In a competitive business environment the most important form of currency is information. Most promotional products distributor owners and salespeople employ some sort of customer relationship management (CRM) database to manage sales opportunities. A database that has contains high quality information serves as an effective tool to help handle accounts as well as understand how many and what types of opportunities are in the sales pipeline at any given time.
However, a database is only as good as the information that has been entered into the system. A lack of information or, even worse, access to bad information will hinder your ability to drive business growth. To keep in touch with prospects and clients, it is essential that your CRM database contains relevant and accurate data. To accomplish this, there are three simple steps:
1. Keep it Current – Utilizing a CRM database is useless if the information is out of date. When this happens, calls don’t get answers and direct mail pieces don’t get to the right contact leading to a waste of resources. If you can’t clean outdated data, get rid of it. Bad data is more costly to keep than it is to simply purge.
2. Input Everything – To get the most out of a CRM database, record everything so you can analyze your clients. Are there missed opportunities for add-on sales? Do certain customers buy in cycles? Is there a company milestone coming up next year? Looking at your data this way will keep you thinking in terms of helping your clients and building relationships.
3. Act Now – Armed with insights generated from clean CRM data, it’ far easier to make informed resource decisions. After each sales effort (prospecting call, presentation, merchandise quote, etc.), data should be collected to give additional insight on future sales endeavors: What worked? What didn’t work? How did the client react? Were the ideas presented in line with their goals?
Used properly, a CRM database is an enormous asset to your company. Keep it current, input everything to identify new sales opportunities, and use those insights to drive sales activity. The CRM database should provide far more than just a list of current contacts and their particular details. It should be the starting point for any and all sales efforts.
Bill has over 15 years working in executive leadership position at leading promotional products distributorships. In addition, he launched brandivate – the first executive team outsourcing company solely focus on helping small promotional products companies responsibly grow their business. In March of 2015, Bill began a partnership with Proforma to assist their Owners growing their individual distributorships. A former speaker at the PPAI Winter Expo and current member of the board of directors for the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), Bill has extensive real-world practice coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, developing operational policies and procedures, creating and delivering RFP responses, and successfully presenting promotional solutions to Fortune 500 clients.