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Prioritize, Divide and Conquer Your Contacts

ACrowds a sales person or a marketing person you have many contacts assigned to you or you have to worry about.  You have limited time.  Make sure in your CRM or your Marketing Automation systems you have decided upon on who to contact.  I am a firm believer that Sales needs its own sandbox (CRM) and Marketing needs it own sandbox (Marketing Automation such as HubSpot).   Contacts reside in both systems.

You need to touch the contacts that are the most important to your organization (prioritize) and you do this by dividing them into groups and focus on these groups at the right time.

Marketing people need to think like a prospect or customer but also need to think like a sales person.  I was in sales and I would like to think that my sales experience makes me a better marketing person.  Marketing needs to education Sales on terminology and processes regarding contacts.

Sales team members need to help the marketing team members by helping fill in  missing information such as state, job titles and email addresses for the contacts they know.  Also make sure that names are spelled correctly and not all uppercase.  Personalized emails look bad when names are misspelled or in all caps.  Not a good 1st impression.  Also if you know someone has retired or left the organization, please update the database.  An accurate database help Sales, Marketing and the organization.  Not every organization has a CRM administrator that maintains the CRM database.  Therefore, everyone needs to assume the role of administrator.  I know that Sales Representatives do not like updating CRM systems.  But the better the data is and the better they know how to use the CRM system the better it will be for everyone.

I suggest that all contacts be split into 3 areas (A-high priority, B-medium priority and C-low priority).

Sales needs to focus and follow up on the high priority contacts which includes:

  • Opportunities that came from Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).  These are Bottom of Funnel (BOF) leads
  • SQLs that came from Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and referrals.  These are Middle of Funnel (MOF) leads
  • MQLs that Marketing sent to Sales and probably came from multiple sources and multiple touches
  • Others such as partners, consultants, friends that might influence prospects or provide leads

Marketing needs to focus on enhancing the community by sending out newsletters and holding user conferences.  And Marketing needs to focus on campaigns that will generate MQLs for the sales team.  Marketing will also be dealing with Top of Funnel (TOF) leads until they become MQLs.  And Marketing needs to separate the contacts by buyer persona and campaigns.

Sales team members need to be time efficient and focus 1st on the high priority contacts and only when completely done with those contacts do they spend time on the medium priority contacts which includes contacts that have engaged with the organization but the individual sales representative has not contacted yet by email, phone or face-to-face.  Get the conversation going.  Make sure that Marketing is informed of any communication with contacts by updating the CRM system with the activity.  It is best if the CRM and Marketing Automation systems are integrated so a change in one such as a name gets updated in the other system automatically.

Only when high priority and medium priority contacts have been followed up on should Sales work on low priority contacts which are contacts assigned to the individuals sales person and have had no engagement with your organization.  Normally these contacts should be worked on by Marketing.  Sales can also work on housekeeping items such as database cleanup.  This is a low priority but does need to be done probably at least once a quarter.

In most systems, the Contact record has a field called “Next Activity Date”  which signals to the Sales or Marketing person when that contact needs to be touched again with an email or phone call.  The system will not forget about this contact.

It is important that Marketing operations and Sales operations are in sync on definitions, integrations, processes, databases and activities.  You might have thousands of contacts in various stages.  I suggest that you divide your contacts into groups, prioritize the groups to be be engaged with so that it is will be the most beneficial to the organization.

I wrote another blog post on contacts titled “Your Contact Database is Gold“.  Check it out.

Let me know your best tips on handling contacts.

 

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