I am amazed when I work on CRM projects on how few sales people take the time to organize the activities they have planned for the week ahead. Sales people have that “put out the fire” mindset; they jump to and from activities based on what is happening at that instance in time and place little value on the importance of the activity.
One of my favorite sales books is, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger. In part 1 chapter 4 Frank speaks to the tactics he used to make the transition from being an unorganized sales person to an organized sales person.
In the chapter he speaks to the following points:
· Great satisfaction comes from getting things done.
· Do things in the order of importance.
· Set aside time each week to get organized.
· The secret to success is not working more hours; it is working on the important things.
Most of the customers that I work with use MS Outlook as a productivity tool to manage emails, contacts, tasks and calendar events. The problem with MS Outlook is it does not do a good job of associating the relationship between activities (tasks & events) and your contacts and accounts; as a result sales people do not do an effective job of using MS Outlook as a planning tool.
When a customer adopts a CRM technology they now have the ability to associate tasks, events, contacts and accounts and share this information with team members.
Sunday evening I take the time to plan out my week within my CRM:
· Appointments – Most of the appointments are booked from the previous week; each appointment is related to a contact and CRM Object (Lead, Opportunity, Cases).
· Project Activity – I set-up a block of time to work on Open Projects; I use BaseCamp to manage project activities.
· Opportunity Follow-up – I set-up a block of time to follow-up on Open Opportunities; I then create a task within the opportunity record to match the prospecting time I set-up in my calendar.
· Prospecting Activity – I set-up a block of time make new prospect calls; I then create a task within the Account or Contact record to match the prospecting time I set-up in my calendar.
By taking time 1 hour at the beginning of each week I am able organize my entire week and prioritize my activities by importance. I am also able to share my calendar with my team, making me accountable to our goals and objectives.