My account managers have limited time and with so much distraction they often appear to not know what to focus on. How do I help them? -- James, Sales Manager
Sellers do have limited time, and in deciding how to focus many rely on guesswork or intuition. That leads to sub-par decisions and incomplete actions when interacting with customers or following a sales process. Here are 4 steps you can start taking today to help them improve their outcomes.
1. Cut anything that is not sales related.
When organizations assign or let account managers perform customer service tasks or get involved with marketing, they are providing a manager with the number one excuse for not selling.
Customer/prospect communications, especially picking up the phone and calling is hard work. Many account managers will do anything else they can to avoid it. Stop providing them with an excuse and assign these non-selling tasks to others.
2. Leverage holistic customer data to create one-view of the customer/prospect relationship.
Too often we see account managers act like they have been sent out on scavenger hunt for information before a customer visit. They must go to one system to find the last order information, or another to find the open service issues and a different tool to check on names of other decision-makers. Your CRM should be the place that one location that houses everything your account manager needs to be effective.
3. Provide real-time dashboards that provide insights and directs performance.
The biggest CRM failure is not setting expectations and not using dashboards to drive desired behaviors. Of course, this implies that there is agreement on what is to be measured.
4. Conduct sales activities in familiar and a limited number of tools.
Too many separate sales tools, where sellers must switch between multiple systems in order to enter data or manage customers, take far too much effort away from selling. The ability to manage every aspect of the customer relationship and collaborate with colleagues in one system will help sellers stop prolonging the time to achieving value.
You should expect a good CRM to increase close rates, shorten the sales cycle and increase seller productivity. If it is not, we should talk.
Stay safe and healthy! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
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