When I talk about the virtues of CRM systems with people I get one particular response more than all the others added together “That’s Great Mike but I just don’t have the time”. Well I’ve got news for anybody who shares that view – you don’t have the time NOT to use CRM and here’s why.
Speaking as one of the world’s laziest sales people I depend upon a CRM system to manage my sales activities by using the “set and forget” method: I set a future action against a contact and then forget about them until the system reminds me it’s time to do something. And here’s the really great part – working in this way I spend less than 5 minutes a day using my CRM system!
Typical start to the day: -
- 8am every morning CRM reminds me to contact up to 5 people that day and tells me what I am supposed to do with them. Any more than that and I will probably reset the reminder dates for the next day. 5 sales activities a day really is my limit.
- Any telephone actions I will try and get in before 8:30am because I am 4 times more likely to actually speak to people then than later in the day. Why waste time leaving voicemails?
- After I have spoken to the person I will make a one-line note on CRM, set the next action and reminder date and forget about them.
- I will then deal with any email actions linking each email to the appropriate CRM record with the click of a button. Finally I will reset the next action and reminder date and they’re done.
During the day: -
- If I meet somebody I will either email or call my PA so that she can update their CRM record. Typically this will be their notes and next action, perhaps their pipeline and conversion stages (just a flag on the system) and sometimes to add an interest or preference. Brevity is all, dear reader.
- If I meet a new person I will pass my PA their business card, any notes, the next action and reminder date (if applicable) and she will add them to CRM for me.
Even if I didn’t have a PA I would only be adding an extra few minutes a day to my CRM commitment. CRM really is the lazy-persons dream tool!
People who complain that they don’t have the time for CRM probably: -
- Don’t understand how to use it properly as outlined above.
- Have too many actions cropping up each day and succumb to a sort of action paralysis.
- Keep way too many notes on there.
- Haven’t partitioned their pipeline so try and treat all their prospects and clients the same – shame on them!
So here’s the advice of the laziest sales person in the world: get organised and let CRM take the strain; you just concentrate on the clever stuff.