The power of tracking
The power of tracking
Posted on: March 5 2012
Early in my career, I too, belonged to the documentation naysayers club. My (young and energetic) self was espousing the thought that 'cold callers are artists, and artists are left brained - we don't track, we don't schedule and we don't administer. We cold call!'
Only later did I learn (the hard way) the value of the systematic tracking for Every. Single. Phone Call.
Go ahead and laugh at my expense, but here's how I learned: There was a morning, some years ago, that my memory was in the lurch. I was very busy, struggling in my personal life, and was hard-pressed to determine the name of the decision maker for a particular company. After working my way through a receptionist, a gatekeeper and an additional employee, finally I got the man in question on the phone. Here was my chance. I fired into my pitch as my (young and energetic) self was accustomed to doing, and he interrupted me suddenly with: "But didn't we discuss this two weeks ago, Daniel?"
Now, I'm not quick to fluster or get distracted while selling, but in this case, I was at a loss. What a costly mistake! In a flash, a memory of the same series of phone calls I had place two weeks ago came flying back to me: the same receptionist, gatekeeper, personal assistant - and the exact same sales pitch to the exact same man. Talk about embarrassment. Although winning hearts with humor (another blog post) is often your best response, I stumbled, and vowed for this not to happen again. It hasn't.
Every detail helps
I suddenly realized that each listed detail would help me with selling my product, not only what a decision-maker tells me about his or her interests and preferences, but also off-the-cuff comments from his personal assistant about hobbies, children, an opera she saw recently. As I am indeed left brained, as most successful cold callers are, I needed to (and have) put into place systems that compliment my skill set and make sure that nothing slips through the cracks.
These CRM systems, available from the most basic (excel spreadsheet) to an enterprise level solution like SalesForce allow cold callers to document and reference how long ago an initial call was placed, who spoke, what was discussed, and when to return to potential client. That said, Although CRM packages are exceptionally useful, in my 15 years experience utilizing a wide array of them, I have yet to find the ultimate CRM solution. Recently, I decided to take matters into my own hands - enough is enough - and to develop such a system myself - a system that will be ultimate tracking and administration tool for cold callers.