G. M. Weilacher said that “One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.” If you’re in media sales, you might want to throw a CRM into your tool box as well. CRM, which stands for “contact relationship management” is a software program that will make your sales life more productive. A well-stocked tool box offers you a plethora of tools that when properly engaged and at the ready will give you, the seller, better outcomes from your efforts.
I recently had an urgent need for some emergency work to be done on my house after a wind storm. I called a contractor and he came to the house and did the necessary work, but inadvertently left his hammer in the drive. Now, I have to believe that a lost hammer from this guy’s tool box made his life much more difficult for the rest of that day, or until he had time to get to his local home improvement store and purchase a new one.
He had a nice hammer, or should I say, now I have a nice hammer. But, as I am sure he soon realized, a hammer improperly engaged, a hammer that has not been picked up and swung obviously has no capacity to drive any nails. No nails driven, no positive result in the intended work.
Now, let’s relate that same scenario to a contact relationship management software program. CRMs are INTENDED to make you more productive, yet if never properly engaged, no positive work outcomes will result, just like a misplaced hammer.
I can hear the lamentations and gnashing of teeth of sales people right now: “Anything that takes away my time from selling is not a good thing.” Sorry, I disagree. Let me state it a little differently. Anything that takes away your time from being engaged in strategic and hyper-productive selling efforts should be looked at cautiously. I submit that the following points, if activated, will make you a more productive sales professional.
- Spend 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning and at the end of the day to input your sales activities, outcomes, presentations, and new business activities into your CRM for that day. Adoption is key. Learn the capabilities of your system and then engage with good intelligence and forward-looking activities that will produce results.
- Engage your CRM every day. We all have had a situation where we try to re-capture on Friday at 5:00 what we did all week because we have a one-on-one first thing Monday morning. This just won’t work. At the end of a grueling week it is impossible to remember the rich detail, accurate answers to questions asked, and what you committed to on Monday or Tuesday.
- Prioritize your accounts, your opportunities, and your activities. A good CRM will allow integration with the latest mobile technology, so you can be productive even while out of the office or during evenings or weekends.
CRM is a great tool that can help you achieve your career and income goals. But like the best hammer in the world, you have to pick it up and swing it to make the most of the tool you have at your disposal.