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Above all else, direct sales is more about relationships than it is about sales. And as such, finding success in direct sales depends on building and managing those relationships.
How you meet new people, how you introduce yourself to them, how you introduce them to your business and your products, and how you follow-up with them later are all integral to your success in direct sales. And if you let those relationships fall through the cracks by forgetting to email someone when you said you would or forgetting to check back for a service call after their purchase was delivered, you can lose business and reputation.
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This is why finding a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is vital to the success in direct sales.
It's true, most direct sales companies have some sort of customer tracking and contact information available to you from within their back office. And while this is a good tool for basic performance summaries, they don't really give you the power and flexibility that a good CRM tool will give you. CRM is more than just sales and customer tracking. Sure, there is a nice, secure place to store customer data, but with a good system, you also get a place to track activity. You can stay up to date with everything your customers want and need, manage your time better, and actually spend more time doing what it is you love to do: spending time with your customers.
CRM will help you identify valuable opportunities, streamline your entire sales cycle, and strategize your networking efforts. And even though most CRM tools are not exactly cheap, they all save you money, time, and sanity. They take some initial effort to get set up and established, but once they are implemented, they can boost team sales and performance by prequalifying leads, streamlining follow up (and we all know the fortune is in the follow-up), and so much more.
What are the Elements of CRM?
Think about it, once you've made the sale and have gained a customer you want to make sure they're satisfied with their purchase, loyal to you, meaning you check back on refills or check in with new products they may love, which leads to Customer Retention, which leads to success in direct sales.
Following up in a timely manner can be so important, they can gain you a customer for the life of your business.