A crack salesperson is worth his or her weight in gold.
Actually probably more than their weight in gold: a pile of gold doesn’t keep on making you money, whereas a competent sales rep certainly will.
Besides good working conditions, a fair commission structure and benefits, what one thing does a sales rep absolutely need to get a good job done each and every day?
The right CRM solution.
Volume of Data
There are many bits of information a sales rep must keep track of:
- Which deals are more likely to close and are therefore higher priorities?
- Which are worth more to the company?
- Who is the best person to deal with inside a particular prospect company, and who will likely be a problem and will require more attention?
The information coming from this voluminous data stream informs a sales rep’s calendar each and every workday:
- Who should the rep call and check up on?
- Who should they visit?
- What kinds of collateral materials should be sent as follow up and when?
- Under what circumstances should the sales rep obtain a tag from the sales manager or a technical person?
While some people have photographic memories, the vast majority do not.
If a company’s CRM solution is not tracking this data for them, sales reps can resort to all kinds of impromptu solutions to make sure they’re on top of everything—and often do. These range from spreadsheets, to “to-do” lists, to sticky notes.
A Proper CRM Solution
In order to eliminate these kinds of unreliable things, an intuitive, flexible CRM solution is what a sales rep needs.
It means one singular location into which the sales rep can record all of this data—and then locate and retrieve it when needed.
It is especially helpful when the CRM solution follows the company’s sales process, and each sale can be marked as to which step of the process applies to it.
Sales can also be rated as to value and priority, and an overall look will let the rep know if more leads are needed or other embracive actions need to be taken.
A central storehouse where this data can be kept and easily retrieved is not only important for the primary sales rep on the sale. What if that salesperson is off sick one day, or is called away on a personal emergency or leaves your employ? Another rep not familiar with the account will have to take up the slack—and the only way that’s going to happen is if each and every bit of information is quickly and easily available.
Knowledge of Buyers
A very important aspect to a sales rep’s knowledge base is an intimate knowledge of prospects and customers—elements such as who are the decision makers, what is the personality of the purchasing agent, which personnel involved in a particular sale are in the sales rep’s corner and which might be in a competitor’s corner. Further knowledge necessary to sales can include what are the issues particular to that company’s industry, and what value proposition do you bring to the table to deal with them.
Data should be on record as to what competitors might be pitching a prospect and what actions should be taken to head them off or what countermeasures might be advisable.
Another factor that should be included is the target company’s overall buying pattern: how does a purchasing decision make its way through the company? Who should the sales rep follow up with, and when? Or when is it better to “arm up” the purchasing agent to chase the sale down while the sales rep sits back and monitors the situation from the sidelines?
The right CRM solution allows for all such factors to be taken into account, and for the sales rep—or anyone involved in or who may become involved in the sale—to be able to evaluate these factors on the fly.
Make sure your sales reps have the one vital tool they need to meet and exceed their sales quotas: a flexible, intuitive CRM solution.
Read our other articles on sales reps and CRM solutions.