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Seize the Checkered Flag of Sales with Faster Lead Follow-Up

March 30, 2016
By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer


Following up on hot leads represents a race against time and the lead's own cooling inclination to buy. Quick follow-up helps ensure the best customer experience and that the ardor the potential customer came in with isn't lost. Taking too long to respond can make the customer think his or her business might be better handled elsewhere, so Smart Selling Tools recently had a look at how to seize that checkered flag of a sale by speeding up response times.


Many times customer relationship management (CRM) actually gets in the way of better sales, focusing on reporting instead of actual productivity. It's one of the big points hampering a mobile workforce, too, but that's a different matter. We all need reporting capability—it's how we find and fix problems—but that can mean a lot more data entry in order to supply the necessary fodder to fill out those reports. That's what's known in some circles as a “non-sales activity,” important but not producing revenue the way sales do.

Consider also a point called “click fatigue.” Mouse clicking makes things a lot simpler, until the sheer number of these undertaken in a day is considered. Consider a system that requires 10 clicks to establish a record. Now consider the reps that may run 100 records a day. That's 1,000 mouse clicks over the course of a day. Follow that up by doing it every day for a week, or a month, or a year and it's clear a CRM needs to be designed to need the fewest clicks possible.

Finally, look at the level of analysis required. If all the CRM provides is a list of contacts and relevant data, the reps have to work harder to figure out which calls to make. There are too many variables involved to figure out who should have the next call, and too much chance of picking the wrong one. That can cost sales, so focus less on lists and more on a system that knows before the reps do who should be called next, like a queue-based system.

Essentially, it's about having the right tool for the job, and the job here is making sales. While reporting is important, it's nowhere near as important as making sales, so be sure the sales reps aren't so busy providing reporting fodder that they can't effectively make sales. Sales are what keep the business running, since they provide needed cash flow; what’s the sense in having a report on why the business is failing when it wouldn't be failing if the reps weren't so busy providing reports?

A CRM that helps calls get returned faster is a great step toward improving sales; with hot leads a bigger part of the queue than ever—there are still some leads that aren't—being able to hit more leads means a better likelihood of hitting more sales. That's the whole point of being in business, after all.




Edited by Rory J. Thompson



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