It looks like when you say, "CRM", a lot of emotions can come up. I've even heard a couple of salespeople describe it as excruciating. Excruciating? Okay, let's not get overly dramatic here. Excruciating is when someone impales you, rips your skin off, or cuts off your limbs. I don't think we should use that same kind of language to describe using a database.
It could possibly describe the way it makes you feel when you think to use it. As in, the idea of using a CRM system, i.e., beginning to use it, is extremely uncomfortable? Could that be a more realistic way to describe using it? I think so. Yes, it's uncomfortable to use a CRM. Initially. It took me a good two years before I even got used to the idea of using it, or even felt like I really wanted to use it. And that's when I saw its benefit. When I made the decision to be proficient at using my company's CRM system.
Making your own outline
I understand there are some CRM systems that outline the entire sales cycle. Luckily, I don't have that type of CRM. My company's CRM is a simple system. Some of my associates say it's not user friendly, but I don't think that's accurate. I think it's easier to use than other CRM systems, but it just takes practice. And a decision to use it. You can't just stand there and stare at it, expecting to get results. Looking at your CRM is a start, but you need to learn to use the links, schedule appointments, look up your customer's information, etc.
In other words, don't be afraid to push buttons. That's how you learn. An outline of a sales cycle is only an outline. It doesn't mean you have to be exactly on target through every day, every hour, or do everything exactly the way it's outlined for you. It's just a guide. If you don't agree with it, make your own. But don't stop using the CRM because of that. There are other uses you can get out of it if you decide to focus on more positive aspects of CRM.
Appointment scheduling and tracking
It's great for scheduling appointments, and tracking your interactions with a client. And yes, you really want to focus on using it to enhance your interactions with that particular prospect/client. While you're interacting with your client, your time is for them. And that's when you focus on making that customer as delighted as possible. But you'll know so much more about them, and it'll be easier to interact with them because of how you've learned about them through CRM.
Use it for you
One of the reasons I decided to learn how to be proficient at CRM was so that I could teach other people how to use it. I also decided to do that for me. So I could become more valuable to my company. It is definitely a great way to set yourself apart from everyone else. Most salespeople don't want to use it, so when you find a salesperson who is not only willing to use it, but also likes using it, that sets them apart. If you are looking for any type of leadership position, it's a great thing to learn. Your company will rely on you more, because they know you can teach others how to use it. It saves them time and money, and makes you look good at the same time.
The number one reason we use a CRM system is to enhance customer satisfaction. Bottom line. You want your customers to be happy. And happier than they would have been if you had just done things the same way as before. That personal interaction is always most important. There's a difference now, though. It'll be with a little help from something you didn't want to know, but are now glad you did.
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