If you’ve ever found yourself staring down a pipeline of prospects, unsure what to do next or who to follow up with, you’re not alone. In fact, a lot of salespeople find themselves more than prepared for an initial meeting, and then fall short when it comes time to follow up after it ends.
If you find yourself unsure of who you’ve already reached out to, who is waiting for outreach, and who it’s time to ping again after a lull, we've all been there. That creeping sense of disorganization is overwhelming, and can even cost your sales team opportunities as they try to figure out who to reach out to.
The solution is, of course, getting organized. For most of us, that means implementing a Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), to keep us on track.
But chances are, if you're in the process of researching a CRM for your investment firm, then you already have an idea of the value a CRM can bring to your business.
From data integrity to better client service, a CRM can transform the way you do business every day, adding time back into your day and making meetings more productive. But most importantly, they give you clean and accurate data and a way to act on it.
At Dakota, we’ve built a business out of compiling, cleaning, and curating our contact data. This practice has helped us raise over $35B since 2006. We’ve been using Salesforce as our CRM for fifteen years now, and have since created our own Salesforce App to coincide with our Dakota Marketplace platform.
But don’t worry. We aren’t here to sell you our Salesforce App.
Instead, in this article we’ll be covering the power that Salesforce can bring to your sales team, as well as how to use it to create a killer follow-up system. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to empower your sales team to use data, follow up effectively, and close more business.
Why do I need a CRM?
A well-maintained CRM can give your sales team up to five times their typical level of productivity, simply because they're not wasting time looking for people who buy what you sell. All of that information will be in your CRM. They are also no longer wasting their time trying to figure out who they’ve already met with, and who they need to follow up with.
The secret to growth for any business is knowing your Total Addressable Market (TAM), and your CRM is the foundation needed to fuel that growth.
Why Salesforce Specifically?
There are a ton of databases and CRMs out there, and plenty that we’d recommend. But if you’re trying to decide between them, we can say that, having used Salesforce since 2001, our team has found Salesforce to be the most user-friendly CRM on the market.
With over 150,000 customers around the world, and extremely customizable for the investment industry, Salesforce is one of the most widely-recognized CRM options available. There are countless use cases, customizations, and possibilities for you within their systems, and it can accommodate every team in your organization, from sales and marketing to IT. This makes it a flexible solution built for scale.
And finally, Salesforce’s reporting capabilities will help take your sales team to the next level.
Is Salesforce right for my firm?
In short, yes.
While we know that a lot of CRMs, like databases, have a negative reputation within the investment industry, the problem is not with the platform, but the data within it. The misconception stems from the fact that most sales teams associate bad data with Salesforce.
It comes down to getting serious about the data inside Salesforce.
What does a CRM have to do with sales?
When it comes to sales, follow up after the first meeting is critical.
You can’t do anything before you set up a meeting with a prospect, but once that meeting ends, it all comes down to following up appropriately. To do that, you’ll need a CRM that lets you access all your past sales activities and follow up.
Use reports within Salesforce to review all the meetings and calls you’ve had over a set stretch of time. This will give you a clear overview of what you’ve already done and when for easy follow-up.
The key to creating these activity reports is reviewing them regularly and taking action. They are great reminders that you need to continue to follow up. At Dakota, we call these reports “sales triggers.” By reviewing your past activity, it triggers you to take an action in moving that relationship forward.
You can’t be a successful salesperson without following up, and at Dakota, we believe you can’t follow up without a clear, targeted, follow up system. And it all starts with your CRM.
Making the most of your Salesforce data and reporting
Be religious about logging all information related to your activities, conversations and interactions with buyers. This is the data on who, what, when, where, and how that will allow you to create follow-ups that address an allocator's specific needs and stage in the buying process. This keeps your team organized, without letting anything slip through the cracks without follow up.
However, the most important thing, after entering data, is the ability to access that data.
Running actionable reports is what will make your sales team hyper-productive.
One salesperson can punch with the weight of ten sales people if they have their data configured properly. Salesforce allows you to create activity reports across the last two weeks, thirty, and ninety days of activity, allowing you to set tasks and reminders for follow up.
This is what will take your sales team to the next level. Once they can hone in on following up after those initial meetings, they’ll be able to stay on track and focus on closing more deals.
What to do next
If you’re not sure Salesforce is right for you, or how your firm might customize it to fit your needs, we have more resources about the importance of accurate data and following up that might help you take the next step in your decision-making process.
You can also set up a call with one of our Salesforce consultants, who can talk you through your needs, and what a project like a CRM implementation might look like.