Do You Need a CRM?

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Do you need a CRM?Customer relationships are crucial to the success of any small business. Recently, customer relationship management (CRM) has gained popularity. The use of the best free CRM software is a tremendous accomplishment. To what extent may implementing a customer relationship management system predict the success of your organization? Here are some problems you might be going through in your business that might indicate that you need a CRM:

The Quantity of Leads is Unmanageable

CRM could be handy if you are trying to handle the inflow of consumers you are having. A sophisticated CRM system will categorize and prioritize leads so that your sales team can respond to them promptly.

You Are Unable to Locate Any Client Information

In the past, spreadsheets, emails, and post-it notes may have been adequate for your organization. Your team’s ability to see consumer interactions and make timely decisions will be hindered as it grows if it continues to use obsolete tools. A corporation should utilize a customer relationship management system to enhance sales and customer retention.

You Are Unaware of the Members of Your Sales Team

Monitor your sales force both at home and on the road. Using a sophisticated CRM, team members can rapidly update information from their mobile devices, allowing you to monitor and respond to real-time changes. A dependable customer relationship management system enables accurate monitoring of company operations and revenue forecasting.

Inept Interactions With Customers

Acquiring new clients is a challenging endeavor. The last thing you desire is subpar service. If your customer service team spends more time reacting to problems than proactively addressing client expectations, you may want a customer relationship management system. Case management and a comprehensive customer view enable you to impress and retain customers.

Reasonable customer relationship management solutions promote knowledge sharing and case assignment among customer support agents. Customers can acquire answers through self-service forums, allowing operators to focus on more complicated problems.

You Are Responsible for Managing the Accounts Over the Long Term

There are numerous types of consumers. No one wants to feel as though they are unimportant to you. By keeping track of significant anniversaries and accomplishments for your most valuable clients, a CRM system may enable you to send timely emails demonstrating your concern for their company. A CRM system can also be used to monitor employees. This allows you to adapt to future encounters and retain a relationship with a client even after contact has moved on.

The Preparation of Reports Wastes Time

Manually entering data into reports deprives salespeople of time they could spend making sales. The centralized nature of CRM platforms’ data storage facilitates analysis and reporting. Periodically, some programs can “clean” client data by adding missing information and deleting duplicates. They can also synchronize your account and contact information with your CRM.

The Path to Your Growth is Obscure

Describe your strategy for acquiring new customers. Is your confidence in the scalability of your company warranted? It may be time to consider a customer relationship management system if your approaches and resources are insufficient. A scalable solution allows your organization to grow without sacrificing efficiency. A scalable CRM software/Sales CRM system can expand and adapt to your business. On the Salesforce AppExchange, there are close to 3,000 corporate applications.

Business Owners: Are You Guilty Of Negligence?…

If you’ve recently started a business, I’m sure you’re quickly discovering just how much goes into making it a success. Your big idea is just the start of it. From there, you need to think about your HR, marketing, IT infrastructure and a whole host of other factors. With so much going on, it’s essential to make sure you don’t neglect anything important. Here are some things that you simply can’t afford to neglect…

Office Data Backup

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | Business Owners: Are You Guilty Of Negligence?...
Photo courtesy of Torkild Retvedt via flickr

Office data backup is something that you’ll hopefully never have to use, but you’ll be glad you have it if and when the need arises. Backing up your office data is a great insurance policy against the unexpected. Files can be wiped from your servers, sabotaged by a disgruntled employee, or some kind of freak disaster could damage the servers beyond repair. By regularly backing up all your company’s important data, you’ll be able to get the company up and running again soon afterwards. Despite the massive importance of backing up, a lot of small businesses manage to overlook it completely. If you haven’t already, take a look at your options and set up a dependable system for backing up your files.

The Employee Handbook

Neglecting this part of your business is usually a side-effect of rapid growth. In the early days of your business, when there’s only you and a few employees, any kind of solid HR policies aren’t really that necessary. However, when your business starts to grow and develop as an organization, you’ll need to take on a lot more staff. This means you’re going to need some solid rules in place. A good employee handbook will introduce new recruits to the company’s core values, mission and culture, will tell them what’s expected of them, but most importantly, it will tell them what’s permissible and what’s not. By taking the time to draft an employee handbook, you’ll protect yourself from all kinds of costly litigation and disputes. Whether you do it all on your own steam or reach out to an employment law firm like Ellis Whittam, an employee handbook is an absolute must. Just a few printed words can make all the difference to your company’s future!

A Good CRM

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | Business Owners: Are You Guilty Of Negligence?...

CRMs, short for customer relationship management platforms, are great tools for managing your company’s interactions with both current and prospective customers. With one of these in place, your company will enjoy better workflow, will be able to automate various tasks, increase the number of sales leads you’re getting and generally increase productivity. Although these auxiliary programs were once considered a luxury, an increasing number of firms are using them, and they’re quickly becoming something of an essential resource for any modern business. Despite what you may have been led to believe, CRMs aren’t exclusive to big businesses anymore, and the packages on the market are getting more and more cost-effective all the time.

As you move forward with your business, make sure you’re not neglecting any of these and holding your firm back from what it can achieve!

Mobile CRM is Now the Sales Rep’s New Intelligent Assistant

The smartphone, whether an Android or iPhone, is not so much a telephone as it is a computer that lets you make phone calls.

It is an incredibly powerful piece of electronic technology that most people carry around.

The smartphone, whether an Android or an iPhone, is more of a computer than a telephone that lets you make calls. But in the life of a sales rep, the smart phone takes on even more important role. It becomes their key tool in communications, and enables greater flexibility, and higher functioning in the sales arena.

With the correct mobile CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system like Pipedrive or an advanced address book app like Covve which has CRM features, there is quick access to any information swiftly such as contact information, opportunity status, pipeline, and much more. But also, helpful insights such as: follow-up reminders, buyer activity alerts, and suggestions on what to do next with opportunities and buyers.

Laptops are not going away anytime soon, but the time that sales reps go back to the office or home and sit down, and turn on their computer is dramatically shrinking. Smartphone CRM apps enable reps to do most of the things they used to have to do on their computer—only much more conveniently. And smartphones fill the unproductive void when reps are on the go. No longer does out of the office, or a personal obligation, mean things don’t get done. Smartphones give reps their freedom to be places they need to be, and remain productive.

Mobile sales reps are better prepared than their non-mobile counterparts. They are doing more research before a client meeting then their counterparts because they have access to more resources at their fingertips, and virtually no limit to the amount of data they can access.  The important tools a sales rep can have at their disposal is listed below:

1. Lead Records – If a mobile sales rep is headed into a meeting with a very important potential client, they can brush up on the account details and recent activity on the ride over, straight from their phone.

2. Dashboards – A mobile CRM solution provides up-to-the-minute analytics and data on sales performance in easy to digest and mobile optimized dashboards and reports.

3. Paperwork – Mobile sales reps don’t have to wait until they are back in the office to send over the paperwork to close a deal. They can access, sign, and process a deal, straight from a mobile device, with no painful faxing necessary.

4. Pitch Decks – As technology progresses, products are changing fast and corporate messaging and pitch decks can change even faster. Sales reps with a mobile CRM always have access to the most up-to-date decks and selling resources.

5. Sales Collateral – If a mobile sales rep knows the perfect piece of content or sales collateral for a prospect, there is no need to send it in a follow up email. They can access their company’s library of resources, and explain or send documents right from their device.

6. Task Lists – Sticky notes on the computer is a thing of the past. Today’s sales reps have their daily tasks curated and organized for them in their mobile CRM solution, right next to their daily agenda.

7. The Entire Office – A sales rep equipped with a mobile CRM solution has access to social collaboration tools that allow them to tap into their entire company for expertise and advice.

If you are a sales rep, and not utilizing the amazing power of your smartphone, you are behind the curve.

A new way to look at questions and engagement: emotionally

When you’re asking an existing or prospective customer a question, the object is to get them to think and respond emotionally.

To most salespeople this strategy sounds like a foreign language.

START YOUR THINKING HERE: The sale is made emotionally and justified logically. Once you understand that fact, it makes perfect sense to engage the customer emotionally to set the tone for them to decide to buy.

Most salespeople are taught the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions. A closed-ended question is one that results in a yes or no answer. An open-ended question is one that begins to create dialogue from the customer. Open-ended questions are good, but they don’t necessarily breed emotion. This process is necessary to understand, but at its core is passé.

Here’s a new way of thinking about your questioning strategy: logic-based questions vs. emotion-based questions.

This thought process and strategy will give you a new awakening about how customers think and decide. And by using emotion-based questions, you can get them to decide on you.

CAUTION and CHALLENGE: This is insight to a new questioning process that will help you formulate emotionally engaging questions. I’ll give you phrases to use, and a few sample questions. Your job is to understand the process and create your own questions based on your product, service, customer needs, and customer’s desired outcome. Questions that draw out their emotion, and keep focus away from logic – AKA price.

Logic-based questions center around the old-world ‘qualifying’ questions. These are questions that both annoy and aggravate the customer. Logic-based questions basically ask for money information so the salesperson can begin to salivate. “What’s your present payment?” or “What have you paid in the past?” or “What’s your budget?” or “Do you want to lease or buy?” These are questions fall under the category of ‘none of your business.’

KEY CONCEPT: Do not qualify the buyer, let them qualify themselves because you’re so friendly, engaging, and genuinely interested.

The late, great Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people, than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Emotion-based questions ask about their life and use, not their money. Prior to beginning your ‘presentation,’ ask the customer emotion-based questions that begin with the words, “How long have you been thinking about…” or “What were you hoping for…”

Get the customer to paint their vision of outcome.
Get the customer to paint their picture of ‘after they buy.’

During the purchase, ask emotion-based questions such as, “Is this what you had in mind?” or “How do you see this serving your purpose?” or “How do you see your family enjoying this?” Or take it even deeper with, “What do you think Bobby will say when he sees this?”

Emotion-based questions draw out feelings – feelings that will lead to true engagement and honest answers about how your product or service will affect their expected outcome.

When you can get the customer to visualize outcome, you also have them visualizing ownership – otherwise known to you as ‘purchase.’

MAJOR POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: People don’t actually come to purchase. They come to purchase because they want to USE. What happens AFTER the purchase is way more important to the customer than the actual purchasing process. Drawing out their emotion during the process is the key to getting them to take ownership.

So, during the sales presentation you might want to ask questions that begin with phrases like, “What are you hoping to achieve?” or “How will you use this in your business?” or “How do you envision this will add to your productivity?” or “How do you believe this will affect your profit?”

Whether you are selling to a consumer or a business, whether you are selling on the phone or face-to-face, the process and the emotional involvement are the same. Someone wants to take ownership, and your job is to get them to visualize it, be engaged by you, agree with you, believe you, have confidence in you, trust you, accept your price, and pull the trigger.

The key to this is emotional involvement. No manipulation, no pressure, no old world sales techniques, no NLP, just friendly and genuine emotional engagement that touches the heart and the mind simultaneously.

“Jeffrey, I’ve been taught to ‘find the pain.’ Is that emotional?” Yes, but in a negative way. A very negative way. Pain is a negative emotion – or as I call it, a ‘none-of-your-business emotion.’ Dumb questions like, “What keeps you up at night?” create an uneasy, uncomfortable atmosphere between you and the customer. And most of the time, if you’re asking a negative-based question the customer will not give you a real answer.

AHA! Don’t find the pain. Find the pleasure.

Pleasure evokes positive emotion. “Tell me about your vacation.” “How is Morgan following your passion for fashion?” “How is Henry following your passion for golf?” “Where was your biking trip this year?”

Find their pleasure, find their purpose, find their expected outcome, uncover their true emotional motives – and you will find their wallet.

Now that’s pleasure.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

The Secret of Lousy Service and How to Fix It

Last week I promised the answers to why lousy service occurs and how to fix it. If you didn’t read part one, stop now, and go here.

The answer revolves around four words you already know: positive attitude and personal pride.

Let’s start with a little background…

Here are the reasons or feelings that negatively affect your attitude, and reduce or eliminate the power of your ability to serve at a superior level:

  • My boss is a jerk.
  • I hate my job.
  • I hate my coworkers.
  • I’m too good for this.
  • They don’t pay me enough.
  • They don’t understand me.
  • Benefits suck here.
  • I have my resume in five other places.
  • I can’t wait to get out of here.

ANSWER ONE: There’s a two-word secret to service response: positive attitude.

  • Positive attitude, defined as the way you dedicated yourself to the way you think, is the beginning point of service.
  • Positive attitude is not what happens to you. It’s what you do, and how you respond to what happens to you. That is the essence of service.
  • Positive attitude must be the first part of any training program, or the rest of training will fall on deaf ears – or worse – existing negative attitudes.

ANSWER TWO: There’s a two-word secret to the service process: personal pride.

  • It’s not how you feel about the customer, it’s not how do you feel about the circumstance. It’s all about how you feel about yourself. Your personal pride.
  • Personal pride should give you the incentive to be at your best, respond at your best, and serve at your best at all times.
  • You’re not doing this for other people, you’re doing it for yourself. Once you understand that, great service not only becomes easy, it actually becomes fun.

Here are a few guidelines to make personal pride more easily understood:

  • Personal pride must be more powerful than feelings about boss or company
  • Personal pride must be more powerful than pay
  • Personal pride must be more powerful than existing job

REALITY: If positive attitude and personal pride are present, then service, even great service, is possible. And vice versa.

MAJOR POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: It’s not a job, it’s an opportunity. And your attitude, combined with your personal pride, will determine your short-term and long-term fate.

Yes, I realize there may be extenuating, outside circumstances that affect attitude, pride, and even performance. There are too many possible issues to deal with in this short piece, but I do want to acknowledge it’s not always work related.

KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: It’s likely that most people reading this will not be in the same job five years from today. But between now and then, the thoughts you have, the personal pride you build and display, and your level of performance will dictate the quality of job, or advancement, you’re likely to secure.

Why would you risk lousy performance at your present job, thinking you’re going to get a better job based on resume or desire? It doesn’t make sense. And it’s a fantasy with an unhappy ending.

KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Once you understand that you’re serving for yourself, once you understand that your attitude will determine your communication excellence, and once you understand your personal pride will dictate your actions – at once you see your possibilities, and will have the ability to better improve your performance.

Don’t be mad at the world, don’t be mad at your customers, don’t be mad at your boss, don’t be mad at your coworkers – be happy about yourself.

NOTE WELL: If you’re the boss, or you’re in HR, or you’re the trainer, stop training a bunch a crap about your company and how to fill out the silly papers, stop telling me all about how great the company is, how you have a great reputation, and that I should be happy to work here. That’s a bunch of baloney! You can email me that.

START YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS LIKE THIS: Here are two things most people don’t know about themselves AND their success.

HR REALITY: Train me about me. My attitude, my personal pride, my happiness, my opportunity. Information I can use NOW and LATER. Information that applies to ME.
BIGGER HR REALITY: Most employees disdain training, they just want a paycheck.
BIGGEST HR REALITY: The more you help the employee succeed, the more they will set the standard you’re hoping for. They will have a better attitude and serve with pride because you helped them.

That’s not just a challenge, HR – that’s YOUR opportunity.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].


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