Tip of the Week #71 – Using Status Codes for an Automatic CRM
Sales Manager John Mullins brings us this week’s helpful tip.
There is nothing more aggravating than realizing your sales department forgot to follow up on a hot lead, an estimate or quote, or a request for more information. But it happens from time to time – and the immediate loss of that potential deal, job, new customer or additional work will at a minimum upset your sales rep, and at worst send business to one of your competitors.
PrintVis has a few places which can help with that (sending notes internally, for example) but the easiest way to make sure this doesn’t happen is in the setup of the status and the next contact date.
When you’re spending the time and effort to think about the status codes inside your system, go ahead and put a few more moments of thought into those status areas – and try to develop a company policy for follow-up. What I mean by that is the following: Do not just move the status from “request” to “quote” (or whatever your terminology might be)—think about how that completed estimate/quote should be handled by the person you are sending it to.
If you are sending them back to the sales person, when do you expect he/she to reply and take action on those quotes? When should they deliver that quote to the prospect? In my opinion, if the estimator can take the time to get a quote/estimate finished and priced internally, then the sales rep has a responsibility to get it in front of the prospect within 24 hours; otherwise your estimator is wasting valuable time on work which might be better spent elsewhere.
The sales people can also use the change in status and the auto-updating of due date effectively. Most good sales people tend to struggle with paperwork in some way, shape or form. When you set up the status of “quote sent” (side note—this is a great status for some reporting purposes, to track how many quotes are going out per rep, how that number of quotes sent compares to perhaps a month ago or a year ago, and how that number compares to the total number of jobs won—all very valuable data points), why not allow the system to put in an automatic follow-up date for the sales person? This way the system is reminding them to follow up on the quotes that are out there without having to set a task, or go to an additional CRM and set up some other event/task that might become “white noise” with all the other tasks that are set.
Obviously I am focusing on the sales side of things here, but you can also use these in other areas of the company (purchasing, planning, HR, to name a few). With some simple and efficient setup, you’ll never lose track of an estimate again, and easily understand where your wins and losses are coming from as you look to grow your business.
Thank you John!