What are the best days and times to close sales? Why shouldn’t you drink coffee in a sales meeting? When having lunch with customers, why should you take the best seat at the table? Why should you never ‘be in a meeting’ when a customer calls? Why do breakfast meetings make rain?
These are some of the questions and rules brought up in the book ‘How to Become a Rainmaker. The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients’ by Jeffrey J. Fox. This is a bestseller about selling and if you haven’t read it yet and you want to be above average, you should.
It was great information for me and so I wanted to share just three concrete examples where Mr. Fox’s advice + the use of a CRM platform like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and some gamification techniques, will help you make rain!
1) Always Precall Every Sales Call
As Mr. Fox states, appointments with decision makers are relatively rare events. And yet Meeting with decision makers is crucial to getting the sale. Because of this, meetings (now very commonly held virtually) with decision makers must be carefully planned.
In his book, Mr. Fox says that “Ninety percent of all sales calls are won or lost before the salesperson sees the customer. This is because so few salespeople actually plan their calls…Rainmakers never waste a sales call: they always make a Pre call plan.”
What does that mean in the CRM world? Adopting, adapting and implementing a simple checklist like the book suggests into your CRM. It should be no more than adding some fields to the PhoneCall system entity to help you and your sales team make more effective sales calls and save valuable time for next phone calls.
- Sales Call Objectives
- Relevant questions to ask
- What am I going to show in this call?
- Anticipated customer concerns and objections
- Points of differences with competitors
- Which dollarization benefits to the customer will I share today?
- Expected results and next steps from the call
- Expected surprises?
‘A Rainmaker never calls on a decision maker without a written precall plan’, Jeffrey J. Fox.
2) Fish Where the Big Fish Are
It makes no sense to waste your time, money and energy chasing poorly qualified opportunities or low profit deals, aka small fish!
Making good use of CRM can substantially improve your accuracy when qualifying opportunities and best of all, decrease headaches and increase revenue. How can that be accomplished? 3 very simple ideas:
- Exploit the new Business Process Flows (BPFs) introduced with CRM 2013 (unfortunately I have seen very few customers using it to its potential). Mandatory “Yes/No” questions aligned with Mr. Fox’s concepts i.e. ‘Current customer?’, ‘Contact is familiar with our products?’, ‘Want or need our products’, ‘contact is decision maker?’, ‘I know about budget’, ‘We are first bidder’, ) combined with options (i.e. timeframe, purchase process) and stage may be very useful. Example:
- Leverage Business Rules, also introduced with CRM 2013. Visually display your rules that have been proven successful in qualifying or disqualifying opportunities. By that, I mean proactively alert the sales rep the opportunity doesn’t fit with some proven criteria. For example, if your contact isn’t a decision maker, and you don’t know the budget then a suggested action is to diplomatically skip this one and invest the time in other opportunities.
- Start your day with dashboards, not records! Dashboards (customized internally ), can quickly tell you things like: your top opportunities, your top customers, # of opportunities won/lost by customer, $ in revenue by customer, # of phone calls by customer or opportunity, % quota achieved (if combined with CRM goals) besides of course, the most common charts like sales funnel. Work from dashboards and drill down to records, see the forest first, then focus on the right trees.
- Celebrate BIG sales! As Mr. Fox states “the big sale is the trophy fish on the wall’, a phrase I couldn’t agree with more!. And I am very happy when customers tell us stories about how much their sales people love to see their picture on the widescreen through Hurrah! Leaderboards after a gong rings or a goal is scored celebrating a BIG SALE!
3) Use the Point System Every Day!
I will re-state the author’s advice here:
‘There are four steps which are part of every sale:
- Getting a lead, a referral, an introduction to a decision maker.
- Getting an appointment to meet the decision maker.
- Meeting the decision maker face-to-face.
- Getting a commitment to a close (a purchase) or to an action that directly leads to a close.
Assign one point to Step 1, two points to Step 2, three points to Step 3, and four points to Step 4.”
Of course,the number of points and everyday targets may vary from business to business but gamification of your CRM will allow you to assign points to important business processes and keep everyone focussed and on track.
We at CRMGamified offer tools to award and keep track of points and progress toward well qualified opportunities with great profit and revenue potential. Gamification of your CRM helps you develop rainmakers and increase success for all.
Look how easy it is using Dynamics CRM and our Motivation Engine:
That’s a pretty simple but common rule, including the creation of a record (in this case Lead), that meets some condition or conditions.
Very similar configuration can quickly be done for appointments, phone calls, opportunities and actually whatever system or custom entity you may be using in your Dynamics CRM to track sales data.
Oh! Who is going to make it rain this month? Visually design a badge and define a more difficult rule like generating 10 new opportunities this month with actual revenue >5.000 and closing 2 of them. You may want to include making certain number of phone calls or appointments as well.
Moreover, if you’re in a management role, you may want to know in real time how your sales team is performing, encouraging the behaviors that drive more sales:
While if you are in a sales position aiming to improve your stands, you will love to see how nice your trophies and your next upcoming missions look.
There is a lot more to be done but I hope this post briefly helps to leverage Mr. Fox concepts through a real and fast way of bringing them to action.
Leave your comment below with opinions on how to improve sales performance with Dynamics CRM!
MVP | Microsoft Dynamics CRM