Although CRM tools like Salesforce.com and SugarCRM are now somewhat ubiquitous, they are often too feature-rich for solo and small sales consulting.
So what's a sales pro to do? In combination with Outlook or a simple calendar to keep track of appointments, here's a way to use Twitter as your CRM, and fully transition from sales rep to social seller.
Begin by identifying the various stages of your sales cycle. Typically, it's something like:
- Lead: a "suspect" – or someone who may buy from you
- Prospect: someone who's networked or asked for information from you
- Connect: a prospect who've you had a conversation with or have set an appointment
- Discover: after you've met and gone through a needs analysis
- Propose: when you're ready to pitch your solution
- Closed: revenue's in or deal signed
- Lost: client went with someone else (but could potentially buy from you down the road)
Once your sales cycle is lined up, create Private lists for each category within Twitter. You want your lists Private. Don't even think to make them Public. The last thing you want is a great Prospect or your Competitor to find out! (See also: How To Filter Your Twitter Stream by Using Twitter Lists)
Next, begin following your clients or their business on Twitter, and assign them to the appropriate Private list in Twitter. You'll then have an organized listing of their URL, and more importantly, their Tweets.
Spend a few minutes throughout the day reading and interacting with your clients on each list. As they move up or down the funnel, simply change the list to the appropriate sales stage. I can assure you, none of your competition is doing this, and certainly won't be as proactive as you will in mentioning clients, interacting with prospects, etc.
Now go sell!