06 Oct Make Relationship Building a Process in Salesforce
I hear a lot of sales reps talk about building relationships, 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 relationship building efforts more systematic and productive.
Start by adding a Relationship Type picklist field to your Contact object with at least these values:
- Contact – for people in your database that you have never met.
- Connection/Relationship – for people that you know and they know you.
- 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:
- Tracking what you know about that person and what you have done to help them.
- Tracking and measuring how they have responded to you.
- Being reminded to keep in touch so the relationship doesn’t go cold.
- Setup a filtered list to easily see and manage all of your Connection/Relationship contacts.
- 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.