Make Sales Relationship Building a Process in Salesforce

Sales Relationship BuildingI hear a lot of reps talk about sales relationship building, but most reps can’t tell you what they mean or explain how they do it. It can often be a cover for wasted time. As far as I’m concerned, building business relationships is simply a matter of interacting with your contacts in a way that adds value to them. If building relationships is important to you, and you’re using Salesforce, here’s a way you can make your sales relationship building efforts more systematic and productive.

Start by adding a Relationship Type picklist field to your Contact object with at least these values:

  1. Contact – for people in your database that you have never met.
  2. Connection/Relationship – for people that you know and they know you.
  3. Client/Customer – for people you do business with.

There may be some other values depending on the nature of your contacts and your market like “previous customer” or “consultant.” Here’s a simple process you can follow. Once you meet someone that may be a candidate to do business with, set their Contact Relationship Type to Connection/Relationship.

Then, systematically work to develop that relationship by doing things like:

  1. Tracking what you know about that person and what you have done to help them.
  2. Tracking and measuring how they have responded to you.
  3. Being reminded to keep in touch so the relationship doesn’t go cold.
  4. Setup a filtered list to easily see and manage all of your Connection/Relationship contacts.
  5. Setup dashboards to manage your progress in establishing and building relationships as a key metric.

The time from your introduction to your first lead or sales opportunity can be very lengthy in a lot of businesses, use this easy process to make that time productive and turn relationship building into a discipline.