Sales prospecting is the #1 challenge for business development teams; primarily the ability to keep the sales funnel full on a consistent basis. Growing companies cannot fall to slow times, whether that be due to seasonality or lack of events to capture leads. It is vital to keep the pipeline filled with sales prospects, but keep in mind this is not something that can be attained overnight. It takes patience, practice, dedication, and hard work – but above all, it requires consistent harvesting of leads. Establishing a set of processes that can be automated within a QuickBooks CRM will be the foundation on how you will manage the sales cycle.
Here are 4 Tips on how to fill your QuickBooks CRM Pipeline like a Pro:
1) Use All Possible Modes of Communication
Create a timeline of touches that includes both phone, email, and in-person contacts. Roll out that timeline as a set of tasks in your QuickBooks CRM with designated times in between each touch. This way you have a calendar of events for each prospect and you build consistency without forgetting any of the quiet leads. Reminding them who you are every so often can warm up a cold lead that maybe had larger priorities earlier in the year.
Remember that it will, on average, take at least three connections to establish a trusting relationship. Understand that people of different generations prefer different modes of communication. If you know that your lead is a baby boomer, don’t just email. Pick up the phone! If you are dealing with a Millennial, a quick LinkedIn message or connecting with them on Slack may be a faster way to get their attention. Also, keep in mind that everyone learns in different ways. Some like to hear (phone), while others like to see (email), and a growing population demands a more interactive experience (video or demo). Adapt to their needs, not your preference in communicating.
2) Be Proactive When Asking for Referrals
Referrals can be a tremendously effective way to increase your pipeline. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Be proactive and ask happy clients for referrals. Thank them for their connections and keep them in the loop on engagements so they understand the weight of their referral. Make it easy for them too, send them business cards, remind them of any referral program you may have and if a conversion occurs, send a Starbucks gift card or other token of appreciation with more cards to keep the referrals coming. Be sure to track all lead sources in your QuickBooks CRM so that you can reference back to the original referrer.
3) People Don’t Like to Say No
The outcome of your attempts are usually not seen on the first exchange you make with a sales prospect. Converting a prospect into a new customer takes time, effort and patience. People generally don’t like to say no. So keep contacting them until they do. You never know how their needs, budget, or timeline will change. Far too often to sales reps convert a lead to dead just because they didn’t hear back on a proposal. Then it gets reopened later when the lead contacts again. What about the leads that didn’t remember you and contacted someone else? Setup your QuickBooks CRM to remind you to contact every prospect every month, or at least quarterly, just to keep you in their mind until they tell you to go away.
4) Don't Try to Avoid the Gatekeeper
Decision makers are inundated with sales calls so the receptionist, office manager or assistant is tasked with keeping solicitors from getting to their desks. Gatekeepers screen the sales prospect so that their manager’s time is not disrupted. Rather than treat this person as a barrier and try to bypass them, befriend them! Educate them and get them on your side about why their company needs your solution. The gatekeeper has the ear of your target, and many times their calendar. It would be wise to get them on your side. Before you build a relationship with your sales prospect, try evolving with them. This tactic might help you in reaching your prospect faster.
Filling your pipeline like a pro doesn’t have to be expensive, or difficult. It just requires consistency and a good system as the backbone to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Results CRM is the award-winning QuickBooks CRM system that will integrate with your accounting software while enabling your sales team to do more, and better. Contact Us today for a live demo!