Using a CRM System to Organize Your Sales Activities

Using a CRM System to Organize Your Sales Activities

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems are often used to organize the sales activities of a company.  In its most basic form, prospect information is entered in the system and reminders are set to follow up.  Information will include the usual, name, title, company name, phone, email, mailing address, etc.  Information about what the customer is looking for, who are the decision makers, what the time line for a sale, the probability of close and the customer’s budget is also entered.

Many CRM’s allow you to get reports that show projected sales by month.  Understanding the various stages of a sale and assigning prospects to the correct sales stage for tracking purposes is key.  This is important because you need to provide information along the entire sales cycle and the types and frequency of information often follows patterns for each sales cycle stage.  Important in getting the most productivity out of your sales staff is having them spend only the time needed to nurture a sale and no more along the entire sales process.  Generally this means that basic information is provided at the outset, and then more detailed information as the process progresses up to the time you may meet with the prospective customer in person, etc.  Being able to track if emails you have sent out are being read for example, help you determine a prospective customer’s interest.  The more they read, the more information you want to send and the more attention you want to give them.

Besides providing transparency to management about their sales pipeline, a good CRM will allow management to measure the effectiveness of each sales person, determine if the sales staff is using their time wisely, is following company processes, etc.  It also allows you to replace a sales person and have the new person pick right up with each prospect where the last person left off with them.

Bryan B Mason

Apollo Consulting Group, Providence, RI

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