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CRM Part 1: Acquiring More Customers

If you’re looking to make the most of your CRM system and become even more profitable in the process, this four-part series of articles is for you. In this first article, we’ll show you how to use your CRM to capture prospects from every source possible and turn them into customers.

   CRM for the WHOLE business

Start by making sure that your sales people aren’t the only ones to utilize the CRM system at your dealership. Remember, CRM is not just a sales tool – it’s a business tool.

Customers are contacted frequently by different people within the business for different reasons. Tracking these interactions and using them to help guide conversations across the business results in a customer that feels looked after, by a company that understands what is happening in all aspects of its business.

So, get the whole team involved, manage that relationship from all angles and provide a superior level of customer service.

   Capturing all your prospects

Prospects can come in contact with your business in variety of ways – phone calls, walk-ins, Internet enquiries, industry shows and so on. Your business needs to be able to capture contact or business-related information from every single one of them, including their phone number and email address. Having a CRM system in place allows you to record these new prospects in one place, quickly and easily.

   Following up in a timely manner

Once we have a new prospect, you want to reach out to them quickly, because nobody likes feeling as though they are not important enough to be contacted in a timely manner. Simply assign the lead to a member of the sales team who will be able to follow up with the prospect right away, adding a reminder to put this at the top of their to-do list!

Just because you’ve made that initial contact, doesn’t mean you’ve made a sale. Sales take time and opportunities need to be nurtured. By setting a recurring reminder to contact the prospect, you will always be the first dealer on their mind when it’s time to invest in that new piece of equipment.

Got a prospect with a longer buying cycle that goes on for months or years? No problem. Once you have recorded a recurring event, it will make its way up your to-do list until it’s time to get in touch, so no need to worry about forgetting to do so.

   Keeping thorough records

As you interact more with the prospect, you will learn more about them, their business and their needs. Record all this in the CRM tool – whether it be contacts, business type, preferred machine type or competitive machinery they have purchased elsewhere. With all this information at your fingertips, you can turn those cold calls into warm calls.

   Improving your marketing efforts

It’s not only the sales team that’s benefitting from all of the information you have on your prospects. The marketing team can make the most of this too. Pulling out customer lists based on the type of machinery they are interested in or their business type means you can send targeted, direct marketing content. By making your communications more meaningful to the prospect, you can increase the likelihood of your content being read and making an impact.

   Making the sale

Now that you’ve built your relationship with the prospect, while providing them with some really useful information about the latest machinery and your current offers, it’s time to try and secure that deal! Use your CRM to track the opportunity, including the deal value, expected win date and where in the sales process it is. Add some events, like the upcoming demo or that quote you need to send out, to ensure you are on top of things and you don’t lose out to a competitor!

   Didn’t win this time round?

Then let’s learn something from the experience. Log the deal as lost and record the reason why. Was it lead time? Price? Brand loyalty? You can use this data to help ensure you don’t lose another deal for the same reason again!

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Guide: The Secret to Effective Parts Inventory Counting See the guide
CRM Part 2: Retaining and Maximising Existing Customers See the guide
Guide: How to Eliminate Aged & Slow-Moving Items from Your Inventory See the guide

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