Let me tell you a story; Today, I called a Certain Company Ready to make an order to print a large document for me, something over 100 pages. My call was answered by a certain gentleman who was gracious in assisting me and told me that I would get a quote for my order for 1000 units of the document. He even promised me that I would receive this Quote in less than 30 minutes.
I waited for 30 minutes, then 1 hour, then 2. I called back and this time it was a different person altogether. I had to re-narrate my story and had to be promised that I would receive my quote within the next 15 minutes. And as the legend goes, I waited until I just have to give up and use internal resources to print the first unit for review.
If you have tried interacting with Zimbabwean Businesses, this story is common-placed and I’m sure it has happened to you. And if you are a Sales Manager or Leader in your organization, I assure you, your salespeople are doing this. And sometimes, the reason why this is happening with your Salespeople is not that they want to but because they know that you don’t have anything to use to check on them at any time to see what would be going on.
Let me ask you these three Questions;
Can you confidently say that you know what your salespeople have been doing all day? The clients they Called, the Meetings they attended?
Can you confidently say that you know whether your Sales Pipeline has Grown or Shrunk today? How many walk-in Customers did you have? How many new Inquiries did you receive?
Can you confidently say you know the amount of money you lost, not made but lost today because of ignored or unattended Customers?
If your answers to the above Questions I posed were yes, yes and yes, then you should stop reading this article because you, my friend has everything in order and you can celebrate. However, if your answers to the above were no, no and no, then this article is for you.
If your answers to the above three Questions were emphatic no’s, then I might know the solution to your problem.
But what is the problem? Lack of monitoring. Not of people but clients and leads that are coming through your sales pipeline.
You might be asking if there is a remedy?
Yes, the remedy is CRM, short for Customer Relationship Management.
What is CRM?
CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. My definition of it is; It is the process of managing Prospects, Leads, and Customer Relationships to bring the most value out of the relationships. There are two parts to CRM but I won’t focus on the theory part of it but the Practice and why it’s beneficial for your business to have CRM Software in Place.
CRM is done through CRM Software, some of the popular ones being Salesforce, Sugar, etc.
Why you are losing Sales?
Back in the day, it used to be compulsory for a Salesperson to have this book with dates and timeslots called a diary. I bet if you are in Sales or have Salespeople working for you, you have one of those too. The challenge however is that diaries, whilst they are convenient, if you don’t open them, they don’t help with anything, they just there.
And here’s the thing. Let’s say your company has 10 Salespeople who each meet 10 clients a day, that is 100 clients who need follow-ups How do you find out if those clients have been followed up? Through reports that the Salespeople have to compile themselves? If you had to do your report by yourself, would you be honest to say that you made only 10 calls when you have 100 people who were due for calling on that very day? I guess not!
You are losing sales because you don’t have anything in place to help you see what your people are working on in real-time. You don’t have any tool to monitor the clients you have in your pipeline, and if they had been worked/contacted or not. So by letting people send you a self-compiled report, you’d be giving them the passport to lie to you as in most cases they would not be honest.
Further to that, you are also losing sales because you are not able to monitor follow-ups and your team does not have anything in place to remind them on who they need to follow up on which leaves your business and your revenue vulnerable to whether or not your sales team will open their diary on that particular day.
The Remedy to the Problems
Now that we have taken stock of the problem, here is the solution. By having a CRM System in place, you will get help in terms of that and more. A good CRM System will help you see what your people will be working on in real-time as they will be working.
You will also see the clients in your pipeline and whether or not they have been contacted. Your team will be able to set reminders for follow-ups in real-time to get in touch with your clients and most importantly, you will be able to access and generate your reports live and in real-time.
See the Picture below and try to make sense of it.
What you are seeing above is a screenshot of our own CRM System reports dashboard with four Highlighted Reports. I have filtered it to have the data generated in real-time as I’m writing this article. What it means is that our team can focus on working whilst the CRM does the report generation on its own which is awesome.
To explain, by taking a glance at that dashboard any moment during the day, I’m able to see the number of calls made, the number of new Business To Business Prospects added, the number of new Business to Consumer Clients Added, the number of New Contacts Created.
What can beat that in terms of value?
Getting Started With CRM?
Before you jump in, you have to understand that the Software is the minor part to CRM. It has to transcend deep into your company culture and change some habits you used to dearly love. It’s a sacrifice yes, but one that is worth it especially if you consider that according to research globally, companies that use CRM, both the Concepts and Systems increase their revenue by over 35% year on year.
In a non-competitive market in terms of great Customer Service and Customer Experience like Zimbabwe, that number might be two or three times more.
To conclude let me ask you this, is doubling your revenue worth the sacrifice of getting and implementing Customer Relationship Management within your organization? If your answer to that is yes, then we need to talk.