Small Business CRM: An Enabled Customer Is An Empowered Customer

internet-and-multimedia-sharingIt is recognized that in today’s business world that buyers want partners that can drive results and, to help maximize the chances of success, we need to strive towards the Enabled Customer that is empowered to make a decision.

The Enabled Customer

“The journey toward sales growth starts and ends with our customers” – Mike Kunkle

There are so many different components to making a decision. Oftentimes, making a decision is hard work.

It is generally understood that it is our job, as the “sales person”, to do what ever we can to make the decision maker(s) life easy. To guide them through the sales process so they know what to do, when to do it and what to expect at each and every step along the way. After all, people rarely like surprises. It’s about as welcome as change!

When you’re talking to a truly enabled customer they are in a position to answer one final question; “Are you ready to move forward?”.

This means they are truly empowered. They have all the information about your offer. They know how it will help them meet their goals and drive results. They know the intricate details of what happens post sale. They feel comfortable and informed.

It all sounds simple, right?

Oftentimes the challenge of seeing predictable success comes from the fact that we have what is known as a complex sale (meaning it’s not a transaction like buying a can of soda at the gas station) and that we are in discussions with a number of prospects who are in different stages of the sales process at different times with their own agenda.

Their own agenda.

No matter how well laid out your sales process is and how defined each step is people are people and there are likely to be additional steps that need to be taken to get to the next step.

So, for each step taken that deviates from the standard sales process we are in danger of our buyer losing some of their enabled status.

To be informed and to be in control of their enabled status requires the sales person to know exactly what steps have been taken previously so an educated decision can be made about how best to move forward effectively.

This is where a CRM solution like Zoho, Salesforce and others can help.

Helping Your Buyers Become Enabled Customers With CRM

There are several ways a CRM can help in this area. These include:

  1. Task Management – Knowing who to contact, when to contact then and what to say can help the user be relevant and guide the buyer to enabled customer status succinctly.
  2. Document Storage – Having company materials, related articles/white papers and more stored in your CRM and attached to the buyers record can help a user know who has received what so extra, unnecessary steps, are avoided.
  3. Tracking Activity – The Prospecting Mix can be made up of several elements and having a snap shot of all your past interactions helps both the user and company understand their performance.
  4. Tracking Influencers – Oftentimes there are multiple people involved in a decision making process and knowing all of the above for each person of interest can help you help your buyers become enabled.
  5. Tracking The Sales Process – Perhaps most importantly a user can detail what stage a buyer is in the sales process to ensure they are helping them become as enabled as need by at each stage. It is far to common that, as sales people, we perceive buyers to be more advanced than they are and, perhaps unintentionally, try to ask for the sale too early. We can do our best to avoid this by having a “list” of stages that we can align to a buyer as appropriate.

The quest for helping our buyer become an enabled customer is far from being a quest similar to that of searching for the Holy Grail. It is more than realistic, more than achievable and when someone reaches that status it is likely they will be a very happy customer indeed.

Know what you can do to help your customer become enabled and leverage CRM to help facilitate the process in a timely, effective and pain free manner.

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