Meeting people at an exhibition or networking events is easy. Turning these new contacts into valuable business relationships is another story altogether.
Sales teams often attend exhibitions and networking events to increase brand awareness with no strategy on what to do with the contacts they generate after the event.
Research tells us that 62% of businesses fail to follow up with these contacts after the event which is a huge amount of missed revenue (and wasted effort).
Trying to prospect for leads in a busy exhibition hall can be a little too much so we’ve put together our five top tips on what your team can do to get the most out of exhibitions and networking events and come away with a little more than just a bundle of business cards.
Find Out Who’s Going
Understanding the event’s attendees can really help you understand what your audience will look like on the day. Is the event specific to a sector? What discussions, talks or keynote presentations are people paying to learn more about?
Most events offer way in which businesses can find out who will be attending. With an attendee list in hand, you can create a targeted list of people to connect with on LinkedIn or even send a warm welcome via email to the people you would like to meet.
How Can We Do This
- Checking out the events speakers and sponsors.
- Seeing who is posting about the event on social media.
- Joining the event’s social media groups and checking out the member list.
This way you can plan ahead so that you’ll have opportunities to connect with potential customers in person or identify more ideal new contacts.
Tell Your Customers You Are Attending
If some of the event attendees are current clients, there could be opportunities to educate existing customers in person on new products, or make sure they are still happy with your services. They might even personally recommend or introduce you to new business contacts.
CAUTION: overspending your time talking to chatty clients. Make sure you have an exit plan in place for customer conversations so that you can maximise your selling time during the event. Pursuing new opportunities should be at the top of your agenda.
Use a CRM Mobile Application
After an event, many sales contacts slip through the cracks when a sales professional forgets to enter the new contact information into their CRM. Having a mobile CRM at your fingertips means that you can add your new contacts directly after each meeting.
But what if potential leads don’t have a business card on them? LinkedIn – open up the app and hand it to the person you are talking to, and say, ‘It’s been really good to meet you. Can we connect on LinkedIn?’ This is a proven and very successful sales technique, fantastic way of networking naturally in today’s digital age.
Take Notes on The Most Valuable Meetings
At exhibitions you will meet many people and potentially have mini meetings with the people on your target list. These all need to be documented in your CRM. Always remember to record any objections and questions that are raised during the conversation. This will help you get through your leads quicker.
When the meeting leaves your memory, the opportunity drifts away.
Create Follow-ups and Prioritise Business Opportunities
Before attending any events make sure you put a process in place so that everyone on your sales team knows who should be following up and how to prioritise opportunities.
Understand REAL opportunities. Serious customers tend to say at some point during the conversation that they either “want to work with us, they’re talking with a competitor, or they’re trying to do it in-house.”
Finally, make sure you record the event the customer attended against the contact. Many CRMs have tagging features that can be used for this very purpose. You won’t have any way to measure your ROI on events if your staff aren’t connecting first contacts to each specific event. This information is critically important to determine how much money your company should spend on event attendance in the future.
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You can use a CRM to do so much more than just managing and monitoring opportunities.
Typically, businesses use a CRM tool to manage sales activities. But you shouldn’t just think of your CRM as a tool designed for the daily monitoring of sales, there are SO MANY other ways a CRM can be utilised to benefit business growth.
You can use it for HR support, competitor tracking, or even something as simple as creating a content calendar – the right CRM system can carry out all these tasks for you and much more.
So, we decided that we would put together 8 ways in which you can use your CRM to help you automate time-consuming manual tasks.
- Integrate email marketing
Any repetitive email marketing program or task can be enhanced and automated with the right CRM. You can use a CRM like SET to gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns with our MailChimp integration.
- Cut down on administrative tasks
Automate tasks that don’t necessarily require human interaction. Simple, repeatable tasks like typing and sending emails, building reports and creating activities can all be handled by your sales CRM. This will save you precious selling time and slash the costs of your resources along with avoiding the irritation of an arduous, tedious and repetitive job.
- Become GDPR compliant and handle all customer data the right way
Are you ready for GDPR?The General Data Protection Regulation imposes restrictions on how businesses who operate in the European Union can store and manage a customer’s personal data.On May 25th, 2018 GDPR changes don’t just impact IT professionals. There are also significant implications for you and your sales team (especially for cold calling, emailing and sales tracking practices). Even if you’re based outside the EU, you still must adhere to the GDPR if your company handles the data of any EU residents.
Your CRM can securely store your customer and prospect data to ensure third parties cannot see or access it. You can make sure you are handling your customer data correctly using SET.
We’re security certified with Amazon Web Services, our UK data centre offers GDPR-compliant protection for your global data. So, if you’re not sure if you’re handling your data correctly – now might be the time trial SET.
- Track your customers
Take control of your B2B lead generation activity and identify ready-to-buy prospects. Lead Forensics is the software that reveals the identity of your anonymous website traffic, and turns visitors into actionable sales leads, in real-time.By integrating your Lead Forensics account with SET for Business, that information is available from your SET dashboard. New leads can be imported at the touch of a button, and vital insights can be used to increase the effectiveness of all your sales and marketing activities. Find out more in our recent blog, SET launches Lead Forensics integration.
- Recruiting and onboarding
You can use your CRM to track your recruiting and onboarding processes. Think about the similarities between tracking a contact through a sales pipeline and moving a candidate through a structured recruitment and induction process. You may not need a dedicated HR CRM. Something like SET can handle both.
- Managing accounts
Many businesses only ever really think to track the first initial sale in their CRM, but you can also use your CRM to upsell to customers or build stronger relationships with clients, long-term. The job’s not done once you sign that deal. Retention is as important as sales. You should use your CRM to manage the customer’s entire buying history, this will help you increase revenue per customer.
- Project and event management
Have a new and exciting project or event your working on or planning? Don’t pay for another service or software, use your CRM to track those processes as well!
- Digital address book
Whether it’s customers or suppliers, a CRM can store contact details like phone numbers, emails and multiple addresses, along with additional information such as the last time you spoke. You can even explore the possibilities of using a CRM in your personal life. You can automate any admin-based relationship management task with the right CRM tool.
AND FINALLY – use your CRM to help automate almost any process
You need a simple, easy-to-use, visual sales CRM to help you manage your sales pipeline and it doesn’t have to stop there.
Any process that involves a structured series of actions, stages or steps can be managed and automated with a pipeline CRM. When you combine your CRM with an activity-based approach, you can speed up almost any process.
Whatever your business requirements, the right CRM tool will be able to assist in making all parts of your business operations more efficient.
Remember – your CRM isn’t just for sales. Almost every part of your business can benefit from it.
Are you making the most of your CRM software?
The post 8 Ways to Use Your CRM for so Much More than Sales!!! appeared first on SET for Business.
You might not have ever used a CRM before however we’re quite sure you would’ve heard the term loudly very recently, especially due to the new GDPR rules coming into force next month. You may also be aware that many companies, including your competitors are implementing CRM software because it saves time and drives growth.
A CRM solution system brings all information into one central place. The customer’s complete history with your business exists alongside a list of your opportunities, emails, notes, marketing analytics and appointments, available from a single interface.
A CRM is therefore the one-stop shop for your sales teams. It can be the difference between winning an opportunity or losing it. It can also be your gateway to increased sales productivity, healthier pipelines and better coordination between (and beyond) teams. But at its core, CRM software helps you build lasting relationships with your customers.
Previously only big companies could afford CRM software which was mostly over-complicated and really hard to learn, spending £1000’s on support, training and implementation. Today, businesses of all sizes, even self-employed, have access to easy-to-use, affordable CRM software options.
In this blog we’ll explain the value of CRM, what it can do for your business and what to consider when evaluating different products.
What can it do for me?
When starting out, tracking customer interactions in spreadsheets made sense but is that really sustainable as your business starts to grow? Here’s four very important things to think about when making that decision;
- Spreadsheets are hard to update, interpret and keep in sync with business changes.
- Valuable customer information is hidden in your employee’s inboxes.
- Notes get lost.
- Customer history and communication is inconsistent between your employees.
The problem is that most of your important data is spread across multiple platforms and people making it very difficult and time consuming to find vital information and collaborate within sales.
This is exactly where using a CRM comes into play.
A Smart CRM helps you and your team to…
Collaborate all your data into one easy-to-access location. A CRM centralises your customer data so that everyone at your company can access all the information they need from one platform.
Contact information – Looking up customer email addresses, phone numbers, websites and important notes or emails.
Communication history – Track all interactions through email, phone calls, event’s and meetings.
Customer history – A place to reference the length of customer relationships, purchasing history and feedback from customers.
Sell more, quicker…
Having to do tons of manual data entry is one of the biggest productivity-killers for sales professionals. Using a CRM automates many of these repetitive, tedious admin tasks so your sales team can spend less time typing and more time selling.
Using a CRM also helps you build a standardised sales process. This will give you a step-by-step workflow on closing opportunities and helps to reduce the length of your sales and customer service cycle.
Now that you have a sales process in place you can…
Constantly improve and tweak sales methods
A sales process provides the information you need to identify the root cause of delayed deals, take steps to address these problems and make sure your team focuses their efforts on the activities that generate the most revenue.
Accurately forecast sales
Having a more accurate idea of your win rate allows sales managers to forecast how many sales their team will close from a given number of leads, calculate a conversion rate and set realistic goals.
Get new staff members to get up to speed in no time
A standardised sales process makes training new sales people fast, simple and almost idiot proof. If you can show your new salespeople what they need to do at every stage of the sale, it will make an immediate impact once they learn the basic steps in your sales process.
Upscale your customer service experience
If a sales person rushes a prospect into a sales stage it can kill the opportunity and damage the relationship with your business. A sales process ensures that sellers don’t step too far forward until the prospect is ready to move forward.
Stay focused on your customers
By having access to information on customers buying history and enquiries, your sales team can pursue the right opportunities at the right time or even collaborate with your marketing team to deliver targeted and useful content to your audience. Selling then becomes a more personalised experience that’s focused on the customer.
CRM data also helps you predict your customer’s needs before they even make you aware and the service team can keep your customers happy by solving their problems as soon as they arise.
Now that you’re aware that a CRM brings a huge amount of value to your business, it’s time to start evaluating your options and learn if SET is a good fit.
Try SET FREE for 30 days or reach out to our CRM expert Heidi Lavery who will be happy to answer any questions about how SET could drive the growth of your business.
The post What is a CRM and what can it do for your business? appeared first on SET for Business.