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Tackling the information deficit behind sales calls and presentations | part 2
By Guest Blogger Marion Carr | Sage
Part 2. Read Part 1 of this series here.
What information do you need to make high-quality sales calls and presentations?
The more information a salesperson has to hand, the more effective he or she can be. More information means more sales.
Better lists and access to contact information can help a salesperson line up more calls and presentations. Access to customer and prospect information can maximise the effectiveness of sales calls and improve the impression callers make on customers.
Information is power
The salesperson with information about their customer and their products will outperform his or her peers. He or she can make better calls and presentations.
The salesperson with an accurate and up-to-date target list, which contains a current contact history and a customer profile, has a real advantage over others:
- They don’t have to search for contact names on business cards or on the web
- They don’t have to consult address books or directory listings on the web
- They don’t have to hang up the phone in frustration because a customer called and complained that they should have been removed from a list
- They don’t have to ask others to find out if a customer has been dealt with or contacted before
- They don’t have to check manually to see if a company has opted out of in-bound marketing calls.
This means the salesperson can move effortlessly from one call to the next. If they are making a call-back, they can continue where they left off on the previous call, rather than starting from scratch. And they can make more call-backs instead of cold calls.
The information deficit
Without an effective CRM tool, salespeople don’t have the information they need to be effective. They are often left searching for:
- Customer contact details
- Records of calls and what was said
- Notes of customer meetings
- Schedules of future appointments or call-backs
- Logs of past enquiries
- Records of issued quotes and received orders
The resulting information deficit limits the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts. It impacts on quality of the sales conversations as well as on proposals and quotations.
For managers, these information gaps present serious challenges. They undermine their ability to forecast and manage sales.
Ensuring your salespeople have the information they need is key to making a better impression on the customer.
Making an impression on the customer
You want your sales team to make an impression on the customer, but without a CRM tool they will struggle.
Think of the last time you received a call from a salesperson. Were you impressed?
Specifically, did the salesperson:
- Have all the information to hand when they called?
- Have a record of any previous contact?
- Know your order history?
- Take notes of your requirements and confirm them back to you?
- Have the information to hand needed to answer your product related questions?
- Schedule a time that would suit you for a call back?
- Promptly email you any information that you requested during the call?
- Follow-up 2 weeks later, 3 months later or whenever was agreed?
These factors make an impression on the customer. They matter if you want customers to prefer dealing with your salespeople over your competitors’.
In the final part of this blog series, we discuss how you can use CRM to manage your sales activities.