Week 6 of 21 Disciplines – Documentation for every call.
Sales reps come and go. You just don’t want them “going” with the knowledge of your prospects and customers notes, activities, contacts, meetings, etc., in their head never to be seen by your company again. Whatever CRM or sales automation system you use, you need to make sure your reps use it religiously. Every phone conversation, meeting, presentation, etc., needs to be documented in your system. Additionally, it’s a good idea to send a Meeting Follow Up document after a presentation, strategy call or demo. It should include who was present, what was discussed, and what the action items are for each party. Make sure those items gets put in the CRM system as well. There is format you can use in Day 97 – The meeting follow up document.
A lot of companies and sales managers take enforcing this documentation policy, lightly. I do not. If it is not done, and done religiously and accurately, it costs me time and money. I like both of those things. It also conveys an attitude from your sales rep that says, “I am really only here for me. I know what’s going on in the account. If the deal doesn’t close while I work here, then it doesn’t matter to me.” This Lone Ranger attitude should scare the heck out of you as the Sales Manager because it is symptomatic of deeper issues. If your sales rep is not documenting every call and everything about the account:
- What else are they not doing?
- What are they really telling your customer of which you are not aware?
- What else are they promising?
- Are they telling the other sales reps they don’t have to do it either?
The real pain is when that rep is gone and you are left having to put together all the missing pieces. Not only is this time (and thus money) consuming, it will also make you look bad to your customer if you have to call them to verify information.
I am being overly paranoid? Maybe. But I believe what Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, espoused as his motto and lived by: Only the paranoid survive.
Part-Time Sales Management