Best Lead Management Software is Commence CRM

Managing and qualifying leads is a serious matter in today’s highly competitive market. Poor lead qualification means that your highest cost resource (i.e. your sales team) is spending valuable time and money on sales opportunities that either never close because they were poorly qualified or if they do close, they do not return the margin you need to stay in business. So what do you do? You can’t buy you way out of this problem by hiring the best sales people in the country that are experienced qualifiers, but you can fix the problem quickly and efficiently for just a few dollars a month. How?! By implementing a lead management system from Commence Corporation.  Each new business opportunity is properly qualified — not by the experience level of the sales representative, but instead by an automated process the rates and color codes each new lead based on a set of pre-determined criteria.

Built into Commence CRM is an automated business process that ensures that the sales team completes a series of questions to determine if the lead is highly qualified, has future potential or is simply a bad fit. The questions and appropriate responses are created by management and are completely customizable.

Lead Qualification and Scoring View zoom

Lead-Qualification-Commence-CRM Lead Qualification in Commence CRM

Based on the responses entered by the sales representative the system will immediately determine how qualified the lead is and enable the sales representative to determine the path forward. Highly qualified leads color coded red require immediate follow-up, while those rated yellow or blue can be placed in an automated marketing campaign of follow-up program. This is also automated within Commence CRM and ensures that those leads that are not highly qualified continue to receive information about the company’s products and services until such time that they become highly qualified or ask to be removed from future mailings. Either way Commence CRM ensures that there is a future path for every new business opportunity and that not a single one falls through the cracks. See more details and a video about this unique lead qualification and scoring solution.

Are You Paying Too Much for Your CRM System?

Money, Money, Money

Be smart at renewal time

If you chose a CRM solution over the past 18 to 24 months you may have paid more for that system than you would today.  The CRM software industry that had once been dominated by a few vendors, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com, has now become highly competitive and somewhat of a commodity.  In fact, there are now more than 400 companies offering some component of CRM software to the small to mid-size business sector.  This increased competition has caused prices to plummet and the advantage that companies like Microsoft and Salesforce.com once had in the sector has withered away.  Why has this happened?  The answer is quite simple.

When you take a look at the core features that most small to mid-size companies utilize in a CRM solution, they are all pretty much the same. More than 90% of these businesses use a CRM solution to simply manage contacts and customers, keep notes and history, schedule follow-up activities, manage the sales cycle, send documents like quotes and proposals and integrate their e-mail.  And guess what?  90% of the CRM vendors today offer these features.  The gap has closed and what once was a unique but pricey offering from Microsoft and Salesforce.com is now – well just a commodity.

In fact, there is now a sizeable group of quality CRM solution providers who may be a better fit for your business.  Why? Because these newer offerings were designed specifically for small to mid-size businesses versus being scaled down to meet the reduced functionality and cost concerns of the smaller business community.  All of this is good news for the consumer. Upon your contract renewal date you should be able to negotiate a better deal than you have today, especially if you are using one of the higher priced offerings from Microsoft CRM or Salesforce.com.  And if you can’t – see the link below.  It highlights the Top 10 CRM companies to help manage your business.

Top 10 Cloud Based CRM Services

 Image “Money, Money, Money” by Daniel Borman on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Sales Best Practice #24 – Regularly and methodically invests in personal and professional development

A best practice for sales people by guest poster Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator.

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Only one out of every twenty salespeople has invested $20.00 or more of their own money on their improvement in the last twelve months.

Amazing, isn’t it?  In a world that demands ever-improving productivity, the overwhelming majority of salespeople are content with their personal status quo.   That is not true, of course, of other professions.  That’s why teachers have in-services, doctors go to conferences, nurses have on-going training, ministers and social workers attend workshops, etc.  Members of every other profession in the world understand that continuously improving yourself is one of the characteristics of a professional.  If you are going to be in the game, you have to play by the rules.  And continuous development is an expectation for every professional.

The sales masters understand that.  That’s one of the things that make them the masters – the top five percent of salespeople.  And that’s why this practice is one of the “best.”

One of the things that I have appreciated about the sales profession is the fact that you are never as good as you could be.  No matter how competent you may think you are, there is always room for improvement.  The best salespeople understand that, and continually and methodically invest in their own improvement.

They read the electronic newsletters, they subscribe to the magazines, they regularly buy a sales or personal improvement book, they attend the seminars, they solicit input from their managers, and they dialogue with their colleagues, constantly searching for another good idea.

They understand this basic truth about sales:  Your behavior is what brings you your results.  Improve your behavior, and you improve your results.  Improve your results and you become more confident and more competent, more valuable to your companies and a better provider for your families.

One of the best salespeople who calls on me happened to mention, just in passing, that he was attending his monthly “master mind” meeting that night.  It is a group of sales people who get together regularly to discuss issues, trade ideas, and support and encourage each other.  Of course.  The best salespeople continually search out ways to improve.  This is just another example.

What is so compelling about this best practice is that it is so easily attainable.  Everyone can decide, right now, to begin to invest in their own development.  Within ten minutes of reading this, everyone can be subscribed to a sales Ezine, or have purchased a book online.

All it takes is the will to make the decision.

Alas, only 1 out of 20 will.  That’s why this is a practice of only the best.

If you would like to methodically expose yourself to the best ideas of your profession, investigate The Sales Resource Center®, where we have 455 learning units to help you sell better, all delivered on-line, 24/7.

Copyright MMXII by Dave Kahle
All Rights Reserved

Image by NCVO London on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

It’s Time to Move Past Contact Management

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Many small to mid-size businesses continue to manage their business using basic contact management tools and an Excel spreadsheet.  They have become so comfortable with this process that they may have overlooked the value offered today through the use of CRM or customer relationship management software.

Why should these businesses consider CRM?  The answer is clear.  In order to respond quickly to customer inquiries and new sales opportunities, follow-up on leads and get proposals out the door your staff regardless of their position needs immediate access to vital customer information.

The strength of today’s CRM software is that it provides you with a single consolidated database that enables you to capture, track, manage and share information throughout the organization. This allows sales and support personnel to become much more efficient and productive in their jobs.

The second reason is that CRM software programs have become very affordable and easy to use.  Online, or what is commonly now referred to as cloud based CRM systems, require no IT investment and there is no hardware or software to install.  Many of these systems are operational in just a few hours or less, and there are dozens of alternatives that have been specifically designed for small to mid-size businesses.

The link below lists a group of the top cloud based CRM solutions.

http://www.cloudtweaks.com/2011/05/10-cloud-based-crm-services-to-help-manage-your-business