Is your sales pipeline filled with qualified prospects or just "suspects"?
A recent article in Investment News describes the poor usage most financial advisors make of their customer relationship management (CRM) software. According to the study, nine out of ten advisers have a CRM system but only 38% formally tracked their sales leads. Developing, tracking and converting leads into sales is the Holy Grail of CRM. The poor usage statistics are likely typical of many other businesses who have invested in a CRM system.
Start with the definitions. Here are some illustrative definitions and sales process steps every sales organization should be identifying and tracking through a CRM system:
- Lead - an individual or organization who could become a client or customer
- Warm Lead - a Lead obtain through a warm source: a referral, seminar or other specific response to your marketing outreach
- Prospect/qualified lead - A Lead which has been vetted as needing and being able to afford your product or service
- Proposal opportunity - The prospect is soliciting proposals or is receptive to your making a sales pitch
- Pitch - The prospect's needs have been identified, quantified, and confirmed and support your proposal
- Close - The prospect has agreed to your proposal, terms, and price
A CRM software system is only as good as the sales process and data tracking compliance it was designed to support.
Sales leaders, the software will not do your job for you.