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A ? for salespeople...

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  • A ? for salespeople...

    New to this board and to the GTD process.

    I've been thinking about organizing my Next Actions by sales opportunity (i.e., a specific sales opportunity w/ a current customer or new prospect) and was wondering what others are doing. My sense is that defining each sales opportunity as a project will simplify the process. Any thoughts?

    Also, are salespeople using this process more inclined to use paper, digital or a combo of both for client/prospect Next Actions?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  • #2
    That's exactly what I'm doing... I have about 20 opportunities. Most have multiple steps/stages. Some are in the qualifiaction stage others are in the closing stage. Bottom line is that each opportunity is a project.

    I just started (over the weekend) using the "pigpog" method of GTD with Outlook.

    http://pigpog.com/michael/blog/2004/...pog-method.php

    In this case I use the tasks and in the subject area put the name of the opportunity in parentheses and the next step. It looks like this: (XYZ CORP) call Jim Jones re coolaid. In the "notes" section of the outlook task, I list out the steps. When the step is done, I go to the notes list and "cut and paste" it into the task "subject" area. Works great so far.

    Thanks
    Kurt

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    • #3
      Kurt, thanks for the reply...

      I went to the link you provided and printed the Pig Pog Method...I'm excited to try this.

      Are there any GTD blogs for salespeople that you're aware of?

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      • #4
        Sales & GTD has become a huge issue for me since starting my own business. I am contacting between 30-40 prospects per day and if I had each of them as a project I'd have about 400+ outstanding customer projects right now. Common sense tells me that you would only track those which responded to my inquiries and to leave the rest in the databank.

        Speaking of data, I am using smartlist to go on my palm for tracking my sales leads, customers, etc. It seems a bit akward to manage a projects list and a database both at the same time with the same info. The database has all the details and the projects list has the actions and responses. I tend to worry that I will put info in one place and not the other and the have to go search for it. I am considering 'dumbing down' my database but then I think about all the useful statistics it provides and veto the idea. The database misses the mark because it neglects to remind of things at the appropriate times. In order to get reminded, I have to remember to do dual-entry and make a second note on my calendar to follow-up. Is there a simpler way? Perhaps the info shouldn't go into a database until there is a sale - but then what about tracking who you have contacted so you don't contact them again accidentally? *sigh*

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Anonymous
          The database misses the mark because it neglects to remind of things at the appropriate times. In order to get reminded, I have to remember to do dual-entry and make a second note on my calendar to follow-up. Is there a simpler way? Perhaps the info shouldn't go into a database until there is a sale - but then what about tracking who you have contacted so you don't contact them again accidentally? *sigh*
          May I recommend ACT? It does everything you want and a lot more. It is a fabulous data base for prospect tracking and working your way through the sales process.

          I have tried over and over to get MS Outlook with GTD to work like I want it to for prospects and customers --ala "Projects" -- but I gave up and went back to ACT for the prospecting data base. Oulook is still my main calender, my tasks, my notes, and my projects and email.

          You can sync Outlook and Act back and forth, but I don't know if that would help or confuse the issue.

          Personally, I find it a lot easier to import prospect databases into ACT than into Outlook.

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          • #6
            For prospecting/contact manager I limp along with Outlook 2003, using flags to peg call back dates etc. If a prospect turns into an opportunity I create a task and use the "pigpog" GTD method of using putting the list of action items into the notes section of the task. This seem's to work well for me.

            I have never used ACT but I think I might down load it and give it a whirl....

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            • #7
              If you are thinking about ACT, please consider Goldmine as well. It does a fabulous job and is not as well known as ACT.

              Also, a great resource for information on contact management software is ContactReview.com. We are an active community, and while the emphasis is on Goldmine there are boards for ACT and other CRM programs as well. The moderators there are very helpful, and I am not just saying that because I am one...

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              • #8
                My system is a combination of paper-based and PDA. I have a large number of ongoing projects which need occasional prodding (sometimes over 3-6-12 months). Most of these are managed using the paper-based part of the system, except for my email component..
                My low-tech solution is a checklist (sheet of paper) with all the relevant info (customer name, phone & email, project description, etc). This is backed up by a file folder containing quote, drawings, correspondence, etc., which may contain anything from a few pages to 2-3" of documents. The file folder is filed in a drawer and retrieved as needed.
                The checklist sheet has pre-printed suggested reminder intervals, but there is space allowed for me to change the suggested interval. Whenever I visit, call, or email the customer I make a brief note on the checklist summarizing the content of the contact. Most importantly, I immediately note on the checklist the next time I am due to contact the customer or whatever the N/A is. I then photocopy it, placing the photocopy in the file folder and the original in my tickler file based on the follow-up (N/A) date.
                My system uses Tuesdays as my default follow-up dates. If a customer contacts me unexpectedly in the interim, I can either look at the photocopy in their file folder to see where I ticled the master checklist or I can just flip through the next 4 Tuesdays in my tickler file (if the follow-up is more than a month out I might need to look at one or two month's tickler files). It usually takes me no more than 15-30 seconds to find the checklist while we are talking & quickly review the history.
                I manage about 100 - 150 customer contact projects using this system, in addition to a large number of projects other than these.

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