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Bill Farquharson

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How to Make a Rep’s Head Explode

It doesn’t take much to push someone’s buttons these days, but sales reps are especially irritable. While this sales tip is about record-keeping, there is also a quick way to make a rep’s head explode in a “The Boys” kind of way (a reference Bill explains in the video).

Good morning!

Looking to get a sales rep to bristle? Utter the acronym “CRM” within earshot. You are sure to get the reaction you’re looking for.

In the eyes of many salespeople, CRM’s are created as a management-control mechanism. To them, it’s one more thing that keeps them from selling.

Few see the real value.

I get it. I see both sides.

While I agree anything that slows down a hungry sales rep is bad, I also understand the need to keep track of activity. But when does that need start and how much is enough/too much?

I see no need to record every contact detail right out of the chute.

Start light: Contact name, company, phone, and email. This represents the bare minimum. And don’t feel the need to use any fancy recording tool or software. At this early stage, use a pad of paper if you like or, at most, a spreadsheet.

During the prospecting process, the only additional record-keeping is the date and outcome of any ongoing attempts. For example, “10/20 LVM” denotes, “I left a voicemail on October 20.” All you really need to know during this prospecting stage is what you did and when you did it. That way, you are able to look at the history of past attempts.

You can stay at this record-keeping level until they prove themselves to be worthy of more. Worthy, in this case, means some actual correspondence between the two of you. Perhaps they responded to your email or picked up the phone and took your call. These are both good signs. At that point, you’re going to want to step up to something…

More robust: One of the most important features of a good CRM is keeping track of the contact you have with this person. You’re going to want to take note of the date, communication method (email, phone, etc.), and details of the conversation…EVERY detail, no matter how small. It’s here that you want to use a good CRM.

Only after this prospect moves to a more serious stage do you really need to think about gathering details such as address and website.

In the end, the most important part of the CRM conversation isn’t the contact info. It’s detailing the conversation(s). You want to be able to go back and recall what was discussed, what was important, and what

Given the fact it is easier to be the 25th caller for Springsteen tickets than it is to get an appointment with a prospect, you can start out in the shallow end of the CRM pool and go from a few contact details to a full biography of details as you head into deeper waters.

Have a great selling week!

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