It’s In Every Sales Course – Is It in Your CRM?

High on the list of important topics in any sales methodology or training program is the need to “sell to the people most likely to buy.”  And, it ought to be in every CRM system!  Is it in yours?

Every salesperson, worth their salt, knows they need to qualify a lead.  There are hot buyers, lookers who may buy, and others who pass your way.  Leads come in all ways – off web forms, on cold call lists, from referrals, through networking, etc.  Either way, the first order of business with leads is to weed through them to separate the wheat from the chaff by qualifying them. 

Qualifying can take the form of questions, knowing the source of the leads, researching them online, or even by floating attractive direct response offers past them with the requirement for certain information. 

Like other vital information on contacts, qualifying details should be databased.  Otherwise, marketing can’t target future marketing communications, and management can’t report and analyze the effectiveness of its efforts. 

Salespeople have a tendency to capture such findings in “notes” rather than in fields.  Part of the reason is that it may seem easier to type this information right along with all the notes about a conversation; and not to bother to update pertinent fields accordingly.  The other reason is sometimes the CRM system lacks the necessary fields and lookups for the data to go into.  This second reason is an oversight that can be easily fixed.  The first is a more challenging issue – changing people’s behavior!

There are several features in GoldMine that your organization can leverage to make it easier to capture qualifying information:

  1. Web Import – capture facts from web forms directly into the corresponding fields in GoldMine.
  2. Auto-data Entry – trigger the population of one field based on values from other fields.  For example, drive the entry of territory and/or sales rep base on “state.” Or, automatically populate a date in a field when a milestone value is entered into another field.
  3. Scripts – a lesser known feature in GoldMine that enables you to design a series of questions with select responses or manual entries that automatically populate the right fields.  Branching logic is a feature of GoldMine scripts, so a particular response can direct the person asking the questions to the appropriate follow-up.
  4. Field Lookups – default choices in fields that can control the values that are entered into fields, thereby ensuring data consistency and integrity, and making it faster and more intuitive for users to fill information in.  (Don’t forget to check off “Auto Fill” in the Lookup Set-up to save users time when entering common choices.)

Changing people’s behavior is easier said than done.  Giving salespeople tools like I’ve listed above will help. Training and reinforcement is a must as well.  But chances are the best reason for them to want to change is if the salespeople see the value in it for them by seeing how the information they capture is used successfully.

Once you’ve incorporated the features in GoldMine into your sales qualifying process, it just makes a whole lot of sense to explore ways marketing and management, let alone sales people, can use this information to sell more, by targeting time, effort, and resources in the direction of the people who are most likely to buy.  If you do, you’re going to increase sales and your ROI!