A best practice for salespeople by Dave Kahle
Best Practice #25: Maintains good records about customers by using an ‘account profile’ and ‘personal profiles’ for every account.
It is the Information Age. And that means that wise and effective salespeople collect, store and use good information about their customers and prospects. That information provides the salesperson with a competitive advantage, is invaluable for planning for the best use of his sales time, and allows him to be much more effective in his sales calls.
In this day of CRM systems, hand-held devices and smart phones that make information management so easy, it’s a wonder that I even have to mention this. But the sad truth is that there are still sales forces that don’t use any kind of automation tool for salespeople. And, even in those who do have some kind of electronic system for information management, a considerable portion of the sales force doesn’t comply with the company’s directions for collecting information.
These salespeople realize that information – particularly information about the specific opportunities within an account and the quantifiable potential of every account – brings with it some accountability. If account X has this much potential, for example, what are you doing to acquire it?
And it is that accountability that frightens the information-leery salesperson.
But not the sales masters. They understand that specific, useful information about every account – the kind that you would collect and put into an account profile – is valuable, not only for the salesperson, but also for his/her company. They welcome the accountability that rises out of information, as they understand that it helps keep them sharp and focused.
And even in companies that do not have a system-wide electronic approach to information management, the best salespeople create their own tools, and discipline themselves to rigorously use them.
That’s why this is a practice of the best.
For more information about this best practice:
Read chapter six of Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century.
Reach chapters three, four and five of How to Excel at Distributor Sales.
Read chapter three of Take Your Sales Performance Up a Notch.
If you are a subscriber to The Sales Resource Center®, review Pod-43: Managing Information before it manages you, and Pod-45: How to collect the right kind of information.