discussion of your product or service. But what exactly should you offer to your potential customers? We list our top five favorite freebies. 1. An invite. You can contact prospects via LinkedIn, use your sales automation software to log in some cold calls, or send the old-fashioned snail mail invitation. Just make sure the word gets out to your prospects that you are personally inviting them to a free networking event. Offer guest speakers, food, entertainment, or whatever you think it will take to lure your target crowd. Hosting an event is not an opportunity to talk up your company. Instead, foster relationships and build trust by engaging your prospects in a friendly, low-pressure environment. 2. Your book. So you aren’t a 21st century reincarnation of Dale Carnegie? It’s okay if you don’t have a best-selling sales book or any book at all. You probably have it in you to write up some White Papers about your area of expertise or even provide valuable advice by word of mouth. The whole point: be clear to prospects that you’re an expert in your field, and they’ll be more inclined to do business […]

Long, hot summer for your sales team?

Here in the Philadelphia area, temperatures have been off the charts this summer. Are your sales spiking too, or are you feeling the pinch from sales reps who are dreaming about their next beach vacation instead of logging cold calls? Summer is often a slow time for companies, but it doesn’t have to be. We have some tips for keeping your summer sales productive, at least until Labor Day. 1. Have a contest. Sure, we’d all rather be snorkeling, but it’s possible to have fun at work while increasing sales revenue. How? Try throwing in a summer-long sales contest or put a few bonuses up for grabs to keep your team focused and working towards a goal. A little healthy competition can enliven the summer months, and you’ll likely see results. Sure, it’s not a margarita at the poolside bar, but it will get your sales reps going. 2. Reward your sales team. You don’t have to stage a summer bash complete with Polynesian flame jugglers and mai tais, though you could. A dress-down day or pizza in the break room can be a much-appreciated reward for your team’s hard work. Your employees will be motivated to keep on increasing sales even when other companies are slowing down for the summer. 3. Switch up your approach. Keep in mind that many of your prospects will be vacationing over the summer, which means an email blast might not be the best way to reach potential clients. Who sifts through a week’s […]