Can A CRM System Help You Close More Deals?
CRM Systems – Can You Close More Sales Without It?
In today’s episode we ask, “Can a CRM System Help?” We cover CRM Systems, what they are and why they help salespeople close more deals. No, we don’t teach you how to use them, rather we talk about why salespeople think they don’t need them, why they should use a CRM System to help them close more, and how they can use them the best. We also hit on the point many sales people worry about…”My boss is going to use it against me!” If your boss is doing this, we also talk about how to stop that from happening.
This idea from this episode came from an article. Here’s a link to that article.. In this post on LinkedIn, someone asked, “Can you be successful in sales without a CRM system?” This also begs the question, should you waste your time using one or should you forge ahead without. The article went on to ask, ” What are important skills of a salesperson?” The two polls had conflicting answers, because one poll would suggest that a CRM system won’t help while the other poll suggests having a CRM system will help you close more deals…simply based on what skills are important in a salesperson.
Confusing? That’s why we wanted to talk about it.
Other Related Episodes:
We mention this episode at 9:57: Episode 7: When Is The Best Time To Make a Cold Call?
Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.
Hey, everybody how we doing? Before we get started? I just want to say take a second and say thank you, to those people that are listening and continue to listen, we really appreciate it. I really want to call out a couple people like, you know, we got I don’t know if you noticed, but we have new new listeners now from Spain, Madrid…. in particular,
Yeah. And Dublin in Ireland. And so raise again us if you’re drinking and listening over there. And New South Wales, Australia, which I was a little surprised. But kind of cool. And then we also I see there’s one other one that kind of caught my eye here was Golden, Colorado. I thought, well, that’s weird. I wonder who that is. It’s kind of interesting. You have any ideas?
You know, I think that might be Pete Coors…
Of, like…Coors, the beer?
Uh, yeah. Well, he lives there. That’s a you know, I’m sure he wants to know some more beer.
You know what that’s that’s very… Pete, if you’re listening, if you’re listening, we do need a sponsor. And we do like beer. So…
You’re listening to The Slow Pitch Podcast, a podcast about selling less, and closing more.
Alright, welcome back to The Slow Pitch Podcast and Lane. How we doing over there?
That’s good. That’s good. Yeah, we should probably tell you that every episode is really standalone. You know, I want to make sure that everybody understands that just because you listened to the first episode doesn’t mean you have to listen to the second. And if you listen to the second, you don’t have to listen to the first or saying why you should. But you shut up. That’s true. Just because it’s not in consecutive order of information. You should be going back and listening to as many episodes as possible, understand Pete Coors, I want to make sure that you’re listening to as many as you possibly can. But I wanted to make sure everybody understood it. Because I did have somebody mentioned to me one time that I thought I had to listen to a previous episode to understand. And in fact, that’s not the case. So Susan, thanks for telling me that. And if nothing else, just know that they’re standalone. Hopefully, you’ll build your knowledge over time. But until then, you know, take one episode at a time, whatever you need to do, and pick the topic that interests you most. So today, we are talking about CRM systems. And I wanted to ask the question, here’s here’s what happened. I was I was online, I saw a poll. That was can you be successful? If you don’t have a CRM system? so Lane before we start, what is a CRM system
It’s a customer ….
Nobody knows what CRM stands for?
It’s a customer relationship management system.
Yes. So and there’s variations there in but but yes, that’s basically what it is, right? It’s, it’s how do you manage the relationship, but it’s recording all the information that you need. So if you didn’t know that, you join the 1000s of other people that didn’t know that either. That’s okay. But on this poll, he asked the question, can you be successful as a salesperson without a CRM system? And of course, a lot of sales people came in and said, what what do you think they said,
I think a lot of sales people were gonna say yes,
Yes, you are correct. Why do you think they said that?
Because, like me, they have perfect memory, and they never forget anything?
Yes, I and, you know, I said the same thing. I’m like, I don’t think we need a CRM system. I mean, if I speak to somebody, I remember what they say, why would I need that? So it’s interesting to hear that, but then he followed later on with another poll that said, what are some of the most important skills a salesperson needs to have in order to be successful, which I thought was a really good question. He gave a bunch of options to choose from. But my first thought was, well, if you’re going to be a good salesperson, now have a good personality, you need to have you know, good listening skills. Well, I mean, what other what other things do you need as a good salesperson?
Well, Rob, you’ve stolen the good ones. So I think you took the easy ones. And now you’re expecting me to come up with the difficult ones?
Well, that’s a good salesperson, really, you know, you take away the easiest ones, the easiest answers and you leave them with the hard ones. And that’s really what it’s all about, right?
Yeah, I see what you’re doing. You’re gonna you’re not gonna throw me a bone here.
I am not.
No… a good salesperson. I would say you need to be persistent. You need to be friendly. It doesn’t hurt to have a good memory.
Yeah, you’re right. And I think I would even add, now that you’re listing off some of those, I would have even added that they would need to have thick skin. Like you got to be able to put up a lot of garbage right? Yeah. So yeah, listen, if you don’t have thick skin, there is some tricks that you can have and we’ll talk about that someday in the future about what you need to do to have thick skin and sales. But he had answers up there that one of the options of his answering his questions. What are some of the most important skills a salesperson needs? The number one choice that was actually selected was ability to diagnose a problem. And I thought that was interesting. My guess is that the people that answered this question may not have all been salespeople, they may not have thought of that themselves. Because if you’re in it, I always think of, if you’re in the thick of the woods, you can’t tell what’s around you, right. But if you’re outside of it a little bit, or you’re a potential client, you know that, hey, what I’m looking for is somebody that can figure out what my problem is and fix it. That’s what they’re looking for. Right? So I thought that was very, very interesting, because those who don’t line up very well. And that’s what he was talking about in his article. And by the way, this was a poll on LinkedIn, by a guy named Kenan, k-e-e-n-a-n … He had no last name and his profile, I would not suggest putting just your first name out there, unless you’re Prince or Madonna. You really should have your last name on it.
I would add three people: Rob.
Right. Yes. Well, you know, I don’t think I’m going to do that. I think that his observation was very interesting, and that they were two conflicting thoughts. If there’s one or two things that happen, one is that the salespeople didn’t recognize what was happening. And the two polls or two, it’s two different audiences that were answering, but it did make me think, why do salespeople think they don’t need a CRM system? Should they use it? Or is it a waste of time?
Or I’m thinking about my business, I, I kind of go back and forth on the whole CRM thing, because, you know, I’ve looked at a bunch that the the tools that are available, I don’t like most of them, you know, they’re some have a good, good feature x, and, you know, but they don’t have y and then other one has z, but not w I, I just haven’t found a good tool that works for me. And I don’t know, maybe maybe a lot of the salespeople are like that. But if you if you’re working for another company, maybe you’re worried your boss’s dress trying to track you or something? I don’t know,
That’s not unusual. I’ve heard that before. What is it that you’re looking for in the CRM system? I’m kind of curious, too.
Obviously, I want something that’s fairly simple. I don’t, one of the problems I find with a CRM system is there’s 300 things 300 bits of information, it’s wanting you to put in there. And I to me that it’s getting a little too complicated. And you’re asking for too much information to me that I want the basics.
Yeah. And basics, in terms of information is like what do you mean?
Oh, you know, the contact details about the customer, and obviously a placed to put notes send emails, track emails, just track communication so you know, I know what I said what they said something easy for me to keep track of all that customers information.
Yeah, that’s how I started to. So before we go too far, can you What’s the first couple of you have you have any CRM systems that come to mind when you think about, hey, there are CRM systems out there? Here’s one that I’ve heard of…
Off the top of my head, I’d have to do a Google search and try to find them again. It’s been a little while since I’ve looked at him.
Yeah. So and that’s probably true for a lot of people. There’s a couple that come to mind. For me, one is obviously Salesforce. That’s a that’s one of the big ones. It’s like the elephant that everybody knows that one. Yeah, I’ve never used Salesforce. It’s not that I wouldn’t, and won’t. I just haven’t used it because it’s, I think it’s too big for what I would need. There’s there’s other things like Zoho and there’s there’s Fresh Sales, and there’s kind of these other little ones, there’s one called Insightly, there’s, there’s 1000. If you Google, you’ll find thousands of CRM systems. And the cool part is, is all of them claim to be like the best thing since sliced bread?
That’s amazing, isn’t it?
Yeah, it is. First of all, the question of whether or not you need a CRM system, let’s answer that question. First. Do you absolutely need whether it let’s say you could find the perfect CRM system for you? Like, do you think it would be helpful to have one?
Yeah, absolutely. I really do. And what would you need it to be able to do for you really, you know, store those customer details? Store the conversation histories, allow me to put in notes, maybe track some file, share some files? To me, those are the basics.
If you could find the perfect CRM system, would you actually use it? And what would stop you?
Yeah, I’d like to say I would use it probably the big thing that might prevent me from using is just time.
Or at least me feeling like I don’t have time to go put the details in.
Yeah. Because you want to like I should be making more phone calls. I shouldn’t be spending my time entering this stuff in I shouldn’t be researching who’s my calling next, not entering this garbage in. Right. Right. Right. So one of the things I think one of the key things I find a good CRM system has is obviously all the data that you need in terms of contact information, all that stuff. That’s the basics. I feel like the thing that’s kind of critical is Where do you keep track of, hey, this person has a disc personality style of C or I and where do you have the in there that you say, Alright, this person is at this stage of my conversation, and these are the pains that they have. Where do you have a place to record information such as when your last conversation was or when your next conversation will be? Do you have that already set up? How do you do it now?
Well, like I said before, I’ve got the world’s best memory. So I just keep it all stashed away in my head. So
Yeah, so alright, you remember the conversation we had six months ago. Where we talked about when was a really good time to make a cold call?
I remember having that conversation.
Yeah, you do. Okay. You remember when I said it was?
Of course I do.
Okay, tell me.
Not as good as you thought, Yeah. All right. So you thought you were an elephant with your brain and think you’d remember everything, but you can’t. And that’s the cool part about having a podcast, we can go back and listen to that. In that episode, however, I will find I have found more times than not when I’m having a conversation with a with a potential client. I’m frivolously taking notes on a piece of paper, which is all good. And here’s what I would recommend. Whatever CRM system you have, have the ability to upload PDFs, because your phone can now take photos convert to a PDF, and you just insert it into your CRM system. So all the notes from your conversation are just right there. And it’s really simple all the information you need even more. So if you have something like an Evernote where you can literally upload documents and you can search words that are written on your piece of paper that you scanned, you can actually search and find that that’s a powerful piece too. So in conjunction with, I’ve done both, I have a CRM system that integrates with Evernote, and I can put my notes in Evernote, it’ll convert it over and push it over to the CRM system. And I can search in either one. That being said, I now know, I have all my notes wherever I need them. I can find them whenever I need them. I don’t care if I’m driving on the road, I can pull off the side of the road and pull up the notes, right. And that’s the key is why you need a CRM system that works for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect for somebody else. It’s perfect for you. So the one that I use that I have used before that worked really well was Insightly and it’s a little clunky, it’s a little bit hard to figure out. But I feel like every single one of these has been difficult to deal with because you have to set all these things up the right way, right. And setting it up is half the problem. Most of these companies will actually help you set them up if you are signed up for a certain level. And we’ll they’ll spend a little bit time getting you on board because you’re worth some money over time, right? Is that so much? Okay, you’re going to be on the free version, you probably won’t get a lot of help. But as soon as you sign up for the lowest version that they have, they’ll help you because your lifetime value just went up. So by the way, Insightly if you’re listening, and you need a podcast that you want to like, let’s say, sponsor, I think we have the show for you. I just what do you think Lane you think they should?
I, you know, it couldn’t it couldn’t hurt I or Salesforce? I’m sure they’ve got the budget.
You know, we’ll take we’ll take we’re not beyond we’ll take whoever right? I mean, I mean, if Coors wanted to do, we’d probably do that, too. Anyway, so we’re back on track. So Alright, so based on that, what are some of the reasons why salespeople won’t enter stuff into the CRM you already mentioned time? What other come things come up
Oh, they don’t want to be tracked?
Oh, yes. Yes. The boss is watching. Right? And they are going to use this against you. They’re going to track all the little pieces that you’re doing. And they’re gonna know you didn’t follow up. You didn’t do this. You didn’t do that?
Let me ask you a question. If, if you entered stuff in, and your boss is using that against you, is the fact that it’s in the CRM the problem, or is the issue
Yes, it’s totally the problem.
Well, okay, but is it the fact that you don’t get the sale, and it’s over and over and the boss can’t tell where you’re going wrong? So if I’m a boss, I’m a manager of sales people, I want to know where I can help. Like, where can I plug in, right? If I know that Joe does a great job on this part, but Mary does a better part on that part. That’s where we need to transition. That’s where we need to have a combination conversation, or we need to help Mary with that other part, or Joe with that part that he struggles with. That’s where we want to be able to use that. If they’re to the point where they’re using it against you, and they’re writing you up. If you’re a new salesperson, you’re not communicating very well with your boss. So there’s a point of if you’ve ever heard of it before managing up managing up.
Where you start to… you want to talk about that?
No, I like it’s you always got to manage up a little bit. Make sure your boss knows what you need, what you’re doing well, what you need that need from them. Always manage up.
Yeah, and the more that you’re ahead of the boss, the better they can react, the better they can serve you. Also, the better they understand where you are, and know this is where you’re going to struggle or they’re going to know you’re going to excel here. And so they can do a good thing for you. I had a boss one time tell me you have no idea how much I protect you from above. I have my boss and my boss’s boss, who they go through some stuff and they start telling me things and I protect you and I protect that guy and I protect that guy because you guys know what you’re doing because you tell me what you’re doing because you keep me informed because you do this because you do that I can stand behind you That’s when you have a good boss. I also had a boss who didn’t do that. And she basically told me, you’re on your own. And that was a fun experience, too. So use the data in your CRM system, put it in there, it gives your boss information to know you’re doing your job. Yes, they can track you, but it’s usually, usually to be able to help you not to hurt you. Is there any other reason that you would think that the salesperson would not use a CRM system?
Oh, I think we feel like we got through few… it’s a time waster. Yeah. The boss wants to track me. I don’t remember what the client told me.
Yeah, I think that’s a big one. Right? It’s keeping the memory going.
I don’t know, what else do you think, Rob?
I think one of the reasons why a good salesperson would use it, beyond the basic things is you’re able to track information with the client with conversations with a client and understand a little bigger picture of what’s going on in their business, the bigger picture you have an understanding of their business, the better your chance of them feeling like you know, what’s happening, and how to help them, or how whatever you’re selling fits into the overall business. So if you have a big picture of visual from 30,000 feet, like a CEO, and your goal is to sit down with the CEO, you already know how to speak to that person. Because you can say, here’s how this would fit with this with this with this with this. And this is why our project should work together. What do you think we’re missing and let them work through those questions with you, they will be very impressed that you know how all these components fit really well together, and let them help you work through that process so that they come to the conclusion, it’s time to hire you. So able to back it up and see a big picture is a big reason why you should use it. I think your your point of you know, being able to remember things is a big one. And I think the being able to solve a client’s problem is another one, where, based on the conversations you have, that two months ago, they brought up something and they haven’t brought it up since you know that that’s no longer an issue, if that’s something that you are going to solve before. And now it’s time to remove that from your estimate. Because you know, that point has not been an issue, you should be able to say to them, Hey, you know, two months ago, you brought up problem A?
I don’t know, I haven’t heard you mentioned that at all. Based on that. I feel like we don’t need to do anything with that anymore. Do we? Or Or am I wrong? And you know what? Sometimes they’ll say, Oh, no, no, no, that’s still an issue. Or they’ll say, yeah, you know what, we’ve actually figured that out. And here’s what we did to fix it. And if they figured it out, and they can explain it, make them explain it, then you’re fine, then you can take it off there. Right. So I think the other part is, is the listening part, if you can listen, more, and I think somebody told me I want to say it was in a networking group, I want to say a long time ago was at a I think it was a BNI group even where they said to me, You have two ears and one mouth, you should use them proportionally. Yes, yes, it’s the same in sales even more so. So in fact, I would go further than that. But your job is to listen more than you talk in sales. If you are not listening, you’re missing something they’re not telling you. And the more you listen, the more you should be writing stuff down. And this is why you should be using a CRM. The other reason is based on all the listening you do, you can ask better questions. So what you might find out in your process, you might find out that by listening and asking questions, there’s a hole that you didn’t know is there in your questioning. And you can fill that in by adding that to your CRM system and saying, here’s a question I should be asking. And until you get that answer, you can’t finish or close out that CRM entry, you cannot close that, that that card or whatever you want to call it. You can’t close that out until you get that question answered.
Do you have a question about sales call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW that (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com. Now, back to the show.
Alright, so I have a question for you, Lane.
Why do salespeople have a bad attitude about CRM systems, besides the basic stuff? Is there anything they can do about that? Do you think there’s anything that a salesperson can do about their attitude towards that?
Well, I think everyone controls how you respond to something so you can work hard to maintain that positive attitude about something and you can control your perception of something. But you know, it’s it’s sometimes it’s difficult with the tools you’re, you know, your corporate overlord gives you to use and you don’t like it for whatever reason, but it’s it’s it’s hard sometimes to maintain that positive attitude.
Yeah, I and I, I would agree with you, I think if you’re in sales, you’re going to go up and down. It’s like a roller coaster, you know, good days, you’re gonna have bad days, you’re going to feel like the boss is all over. Yeah. And you know, the problem is, is is probably not you, it’s probably the boss forgot to do something, the bosses and understanding of what’s happening and they have to answer questions of their own, all of that stuff can fit. But I to me, I feel like the most important thing to keep in mind as a salesperson is your attitude will change everything about the way you sell. If your attitude is, I don’t need this sale, it’s okay, if I don’t get the sale, it comes across totally different than my boss needs me to get the sale. So I need to work hard at this, you can work hard all you want, they’ll smell it. And they’ll know that you’re desperate. And so they’re gonna ask for a bigger discount, or they’re gonna ask you to do more for less. And if you put up with that, it’s just, it’s, you’re gonna not do well in sales, you have to have an attitude of, I don’t need this sale, it’s okay, if I don’t get the sale. And by the way, I am going to just enter this information in so that I know everything I need to know about this potential client. And I can use that information to the best of my ability, and use as much of that information as you possibly can in any future conversations. I’m going to share on TheSlowPitch.com with this post, I’m going to share the source of that original poll that was on LinkedIn by Keenan, only known by Keenan, I will share that post so that you can take a look at that. There’s not much to it, it’s an article about it and so forth. But I want you to take a look and see what you think of that. And what I’d love to have is any comments that you have. So on our website on TheSlowPitch.com, you can make a comment, and I’d love to know what you think of this article. And I would love to know whether or not what we talked about is how you feel about it or not. If you think there’s something we’re missing in terms of, you know, there, why a reason you would not use a CRM system? I’d love to know it. So if you have any questions, submit them, we’d love to answer your questions. And also, you know, I’ll say it again, if you liked this episode, you want to hear more, go to TheSlowPitch.com You can find more episodes. Wherever you are, wherever you listen to podcasts, it you know, if you found this to be helpful, share it, share it with somebody else that you think could use information or you can also give us a review. We’d love to have that information as well. Until next time, Lane, get your CRM system set up. But yeah, I think you got it really set up.
I really don’t know I’m, I’m Googling for my ah, for my next one I’m gonna try right now.
Yeah, you should you should do that. And if you don’t do that, we should have a little bit of a bet we should have a little bit of a bet. Next episode, do you think Lane is gonna have as part of his CRM system set up?
What are we going to bet?
I would say beer
So if you don’t set up your CRM by the next episode, what happens?
Are we talking beer tabs? Are we talking about a beer? I’m thinking we’re talking beer tab? A beer tab. Okay.
So CRM CRM system, or bust.
CRM system or bust. Alright, so if Lane doesn’t set up his CRM system by the next time we record our next podcast, I get free beer for the night. On the other hand, if Lane does…
Then I get free beer.
Alright, fair enough.
I’m gonna cash in. I’m gonna cash that in…
And we’ll see won’t we. What’s the over under on that everybody. Alright, until next time, everybody. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW that’s (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com. Slow down and close more!