I have just read a great article written by Joshua Minton about converting leads in your Salesforce.com CRM system and although it was directed at salesforce CRM users the content is just as useful for OpenCRM and in fact anyone that uses a modern Lead > Opportunity based CRM solution.
I have copied a link below to the original article so that you can see for yourself the tone of the argument that Joshua raises and have paraphrased a few of the key elements with my own comments as I believe in many cases this single area forms the ‘missing link’ when considering your sales pipeline and how your sales team use OpenCRM. If you like our brand of common sense then this article maybe of interest to you.
Why did you just convert that lead?
I think that this raises a really important point, most users of CRM solutions don’t know why they pushed the button to promote a Lead to an Opportunity. Well in all honesty they do, in a lot of cases it has more to do with the numbers [or noise] for the impending sales meeting rather than anything to do with good data management.
If your CRM system is going to work for you then you have to feed it properly, too much of the wrong things and you end up with an ‘overweight data’ system with little relevance to your agreed sales processes.
The assertion here is that you should not convert the Lead unless you can confirm that the prospect has ‘Ability to purchase’ or ‘Desire to purchase’.
It’s a hard watermark to reach but it is a good one.
Why else would you convert from a suspect account to a prospect account without this basic sales knowledge? Who wants to spend money chasing any luke warm business thinking its qualified and ‘ready to go’?
Some salespeople like to live in a fantasy world where their pipeline is huge and ever expanding and Windows doesn’t crash! The reality is that all you are doing is spreading any available resource thinly across this bloated pipeline.
Work from the Opportunity until it is Closed WON or Closed Lost
Of course your Activities list is a great place to spend time making sure that you don’t miss anything specific that has been scheduled but sales people should invest their focus on their Opportunity list. Now this is always a difficult one for me, I understand how people might see this as confusing being told to look at their activities to trap anything needing their specific attention, but also living in their opportunity list, two places to look NOT one? Well it is a challenge [in the same way opening doors or remembering to drive on the correct side of the road] but one that pay dividends.
The idea is simple, look at the business you have in your pipeline, massage it, focus on it and develop it. Look at what message you can communicate to help move things on and as the boys from Glengarry say 'Always Be Closing……
Take a look at the original piece below and don’t hold it against Joshua that he wrote this with a focus on salesforce CRM as it is just as relevant to us as it is to others.
Joshua Minton is based in Columbus, Ohio and is a Certified Salesforce.com Cloud Consultant, Developer and Advanced Administrator.