So how are you getting on finding new customers in 2016? It’s certainly busy out there, but prospects take time to convert to sales. Keeping track of all of your prospects, leads and customers is quite a challenge for even the most organised of businesses. Add in time delays (stalls and objections?) and other staff being involved, and is it a wonder that no one person has a clear view on exactly where that contact is in the sales funnel!?
As it’s still the beginning of a new year, this a great time to tidy up those old CRM records. A really good discipline to use this time of year is to purge and prune records in your CRM system. Go on, be brutal. Go through each lead and call them. Then update the opportunity record with a more accurate chance of winning. If it’s dragged on, just add them to one of your e-shot contact lists, and delete them from CRM. Put them back to the prospecting stage, and spend your efforts on other more mature and realistic leads.
Whether your CRM system is a spreadsheet, a fully-populated software application or a cloud-based solution, it’s good practice to purge the data and records within it.
Perhaps ask a colleague to sit with you while you explain to them the opportunity, the last activity, and how the potential sale matches your business and marketing objectives. Be really honest, and if you haven’t heard from the prospect at all in say six months, close the opportunity, with a note.
Instead of marking the records as ‘closed lost’ we use a ‘closed fizzled’ status. These are for opportunities that just naturally fizzled out. Perhaps the prospect found another way of solving the problem, or bought from someone else. It would be great to know what happened, but spend your efforts on more current opportunities.
Some you win some you lose, but do keep your CRM records up-to-date.