Most CRMs, whether it’s Salesforce, Microsoft, or any other, come as an out-of-the-box configuration that may not be conducive to your ideal sales workflow. You can get all of the reminders and emails and pings and different noises that your CRM has to offer, however, these distractions are one of the biggest sales productivity killers impacting salespeople. They’re also one of the biggest reasons why you’re missing out on deals.
Here’s how to boost sales productivity using your CRM.
The Importance of Time Specific Tasks for Salespeople
A salesperson shouldn’t have any more than ten time-specific tasks in a day. A time specific task is one that has to be done right away. If you’re speaking to a prospect and they say, “Can you give me a call at 3:00 PM next Tuesday because I’m going into a meeting with the board to present and you can help me prep?” It’s absolutely critical that you make that call at 3:00 PM on that date. However, now you’ve got 96 uncompleted tasks on your task list, with 30 to 40 due that day, and that 1 time critical call is in danger of getting lost.
The sad part is in reality most of the tasks on your list don’t have to take place on that day, or even that week. That was just an arbitrary date and time you picked when they said – “call me back”. The best way to deal with this is to place those type of activities into workflows.
Most salespeople plan to reach out a month in the future to stay connected with a prospect. They’ll pick a date and time, and create a task to reach out. This is potentially clogging up a salesperson’s task specific activities, and that is not productive. A much better way is to create workflows to solve that challenge.
Structure your work and your CRM to incorporate workflows using dashboards, reports or views depending on what system you use. I mentioned in my post on cold emails that you should develop a list of your five to ten typical responses from cold emails or cold calls. Not all responses require an immediate follow up. With Salesforce, for example, you can create custom fields for the reply, or note a stage where you send responses.
Then you can create a workflow based on each typical response. So if you are running a cold email based outbound prospecting system you can record the responses such as:
- Please contact me
- I have a vendor
These can be picked from a preset list on a custom field. Your prospectors can then run highly focused outbound calling sessions of 50 minutes where they call everyone who has responded in ‘batches’ of the same reply.
This allows them to get into the flow of the ways of dealing with that unique situation. They can also afford to invest 5 minutes to review your script for that response (you do have one don’t you?) prior to the call session. This alone should double your success rates.
Create a Standard Working Week
As you block out your workflows, you can start to develop a standard sales work week. It includes a scheduled hour by hour plan for the entire week, including workflows. Salespeople can then pick their workflow, know who to reach out to and when, have the right scripts in hand, and understand the processes and procedures for consistent, effective outreach.
By following these relatively simple processes it is possible to see very significant productivity and results gains from your outbound prospecting team.
Set up workflows and organize your sales team in Salesforce with the free ebook.