Great customer meetings, especially ones that follow the 12 rules Geoffrey James outlined, make my day. Unfortunately, poorly coordinated follow up after these same meetings that I’ve made sure not to mismanage can cost me momentum (i.e., pushed deals) or even a deal itself (i.e., a non-decision or loss).
That’s why I force myself to be disciplined about the follow-up process.
Being on the road can make that challenging. I’m usually hopping in the car, on my way to my next call, or rushing to connect into a web meeting. How do I make sure that I don’t miss something important about the customer, the competition, or our game plan with this account?
It isn’t easy, but here’s how I personally manage my follow-up process:
1. Thank the customer – We should all be grateful for the time customers spend with us and their interest in the value we aim to deliver to their organizations. I try to make sure every one of my customers knows that.
2. Capture “to do” items – I may need to schedule a follow up meeting, answer questions about my products and services, kick off a trial, share detailed product documentation, or negotiate a contract. Driving these next steps is key to the momentum of any deal, and we all know, time kills deals, so I try to keep mine moving.
3. Assign “to do” tasks to my larger team – I work closely with my inside sales counterpart, channel manager, subject matter expert, and manager. Many colleagues play critical roles in a well-orchestrated sales campaign.
4. Update my CRM system – We’re required to update key fields related to close date, forecast category, competition, and key steps in the selling process. The sooner I update, the better.
5. Inform my manager – Keeping my manager in the loop is key to getting the resources I need, approvals I request, and team support required to win. Because managers can provide significant leverage in deals when used properly, I know it’s worth keeping them up to speed.
Handling all of this follow up on my phone was cumbersome. I’ve got email, calendar, contacts, note-taking apps, to-do apps, file storage apps, and more. But none of these apps was built for me as a sales person. Sometimes, I’d wait until I got back to my desk to follow up (which can be even more time consuming). Then I’d often miss a step or two. But not anymore!
Now, I can manage my entire follow-up process from the palm of my hand, with just a few taps, and before I’ve even left the customer’s lobby—all in a single, sales-centric, mobile-friendly application. It’s a great feeling, and really a relief, to know I don’t have any immediate action items hanging over my head from the last meeting as I move on to my next call.
I’m seeing the revenue results I want, and I’ve got Clari (and of course, all my hard work) to thank for it.
What’s your follow-up process? Drop me an email and let me know. If you're interested in learning more about how Clari helps me, I'd love to show you a quick demo: