When entering notes and history into CRM systems, I am an advocate of what I call the “bus” theory. If the salesperson working the account was hit by a bus on the way to work the next person to work the account should have all of the information necessary to close the deal.
Information that I feel is crucial is:
- Does the contact have budget approval?
- Who are the other stakeholders in the process?
- Is the sale tied to a project if so what is the go live date?
- What do the company financials look like?
- What competitors are in the bidding process?
- What are the next steps – a meeting or scheduled call?
- What are the prospect’s concerns and objections?
Other helpful information could be:
- The gatekeeper’s name.
- Facts that were discovered during bonding and rapport – hobbies or interests.
- Links to the prospect’s LinkedIN profile or Twitter account.
What I often find in CRM systems is information that is not only unhelpful but disruptive. Personal attacks of the prospect are not only damaging to the sales process but also your reputation. Entering comments akin to “the prospect is a jerk”, “this guy is a moron” or even worse entering swear words into your CRM is counterproductive.
When entering notes, you should imagine you are talking to your boss or coworkers. In essence, this is what you are doing. If you feel the prospect is a jerk, explain how the prospect is making the sales process difficult. This will not only help you better understand what is making the sales process so challenging but could also help the next person working the account.
When entering the counterproductive information you give your coworkers and superiors the perception you are inarticulate and frustrated in your position. You also give the appearance that you do not understand the customer’s obstacles and objections. The next time you are entering notes in the CRM system imagine the CEO of your company asked you for an update on the account. Ultimately, this is what you could be doing; the CEO might be the next person to look at that CRM record.