Business is always a two way street –  it’s got to be good for all parties involved. And there’s one thing that is always a deal breaker whether we’re hiring or selling.

The one thing? Using a lead management or CRM system. Last week this came up in our office when our Director of Retail Sales (Nick) was talking about sales team expansion. “Can you imagine if someone came in and said ‘No thanks, I’m not going to use the CRM’ and tried to sell? We’d fire them on the spot”. Ironically, we also won’t sell our lead generation services to any customer who doesn’t have a lead management system in place – it doesn’t even have to be ours, you have to have and use one. Here are the two reasons why:

1) There’s no better way to say “I’m not interested in delivering the best “customer experience”

We’re all human. I know that without a reminder, I’ll forget to call or meet with someone whether I’ve got to call 5 people or 500. It’s just human nature! I’m not smarter than a machine. That’s why lead management systems are so crucial to success in sales.

For our sales team, there’s simply no way they could do their job without one, and they’d tell you that. It’s a requirement for them to sell. Without it they’d have no way to keep track of everything they’ve got to do and everything they’ve done. The same thing goes for any customer of our who wants lead generation. If they’re not using a system to manage their current leads, all it says to us is that they’re not providing the best experience possible for our consumers. And we have to answer to consumers ultimately – even if our service is free to them, if we don’t deliver, we’re going to hear about it. If you’ve ever gotten a bad online review, you know exactly why this is important!

When you’re not following up with customers, they’re not having a great customer experience. And forgetting to follow up is  a common complaint – the WFCA recently did a secret shopper study which showed this. Fortunately, this is the easiest thing to eliminate.

You don’t stay at the top for over 100 years by staying the same.

2) It says you don’t want to help your team or your customers

One of our founding partners, Dan, ran his family’s 125 year old lumber distribution business for almost 40 years. After 30+ years of running the company, in 2006 he implemented a lead management system with his staff to close the communication gap that’s very common across sales teams and particularly with smaller teams who are reporting to an owner or sales manager directly. This cut back on meeting time and most important cut out about 30 phone calls per week for him alone, which freed he and his team up to focus on what’s important – selling. All of the information about every sales opportunity was already in one place, and everyone had access to what they needed.

Why’s that important? There’s a reason it’s a sales team! You and your salespeople are all rowing the same boat. By all staying in sync, you help the organization close more sales and deliver a better customer experience. When you’ve got someone who’s not interested in doing that, it’s either saying that they don’t want to help the team, or there’s not a great team dynamic. Either way, that’s bad for us, and bad for our customers and consumers.

So if you think “I’ve been doing this for 40 years, it works” or “I’m too old to change anyway” … I can tell you from experience, no organization is too to change, and you don’t stay at the top for over 100 years by staying the same!

By all staying in sync, you help the organization close more sales and deliver a better customer experience.

And there you have it…

The single most important theme here is that lead management systems help salespeople help customers. That’s why we’re all in business anyway. And without a way to stay in touch with your customers and keep your team informed, there’s no way to do this. The good news is it’s never too late to improve the customer experience! If you want to find out some recommended criteria for checking out lead management systems (and business systems in general), stay tuned by subscribing to our weekly blog updates on the right.