Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Hitting the Snooze Button in Your CRM Software?

July 7, 2015

Are you ignoring alerts in your CRM solution that could lead to increased sales?

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I had a sales manager many years ago who was exceptionally efficient and productive. I asked him once what his secret was. He replied, “I never touch the same piece of paper twice.”

That was before so much of our work was being done on computers, before email and cell phones with alarms and scheduling software were so commonly used. Still, it’s a great concept for dealing with all of the minutiae in your personal and professional life. “I’ll deal with this later” was not in my manager’s vocabulary — unless, of course, he was in the middle of a project that demanded all of his immediate attention.

You get what I’m talking about here. As a salesperson, it especially applies to the daily work you do in your CRM softwareTodd Martin 070715 image 2 or website. CRM solutions — and some email applications — contain automated alerts (sometimes called “triggers”). They go something like this:

If [email from specified individual] lands in my inbox, then [flag it or move it to the top of the list or to a priority folder]


Follow up with prospect [at specified intervals] 

Those tools are there with good reason, and I try to follow the advice my manager gave me so many years ago when I get one: Deal with it NOW. Unless the office is on fire, or there is a prospect standing or seated in front of me, ready to sign, I respect those alerts. I set them up so I could take action at the earliest opportunity. I don’t save them up and deal with them after lunch. Those alerts are gold — they represent research and digging that I don’t have to do. They help me save time, serve customers and prospects better, and, in some cases, they can put me on the path to a sale.

There may also be triggers in your CRM and email and social network environments that aren’t automated, but which you should take action on immediately. Here’s what I jump on the quickest, in no particular order:

  • Complaints on social media. Especially if it’s a customer of mine. If no one is designated to watch for disgruntled customers, and you don’t have a dedicated customer support feed, it’s important that these be responded to as quickly as possible. Even I I can’t do anything, I want them to see that we’re listening.
  • Queries regarding products and services. Same concept here. You saying Yes, we’re here. We want to know if there’s a way we can help you solve a problem.
  • Trolls. You’ve seen them: individuals who — for whatever reason — leave unacceptable content on one of your public feeds. Get rid of it. If others see it, they’ll wonder who’s minding the store.
  • Any email or posts from one of my customers. Doesn’t matter what it is. I’m their primary contact, and I want them Todd Martin 070715 image 3to know that I’m interested in the entirety of their experience with my company.
  • Emailed alerts from my CRM solution or an integrated application. Even if I’m ready to pack it in for the day, I follow any links like this back to the source.

You never know what point of contact is going to lead to a sale. And with the attention span of the general public now shorter than that of a goldfish (seriously), rapid responses are critical. Deal with customer touches as they appear and move on.

Stock images courtesy of

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