It is said that elephants never forget. I can’t comment on that; however, I am certain that Sales people do forget! So often we try and hold all key opportunity data in our heads, it’s impossible. This is also a very risky strategy, it is very easy to forget key timelines, budgets or agreed actions. Ultimately, you risk losing an opportunity, if you fail to document opportunity data in a SMART way.
I am a big advocate of the effective use of a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). I can’t stress the importance enough of taking 5-10 minutes following a customer visit or conversation to document the key points below in a CRM;
- Customers current equipment portfolio
- Key opportunity contact details
- Opportunity budgets and associated timescales
- Technical evaluation stage
- Agreed last and next promised actions
- Details of any competition on the project.
You can utilize all the above points to form a combined Opportunity Quality Score (OQS)
It is easy to think that Sales reporting and forecasting is a management requirement, taking time away from my job; however, I strongly argue that the opposite is true! If you correctly document your opportunities in a CRM using the above points, then reports and forecasting can easily be extracted from your existing data. You can also have every confidence in the reliability of the reports and forecasts that you are submitting, as these are built on the accuracy of the data you entered for each individual opportunity.
The use of a CRM is extremely effective time management, preventing the loss of key data or repeated data collection. You can also free your Mindspace on this opportunity until your next planned contact. Effective CRM use can greatly increase your credibility with your customers. Upon your next contact you will be able to concisely summarize the previous conversation and current position, enabling you to move forward with the next agreed actions.
And remember, without data you’re just another person with an opinion
If you would like to learn more about OQS and SMART Data, please contact SalesAde