What if instead of reaching more people, you sought to reach people more?
Stop selling. Start serving.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is important in any business as it equates to increases in profitability, productivity, loyalty and customer satisfaction. There are many kinds of CRM software, and different ones are appropriate for different industries and list sizes. An effective CRM is composed of strategies, activities and media to manage communication while building relationships with current and potential clients. Hubspot is the CRM my company recommends most often; people also use Close.com. However, since software is always changing, let’s focus on strategically automating specific messages at appropriate places in your value ladder based on the client’s actions, no matter which CRM you choose.
My own company’s CRM changed the way we work and eliminated some manual tasks entirely. It also helped us increase our scheduled sales calls and demo calls, which increased our sales without a single new lead.
Here are the seven stages we take clients through in our CRM, with different actions, templates and processes for each stage to encourage clients to continue to the next one:
Stage 1: Awareness
We begin with a brand new lead. In your CRM, input their contact information, name, business and any other identifying details they provide. At this point, they are a cold lead, so identify that in the CRM profile. My drop box for leads qualifying includes the following subcategories (and more):
• Warm lead.
• Unqualified lead.
• Scheduled sales call but didn’t show up.
• Completed sales call but didn’t buy.
• Became a customer.
• Became a Super Fan.
The list follows the seven stages and allows for different outcomes, like proceeding through the sales cycle or opting out at a certain point. More about this list as I discuss the stages.
Stage 2: Nurturing
When the client replies to the email or clicks a link, I know we’re in Stage 2, and they’re starting to warm up to our brand. I am often asked, “How do you know what they are doing or who is doing it?” That’s part of the beauty of a robust CRM. A tagging system in the back end follows the client’s actions, and you can automate what is sent to them next based on that action. You can use programs like Zapier or IFTTT to connect your website with your CRM system and your email system to track action across your platforms. These two programs work by initiating a trigger that causes another action to happen automatically. For example, when a visitor clicks three times on a PDF, we have automation to tag them as a warm lead. If a viewer watches ten videos on our website from beginning to finish, we have automation to tag them as a hot lead.
Stage 3: The Sales Opportunity
When a client becomes a hot lead, we enter a potential new business opportunity because they have scheduled a sales call. This means you enter the client into your sales tracker. From here, the lead’s status can go in many directions, such as hot lead, abandoned audit, qualified after audit, did discovery call, DC no show, did demo call, became customer and became a referral source. Have templates ready in your CRM for all these possible outcomes after someone schedules a call with you.
Stage 4: Closing
This is what all your nurturing and engagement is leading up to, the point at which the lead moves to the end of your sales tracker and says, “Yes.” Now, instead of a hot lead, they are a new customer.
Stage 5: Delivery
At this stage, you map the outreach to the client throughout the life cycle of the offer they accepted. This can look quite different depending on the offer. For a package of coaching sessions, for instance, you might automate appointment reminders, follow-ups after sessions and worksheets to be sent at different points along the coaching timeline.
Stage 6: Upsell
Sometimes your hottest leads are the people already doing business with you. Think back to the opening of this article when I proposed reaching out to leads more, not reaching out to more leads. One of the fastest ways to increase the numbers in your sales tracker is to move people from your main offer to an upsell. You might automate this by setting a criterion for actions that people in your main offer take that qualify them for the upsell.
Stage 7: Continuity
Continuity is priceless because a happy previous customer is more likely to refer someone to you when you stay top-of-mind. I include referral information in our CRM so we have actual data on the continuity value of previous customers.
Your CRM should result in customer loyalty and retention. Stop selling, and start serving.