Magnify Consulting - close the loop on your sales processes

Optimising your sales processes means doing the right thing at the right time, in the most efficient way, to create sales processes that help your customer on their purchasing journey and ultimately help grow your sales.

Your perfect sales process for each step of your customer journey is a process that ‘closes the loop’.  Each optimised sales process is a lot like the carabiner climbing hook, which is positioned and locked into place before the next step.  You know you’ve got optimised sales processes when your whole team agrees on what your sales processes are, and when everyone knows exactly what they need to do, and when.

It’s important that everyone in your business who ‘touches’ your customers in any way is kept informed about your best practice sales processes.  Sales people and your marketing team are the obvious choices, also your business development manager, and your sales manager.

Have you thought about people in operations, accounts, HR, IT?  When you keep your whole team informed about what they need to do to ‘close the loop’ after they’ve dealt with a customer, your whole business becomes stronger – just like a rock-climber who puts their carabiner climbing hook in exactly the right place.

This means that there are many people in your business who probably need to know how to use your Customer Relationship Management system – your CRM.  The last few Magnify blogs have talked about the benefits of getting a CRM, as well as the insights you’ll gather which will enrich your sales and marketing.  Data-driven decisions give businesses confidence that they are doing what their customers need and want.  You’ll get the best kind of data from a CRM which is correctly utilised by your whole team.

What should you agree on when you give your team access to your CRM?

One – Permissions

  • Who is the Administrator of your CRM, who makes data decisions?  This person needs to comfortably own their role, and be confident in sharing best practice for your CRM with the team.
  • Do salespeople have more data permissions than, for example, someone in operations?
  • Who has permission to delete individual or bulk entries in your CRM?  Your whole team needs know who the Administrator is, so that they know where to go for any questions.

Two – Content

  • What sort of data are you collecting?
  • Does your whole team know how and where to enter basic customer details such as name, address, telephone number, etc?
  • What about email addresses, job title?

Some companies keep the main screen for each entry a little too clear, and entering basic data becomes more time-consuming than necessary.

Three – Industry/technical terms

  • Which industry/technical terms do you want to know about?
  • Do you have agreed shortforms for long words or phrases?
  • What industry/technical terms will help you to segment your customers?

Agreement on how your team will record important industry/technical terms will set up a CRM that helps to optimise your sales processes, and also ensure that sales and marketing can establish a winning strategy for your business.

Four – Customer segmentation

If your CRM Administrator and/or your sales manager have goals for how your business will use customer data, you’ll probably be segmenting your customers in some way.

This is especially helpful when you’re sending newsletters or other communications – or if you just want to get hold of the right person in a company as efficiently as possible.

Have you identified:

  • Key decisionmakers?
  • Key influencers?
  • Key personnel involved in the purchasing process eg CIO, CFO, etc?

When your sales leadership sets meaningful goals for your CRM data, storing that customer data correctly becomes easy.  Even if operations or IT aren’t involved in your marketing, it’s often good to share your wider business goals with them.  This will help them to see the importance of their interactions with the CRM.

Five – Saving your data

Make sure everyone knows they need to push ‘save’ when they enter new data.  This might sound basic, but it’s amazing how many people forget this important step.

Six – Tasks – taking the next step

  • When your team member has entered data, and pushed save, what is the next step?
  • Is this a next step they will take, or should they be passing the customer back to sales or marketing?
  • How do they pass the customer over to another team member?

These next steps are really the ‘Tasks’ that need to be set for each customer contact in your CRM.

Tasks are like the carabiner climbing hook.  When you set a task for a customer, you’re telling everyone in your team that you’ve closed the loop.  You’re also keeping everyone informed about what is going to happen next.

Entering correct data in the correct places is completely useless if that customer gets lost in the midst of your other 10,000 customers.

Here are a few of the reasons why you might need to set tasks:

  • The customer needs something
  • The customer needs someone to get back to them
  • The customer is interested in buying in future
  • The customer wants to buy on/by a certain date
  • The customer is unhappy
  • The customer has complained
  • The customer has given you a referral
  • The customer has moved to another company
  • The customer’s company has different purchasing needs
  • The customer’s company has different budgets
  • The customer’s company has different timeframes

As you can see, tasks are all about the customer.

When you’ve entered the data for your customer interaction – ask yourself this critical question: What does the customer need next, and who is the best person/s at our company to help them? Answering this question will help you to create tasks that are meaningful and that ensure your customer needs are met.

Your optimised sales processes support the customer journey and grow sales

It’s a beautiful thing when your business has a unified team who agree on the importance of updating the CRM, and who use your CRM correctly.  When your team is empowered to make good choices about CRM data, everyone will confidently interact with your customers, and your customers will enjoy working with your business.

Be intentional about how your business uses your CRM.  Take the time to articulate what you want from your CRM and how you want your customers to feel when they interact with your business.  You’ll be well on the way to creating customer data that supports your customers on their journey to good purchasing decisions with your business – and supports your team as you grow your sales.

Magnify Consulting is an on-demand outsourced sales and BDM service that helps SMEs to grow and scale their sales while still maintaining full control and visibility of their own customer data.

If you’d like to make sure your business has optimised sales processes in place that support your sales growth – let’s talk