I thought about this question even before I started working as a sales Manager for the first time. I started my career in sales with cold sales in b2b. He sold car paints and body repair products.
So I thought about CRM even when I did not know that they exist. After thinking about what to do and where to work during my senior years, I realized that going into sales is the best option for me. Having made this decision, I decided to prepare a little for the future and began to study what it is and how things are in General.
I had two main questions at the time: how to sell and how to work with the customer base. By the way, they are still on the agenda, but of course they have become much deeper over time.
So the question “how to sell” is certainly interesting, but this is a separate topic.
I approached the question “how to work with the customer base” as I understood at that time – Excel is our everything. Just enter all the potential customers that were found there, record your progress and you will be the richest and most successful seller. Well, this is in theory, so I thought before I even started trying to sell. Although even now a very large number of sellers and Directors think so.
And how it turned out in reality?
So I came out on my first place in sales. And in the first three days that were allotted for product training (training was called by the Director, even then it seemed to me “slightly ” exaggerated. Sometime later, I will write about my opinion and experience of adapting new salespeople. About what to give them, what to provide, what to practice, and so on) during the day, I tried to understand what I need to sell, the nomenclature, characteristics, prices, discounts, deliveries, product groups, and so on. And in the evenings, when I came home, I collected my” Golden ” Excel file, which should contain my entire future database.
What came out of it
After showing the Director on the third day of my work, I suddenly learned that the company does not have a common base. More precisely, it is in 1C, but there except for the accountant, no one understands. In fact, it does not exist.
So I need to show my file to the old folks. And the old people will choose the companies to which they sell and with whom you are negotiating. And of course, for three days as a salesman, no one deceived me and did not cross out this Excel-I’m just fat customers. Well, let’s say. What I got, I got.
I started working on the database that was left to me. And… After a week or two, I realized that with intensive work. When you call from 8: 40 to 18: 15 (so simply transport was suitable, and so my schedule was formed) you begin to turn your database into a dump (why Excel becomes a dump when working together, it is work, and/or with more than 200-300 companies – the topic of a separate conversation)
Evenings and weekends were busy looking for a solution, I remember that it took a long time. Somehow randomly stumbled upon a wonderful CRM solution. Namely gallopercrm. I was completely satisfied with it. Because it was simple and the description was specified for b2b and for calls.
So I got it (CRM was installed on a computer and was single-user). Then there was the transfer of the database from Excel-I to CRM and attempts to work in it. I don’t know about other managers, but I really liked getting reminders, having access to history, understanding how much time I “killed” for a particular “client”, how many times and how he refused, and so on.
No one forced me, nor fined or rewarded me for working in CRM. After a couple of months, completely starting to work in CRM, calling all day, starting to make the first shipments and raising a few unnecessary ” dead customers” I asked the Director “ ” let’s buy a multi-user version and order training.” To which I received the answer “there is no money, you do not understand anything and like you want to have fun, and do not touch others”
So I had fun, called, signed contracts, collected the car for shipment to the regions (1-2 cars per week), tried to control the accounts receivable (which before that only the accounting Department was engaged in)
And then it was December 10, the owner appeared and gave the task to the Director and accountant “the year is over, make a report on the shipments of managers”. The Director took “under the visor” and in a couple of days created a report with the accountant. By the way, I liked the report by the number and frequency of shipments, and most importantly by the absence of a deaf debtor, I (with my “toy”) was very noticeably ahead of my fellow managers. In terms of turnover, I was clearly an outsider, small customers, refuseniks and newcomers were with me. And elite clients were excluded from the same Excel-ICA by colleagues in the first week.
After checking the files, the owner called me and the Director and asked “why the newcomer has the most shipments, almost no debts on accounts and the number of customers is more than 3 old-timers.” I will not go into the dialogue, but 15 minutes after returning, the Director gave me the task “to show, teach, implement, and monitor the work of the entire sales Department in CRM”
To which I said “ ” this is done by implementers, not managers, I taught myself-I want to sell and earn. If I teach and implement for free, then I pass. I will sell and earn a salary”
Obviously, no one paid me, and I continued to work and study various CRM systems in my spare time.
During the first year of work, I realized why I need CRM
So as not to look in a pile of papers to whom and what he said, do not try to remember when to call
To know who, how and when refused me
To call more (just faster it turned out), even taking into account the fact that I called without any telephony, just from a mobile phone
To make shipments. Create deals and print ” cheat sheets” to the driver
To remind me to remind the customer-it’s time to pay for the delivery, or that we will be in his city and it’s time to buy more
And many more reasons, but I think the principle is clear.
P.S. CRM-Ki in the early tenth, were not the same as now. There were no instructions, videos, or anything else. I searched as much as I could and by the way I’m still looking for it, and tried to implement it. After the first experience, there were other jobs, where I have implemented CRM for free and were friends of the managers who were asked to make a “somehow”, was his two firms (the other one works now) and was client implementation. And nothing changes: everyone wants to sell a lot, but doing something for this is not everything…
P. P. S. Exactly a year later, I quit the first company where I started working as a salesman. In two months, I showed the plan for the year to the owner and Director. The plan was a lot of things and make a website, and print understandable brochures to customers, and the ” order form” and the connection of telephony and much more. CRM was also there, of course. There were figures from the budget to the normal version, a lot of them were marked “I will do it myself, only print it out”,” I will do it myself, only buy users” , etc.the Owner said “OK, do it”, and the Director remained silent.
A month before the expiration of the contract-I asked “will we do it?And I got the answer ” no we won’t, no money, do everything you can for free, then we’ll see.”
In General, after a month I quit.