If there's one thing that salespeople in most organisations know about, it's their customers. Salespeople are good at relationships, on the whole, and those relationships are often what differentiates them from their competitors.
And yet, as a salesperson, you are always having to find new customers to replace those that inevitably stop being your clients. It's a natural occurrence. Businesses want to keep existing customers because it costs a lot of money to find new ones.
Recording all your customer contacts
Keeping track of what you said to whom is a daily activity for salespeople because, unless you have an incredible memory, you will forget important details such as how much you quoted the customer, when you last contacted, what they said and whether there are any other obstacles in the way of them buying from you.
To keep track of all of this activity a whole industry has developed with tools to help you cope. In the past, it was the Filofax. Then came computers, personal digital assistants, time management courses and software like SalesForce. They are all lovely and have improved the process of looking after your customers and getting more business out of them immensely.
However, if you are a small business then a solution like SalesForce can be quite overwhelming. It's so powerful that you can often get sidetracked away from the simple thing you want to do - To keep track of things you have said, sent or suggested to your customers and prospects, and to monitor how much business you can land with all of this activity.
These big systems will let you gain insight into anything you put into them and you can customise them to your hearts' content, but they still answer the fundamental questions about who, what, where, when and why about your customers.
A simple CRM
Enter 'Base'. Base is an online and smartphone based tool to help you do all of the above and nothing else. It's a delightfully simple system to use and helps you collect leads from your website, keep track of contacts, record quotes, forecast sales and run simple reports, thereby letting you get on with the sales activities and not get distracted by the system itself. Best of all, it's free for your first 50 (or 150 if you promote it to your contacts to use) recorded deals and it's pretty cheap thereafter.
So, if you are considering a 'customer relationship management (CRM)' tool and you want to focus on productivity rather than features, then consider Base. It's CRM at its simplest.