But isn't Outlook Good Enough?!?!

Written by Brian Vellmure

I was recently speaking with a mutual friend who has been in sales for several years aboutrepparttar benefits of CRM. (Forrepparttar 127239 sake of this newsletter, we'll call him Jim) Jim was quick to comment on how he didn't like any ofrepparttar 127240 current CRM software packages, and had used several of them for his various employers. Jim told me how he swore by Outlook and that he had used it for many years, and had developed such efficiency that every other solution was less effective for him.

**************************************** We will talk in a few weeks about how importantrepparttar 127241 CRM system end user experience is torepparttar 127242 success of any CRM deployment, but for today, I would like to focus on another topic. ****************************************

You see, if "CRM" is only being implemented as a new contact and appointment manager, then Outlook probably is an appropriate tool. ACT! isrepparttar 127243 world's leading contact manager and there are tens of thousands aroundrepparttar 127244 world that swear by it. These are both good, solid, workable tools for some remote salespeople.

However, Customer Relationship Management is a much more comprehensive endeavor than simple contact management, or even efforts to automaterepparttar 127245 sales force's daily activities. It requires integration of processes, software applications, and databases.

**************************************** We are now talking about strategically makingrepparttar 127246 customer experience better, acrossrepparttar 127247 organization...

When they interact with their salesperson... When they callrepparttar 127248 finance department... When they need technical support... When they visit your website... and when they are marketed to. ****************************************

Outlook cannot possibly enable such things, or capture information to be analyzed.

When I began to dig a little deeper to understand why Jim had this apprehension and distaste for CRM products,repparttar 127249 picture became a little clearer. You see, he really let me know that his main problem was not necessarilyrepparttar 127250 CRM products themselves, but ratherrepparttar 127251 executive team and sales management's perception ofrepparttar 127252 system and what is was supposed to do.

Many times, management recognizesrepparttar 127253 need for CRM. Their competition is "Implementing CRM". The press is talking about CRM. They know that they need to change something, increase their sales, while reducing costs. But a lot of times, CRM is reduced to just another contact manager, implemented with three times as much administration forrepparttar 127254 sales team, so that management can see whatrepparttar 127255 heck they are doing. Tough sell? You bet. Especially to salespeople who are used to working autonomously, and earning six figures a year.

It is important for executives and senior managers to recognize that CRM is more than just getting information for themselves. This is a very critical requirement, and an essential gain for any implementation. However, we must go back to positioning CRM as an initiative focused around makingrepparttar 127256 customer experience better. One ofrepparttar 127257 ways to do this is to armrepparttar 127258 people who are dealing withrepparttar 127259 customer with relevant, timely, easily retrievable information. It is also important to empower them with applications that make it easy for them to enter new information they discover during their interaction. The next step,repparttar 127260 critical factor we are discussing today is to make that information available to all parties withinrepparttar 127261 organization who might be able to take advantage of it - executives, managers, sales reps, marketing, tech support reps, finance, customer service, etc.

CRM truly is a mindset. It isrepparttar 127262 implementation of customer centric business strategies and processes that are intended to makerepparttar 127263 customer feel like they arerepparttar 127264 company's first priority. Implementing these strategies generally requirerepparttar 127265 proper technology as an enabler to successfully deploy and implementrepparttar 127266 new systems and processes.

**************************************** If you missed my article about customer centricity last month, takerepparttar 127267 time to review it here "Why Customer Centricity?" ****************************************

My converation with Jim continued, and went something like this:

BRIAN: "I assume you don't do any ofrepparttar 127268 order processing, when your prospects sign a purchase agreement for your products and services." JIM: "No, once I receiverepparttar 127269 signed contract, I fax that back to headquarters, and they follow up with fulfillment and billing"

BRIAN: "Are you ever aware of any issues thatrepparttar 127270 customer has afterrepparttar 127271 order has shipped?" JIM: "Not always. Occasionally, when they are really mad, or are having serious trouble, I'll get a call."

BRIAN: "Have you ever gone to call on an existing customer, and walked into a landmine because they have a nagging issue with your tech support or finance department?" JIM: "Yeah, that definitiely happens. It would be nice to know ahead of time somehow, but unless tech support is really proactive and knows our schedules, they really never notify us, especially because we are in different timezones"

BRIAN: "So you have no idea what is going on with your customer with other departments in your company,repparttar 127272 other "touch points" your customer has with your organization?" JIM: "Well, I try and stay in touch withrepparttar 127273 customer as much as possible, but no, I don't generally know what is going on with them unless there is a serious issue."

Building a sales force that pays for itself

Written by Willard Michlin

The elements involved in building a sales force, especially one that pays for itself and also adds value to any business, are many and varied. The whole purpose and direction of a sales manager needs to be directed to creating a sales force that causesrepparttar employing company to expand through increasing sales. This is done byrepparttar 127238 following general steps: Training sales staff to be able to sellrepparttar 127239 company product in large volume; correcting how sales presentations are made; handling any customer flaps his sales people make; and then testing and hiring more sales people, to create an ever increasing sales force. This is a continual process that a sales manager must be doing to justify his existence. If he doesn’t,repparttar 127240 company cannot expand.

Training to make a good sales person “Training them to be able to sellrepparttar 127241 company product in large volume.” A very wise American philosopher once stated that all a salesman had to do was to continue to try to interestrepparttar 127242 customer andrepparttar 127243 customer would eventually buy, ifrepparttar 127244 sales man continued to try to interestrepparttar 127245 customer! Like all great truths, they are ‘obvious’ once stated.

So, what does it take for a sales person to continue to try to interest a customer, no matter what objectionrepparttar 127246 customer raises and despiterepparttar 127247 sales person’s own impulse to ‘give up’ after a while? Lets look atrepparttar 127248 elements:

The sales patter: The first of these would be a successful sales patter. Here we are talking about getting a hold of someone or several people who are successful, at selling to customers, inrepparttar 127249 target industry, or a similar industry. Once such person(s) are found, you need to interview them to find out what they DO that made them a success. We are looking forrepparttar 127250 actions they take andrepparttar 127251 things they do, not what they think.

The best person to interview for this information is usuallyrepparttar 127252 most successful sales person, right there inrepparttar 127253 company, if one exists. Notes should be carefully made ofrepparttar 127254 actions they take to get a sale and these notes should be very exactly written up and turned into a patter that can later be drilled on new and old members ofrepparttar 127255 sales force.

Advertising and preparation: Next, a series of sale recruitment advertisements need to be created forrepparttar 127256 local newspaper. The receptionist ofrepparttar 127257 company needs to be briefed on what to do when calls come in. The adverts need to be big enough to attract attention and have enough mystery in them so that people actually call in to find out what its all about.

The receptionist should understand that all she is doing with calls fromrepparttar 127258 advertisements is routing them torepparttar 127259 person doing this project. She does not answer questions about whatrepparttar 127260 company is and what is being offered. She simply arranges for them to come in for an interview at a scheduled time or collects their phone numbers so that they can be called back and scheduled to come in, by someone else.

The interview: When applicants forrepparttar 127261 sales position come in, their interview is very specific and torepparttar 127262 point. There are certain very specific criteria that are being looked for in a good sales person. The two main one are, (a) can they persist along a given course? (b) Are they are interested in people?

That is an easy statement to make, to be sure. However, to find such people requires very exact interview procedures. The first step is testing. We use a series of 3 tests. One of these provide a detailed look intorepparttar 127263 10 most important job related traits such as Stability, Goal attainment, Composure, Certainty, Activity level, Aggressiveness, Responsibility level, Correct estimation, Appreciativeness and Communication level.

The other 2 tests measure an applicant’s ability to solve problems and how well they are able to following instructions – a vital test for anyone operating machinery where understanding and following instructions are very important!

Withrepparttar 127264 results ofrepparttar 127265 3 tests, one only needs to askrepparttar 127266 applicant questions regarding his past job failures, past job successes and when they first decided that they wanted to be in sales. These answers, compared torepparttar 127267 results ofrepparttar 127268 3 tests tellrepparttar 127269 whole story and can really make it very easy to select applicants most likely to succeed as sales people.

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