I was having dinner with my friend who is working as a salesperson. During dinner, she asked how was I doing in my new company.
I said, “Yeah it’s fun. But I have a lot of things to learn since we are selling software products, which are quite technical for me.”
“Oh? What kind of software products?” She asked casually.
“CRM?” She interrupted, “Customer Relationship Management?”
“Yes, you have interests in those?” I’m quite amazed that she asks.
And then she goes on blabbering about the demo that she has seen regarding CRM software: “Oh my, I need to tell you that my boss just arranged a demo session for all of us and I was like ‘GOSH I DIDN’T KNOW THAT SUCH THING EXISTS’; because as a salesperson right, we have to record everything manually and then…”
To cut her long story short, what she has been doing for the past one year of working in the sales line is this “traditional” method: typing out everything in her excel sheet to keep track and set reminders in her phone such as clients’ birthdays etc. If not, she had met so many different clients and could not possibly remember every detail of the interaction.
So in order to not make herself awkward in situations, she will revise what she already knew about the client from the information recorded in the previous encounter. Every time she meets a new client, she will make a mental note about the client and after the meeting, she types down the details in her excel sheet. Hence the next time she meet up with the same client again, she can joyfully say, “Hey Jon! How’s your holiday to Paris? I remembered the last time you told me that it has been a long while since you last visit Paris!”
Did she really remember that Jon misses Paris? Probably. Only if she shares the same sentiment as him. The human brain can only contain this much memory, no one can possibly remember where did all of their clients went for holiday or even what topics they have discussed previously.
But working in the sales line, the ability to build rapport with customers is crucial. Likability, credibility and trust are three main characteristics that determine if the salesperson can make or break the deal. In order to build trust, clients will have to like you as a person first, right? If the client dislikes you for some reason (perhaps you came across as too aggressive, or they see you as someone carrying ulterior motive and not being sincere enough… etc), then it is impossible to move on to the next stage.
Then how are you able to build connections and maintain relationships with clients? That’s why smart salespeople understand the importance of “common experiences” – making the clients feel special and feel cared for at the same time.
According to Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion, the Principle of Liking allows marketers to exert influence based on attractiveness and similarity. Well, charisma sometimes is a gift even though it can be learned, but fostering familiarity is a technique that can be picked up easily.
How do you feel when an acquaintance of yours whom you have not spoke to for a long while met you coincidentally in a fast-food restaurant and he tells you with a big grin, “Hey! Long time no see! Mind having lunch together? This place has the best fast-food in town… and I know you love fast-food.”
Do you feel loved by this simple comment? Even if someone you don’t really remember are able to call out your name accurately in a social setting, you will develop liking to that person and pay attention to him/her because him/her had paid attention to you in the previous encounter and you want to do the same.
Humans have the tendency to reciprocate and reciprocity is in our genes – it aids our social survival, according to evolution psychology. So how does all these knowledge helps your sales? Firstly, you need to understand that people buy from you is not solely based on logical reasoning. If logic dominates our decision making process, then everyone will buy the same product, get from the same brand, use the same things and go to the same restaurant.
There is no need to differentiate brands anymore because by logical thinking, we will only and always buy from brands that provide us with the best quality and the lowest price. Nonetheless, reasoning does play a vital role in making decisions – especially if you need to make big purchases or investments. But logic and emotions are not mutually exclusive.
I’m not trying to teach you to play games with your clients and emotionally manipulate them. No. I am trying to show you how to provide a better experience to your clients with a few tips and the help of a simple yet dynamic software – Dynamics CRM.
So now let’s go back to the point about why people buy from you. It must be 1) you provide decent products/services, 2) the price is within budget or affordable range, and 3) customers like you.
Can you imagine buying from a shop where even though the products are of slight better quality and slightly lower price, the shop owner is a really hostile man who is so confident that you will buy from him that he doesn’t even want to service you and will always grumble if you go back to repair your items while within warranty period? I remember there is this canteen stall uncle in my school who is so bad-tempered that students avoid buying from his stall even though his food is tastier than others. People would rather queue at other stalls even when logically speaking, buying from him saves time since there is no queue and gets better food. Therefore, feelings does matter in sales right?
No matter me, you or my dear friend mentioned in the beginning of this article, positive customer experience is what we value being as the salesperson or as the customer. That’s why we spend so much effort to get to know clients, get them to be more open up towards us and gain trust, which eventually leads to a happily closed deal. Be it with friends or clients, you want people to feel comfortable around you and enjoy being with you. A successful salesperson knows exactly how to achieve all of these using Dynamics CRM.
Dynamics CRM affords clear, easy and convenient customer management – it gives you a versatile view that updates in real-time and allows you to make more informed decision. For example, you will see the statuses of different customers in just one clear picture:
Simply from one look, you are able to know how many of the clients you met are merely cold-calls, how many of them are slightly interested, and how many of them are moving on to making deals with you. From this graph, you could tell that majority are in the Develop stage, followed by Qualify stage.
And then from there, you are able to devise the most appropriate strategy based on your current situation. Such as, you would want to check out why is the sales funnel not moving towards the Proposal stage, identify certain sales opportunities and push your sales team to follow up with clients who indicate interests. By doing so, you save time, energy and resources by focusing on the areas that need to be tackled first, which allows you to be more efficient.
If you realized that response from prospects are not very well, then you may have to contact them more often or try another approach. If you realized that you are trying to close too many deals concurrently, you may not have enough resources to do so and it may affect the quality of customer experience, hence you either ask your colleagues for help or you prioritize – depending which one suits you better.
This comes to my next point on why Dynamics CRM helps you tremendously in customer service management: you are able to zoom-in and zoom-out of your situation, so that you can have a big picture view and also able to get to the details when required.
From the big picture, you know that you have many deals going on. Then you are able to click in to see the details of each customer and determine which case is the most urgent that you have to attend first and which case is the least urgent that you can afford to wait.
Each customer that you have contacted can be recorded in Dynamics CRM, including details of the customer such as name, company, position, address etc, and also the interaction with the customer. Although you can follow my friend who is keeping track of everything in Microsoft Excel, her method only allows you to know the details instead of having an overall picture of your own progress and performance.
Talking about interaction, you can take down important notes in Dynamics CRM so that when you need to refer them, you can do so quickly just by one click. Even if the customer called you unexpectedly, you can also reply them with confident. “Oh, Cathan Cook from Apline Ski House? Yes of course I remember you! How is your new branch coming up?”
Wow. Cathan was secretly amazed. This person actually remembers that? Yes, you recalled the conversation you had with Cathan months ago, with the help of Dynamics CRM to refresh your memory.
Dynamics CRM serves as your external brain and external memory, so that you do not need to diverge so much effort into memorizing and recalling the clients’ details. What if Cathan actually wanted to close down a branch and you mixed that up with another similar client? Oops. It just shows that you couldn’t care enough.
Plus, I’m not sure how fast can you retrieve clients’ information when you record everything elsewhere instead of within Dynamics CRM. Even if you are afraid that Internet connection may affect the speed of information retrieval, you can also export clients’ information to be downloaded in your computer.
See, fast and easy.
On top of that, if you have Dynamics 365, then you are able to access your CRM anytime anywhere. Imagine walking across the street to grab a cup of coffee when your phone suddenly rung, your prospect called and in such a rush, you can’t recall what products they are interested in previously. Fret not, with Dynamics CRM, you can access information anytime anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection.
So sit down in a café, open your laptop and go through the details with your prospect while typing in new information for future record. Clear, Easy, Convenient – Dynamics CRM is the tool that brings efficient salesman to the next level of success.
Wait, you think that’s all?
Success is not only measured on the individual level. If you want to progress up and be a Manager, you will need to know how to manage people and help your team to strive for success as well. How will a Manager lead his sales team without the insights given from Dynamics CRM? If everyone in the team is recording their clients using different methods such as in an Excel sheet or notebook or phone memos, then it is hard for the Manager to obtain an overview of the entire situation and act on things.
What he can only do, is to look at the final sales result and consult each member individually. Each member has to report to him and he has to spend time collating, organizing and analyzing information/data he received.
This is a lot of work, isn’t it?
Then does he have the time to develop his staff?
That’s why make use of technology. We are in the 21st Century now where technology works for us and not the other way round. As a Manager, you can easily obtain insights from Dynamics CRM to keep track and follow-up with team members’ performances. You can know who are doing well and who are those that are struggling. You are able to provide advice to weaker members on how to close deals. You are able to have that time and energy to really manage people and help those in need. You know exactly what’s the reason for this year’s performance. You are doing the REAL manager job instead of being overwhelmed and confused by data.
You no longer just reflect passively upon the results achieved every quarter; You take active actions as things are transparent to you during the entire sales process. You can implement strategy that is relevant to your team’s situation now and not react on outdated information.
This is the way a Manager should be.
But all of the above that I have mentioned, is only a SMALL part of the entire Dynamics CRM system. That’s why I’ve said that Dynamics CRM is a simple yet dynamic software (as the name suggested). It is easy to use and understand, but to see how versatile it is will wow you.
Plus, Dynamics CRM is flexible and can be customized based on what suits your need the most. This is where Cyber Design India Limited come into picture because we are one of the top Microsoft partners who have professionals that understand the software inside-out. Yes, they are Microsoft-certified professionals.
If you want to know more about Dynamics CRM, then stay tune to this blog! I will write more about businesses tips together with software functions in the future posts. If you are too eager and excited to see the wonders of technology for yourself, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit customer-relationship-management to request for a demo!
Till next time, see ya!