This is a series of posts aimed at helping you survive in a new sales territory.
Maybe you get a new sales job or took over a new “greenfield” opportunity in your existing position. Either way you’ve got a big challenge ahead.
In my last post, I talked about using all your relationships: your mum, cousins, accountant, friends etc. to get you introductions to target account in your new territory. This post is about another way to get into those accounts…your company’s CRM.
Go dumpster diving
I’ve seen this scenario many times, actually nearly all the time. Your company has a nice big (or huge) list of accounts in your CRM, often tens of thousands. But often the CRM is as organized as a child’s bedroom (i.e. with my kids, it’s a mess!)
But in this messy CRM may lie some great nuggets.
Many relationships the company has had are buried in these old records. If your new job or territory allows you to approach some of the thousands of people in this database, you should because all relationships help you sell and often they change the whole game.
Time and again I’ve seen the current sales people and managers in a company overlook what potential lives in these “dusty” old CRM records. Their focus is on what is going on today. What’s in today’s pipeline.
Existing reps also often go back to the same handful of accounts selling them over-and-over-again and never taking the time to look through any of the old records sitting in plain sight in the company’s database.
Unless your company has completely burned its bridges with an old client (and even then you cannot write the account off for sure), you should consider trying to “reactivate” this account.
If a company has done business with your company before or even gotten pretty far down the pipeline, there may well be a fit. Caveat: Check that the company fits with your ideal prospect profile before you invest too much time in them.
Trigger events are your friend
You’re probably not going to sell these dormant accounts much right away. That’s not the approach you should take. You want to start to nurture your territory. By reopening the conversation with previously inactive accounts you can put yourself in a position to win business when the time is right.
Trigger events are your friend. A trigger event is when something changes at your prospect. Some examples of trigger events are new executives, new initiatives, mergers, company growth and downsizing.
If you keep in touch consistently and are a helpful resource, you will be in “position A” when a trigger event occurs at one of these accounts. If the trigger event is in an area where your product or service can help, you will be in like Flynn.
When you’re dropped into a new sales job or territory, I believe your best chance of survival is to intelligently leverage all the relationships you can muster. Don’t overlook your company’s CRM system in this pursuit. It may be messy and it may be dusty, but under all that muck there may be some golden opportunities.