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  • GTD in Sales



    Hi... I have been thinking about things I've learned with GTD...

    However it seems that using Outlook, or ACT! or Maximizer is not the solution for my case, since I've tried them all.
    I contact my customers and they contact me over the phone, mobile, fax and e-mail.

    In my company, I am responsible for:
    * Finding potencial customers (prospects)
    * writing proposals
    * closing the sale (or losing the sale)
    * getting the orders
    * check if the orders are fed into the ordering system
    * check if the orders are complete
    * check if the customer received the order correctly and in time

    I usually get around 4 orders each day and need to contact and do some visitations on 2 - 4 prospects each day.

    This means that I need to have a very straight-forward process in order to preserve my mental health.

    The system I'm trying to engage uses a couple of tools :

    Outlook:

    * Inbox - where I receive the e-mails

    * Proposals to make - Where I drag the e-mails that ask for a proposal
    * Proposals to make (on paper) - Task-list for proposals requests I receive by fax, phone or visitation.

    When proposals are finished, I move the mail or the task-list to another level:
    * Prospects to follow-up - I drag the e-mails in here after I wrote the proposal
    * Prospects to follow-up - I drag the tasks in here after proposal

    When I get an answer from the prospect I move the e-mails/tasks to another set of folders (orders to watch) and then (orders to deliver).

    So, the same e-mail or task goes through some stages, until they end up on "served orders" or "rejected proposals".



    Time & Chaos:

    I also use this simple contact management application, since ACT! and Maximizer have just too many features I have no time to use.

    I don't have time to enter all the details of the proposals to see in wich stage of the selling process they are in.

    So, I just get all the contacts in here, separated into groups and categories.

    But the main reason I use this tool is because it allows me to look at a task-list with colors and priorities - I just put everything there to empty my head!!!
    so I really need to separate my tasks into groups and also set them with priorities.


    So here's the question:

    Does anyone have the same problems/challenges?

    Have you thought of and implemented a better/simpler and more effective way of dealing with these pieces of information?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Thomas

  • #2
    is it fair to say you're in the GTD/CRM integration game?

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I suppose it is something like GTD+CRM game.
      Are you in that game too?

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that your question about using GTD in a sales job is important and hasn't been addressed fully here. It's complex because sales involves phone calls, visits, proposals, emails, timely follow-up, filing, -- sort of a GTD decathalon.

        I also didn't like ACT or Maximizer because they have extra features that slow me down.

        My solution is to create a task in Outlook (GTD would call it a Next Action) for each sales lead. And as that sales lead moves through different phases of emailing to set up a phone call, to having a phone call, to sending a proposal, to waiting for a response, I keep [b]updating its category. There is only one task item for each sales lead.

        For example, a current client might say "contact my friend Joe at Acme Inc. because he might need your products." In Outlook, I create a new task called "Call Joe at Acme regarding potential sale." I file it under @Call-Sales. In the notes section, I might even list out all the steps I need to go through for this sale (like call a friend who knows Acme, or look up articles about Acme before contacting Joe). After Joe and I talk, and agree on a general proposal, I change that same item to "Send proposal to Joe at Acme" and I make sure that as part of the Task's Notes, I keep my notes from the conversation with Joe. That task is now refiled under the category for @Proposals. After I send the proposal, I change its name to "Follow-up with Joe about Acme proposal" and file it under the category for @Follow-up.

        This lets you monitor your sales funnel. By counting up the tasks, you can see how many prospects are in the stages of @Call-Sales, @Proposal and @Follow-up. (or any other categories you set up)

        The key for me has been creating just one task for each potential customer, and then changing the title and category of it as I move it through the sales process. I also keep complete notes in one centralized place as I go through the sales process.

        Sometimes I'll also put a tickler on my calendar that I need to call the sales prospect for follow-up, for instance 1 week after the sales proposal has been submitted. But it doesn't substitute for that one Task that is always associated with that customer.

        If you don't like Outlook, I suppose you can do this with Index cards -- 1 for each customer. Just ensure that the same card follows the same customer through the whole process.

        Does this help?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott716
          I think that your question about using GTD in a sales job is important and hasn't been addressed fully here. It's complex because sales involves phone calls, visits, proposals, emails, timely follow-up, filing, -- sort of a GTD decathalon.

          I also didn't like ACT or Maximizer because they have extra features that slow me down.

          My solution is to create a task in Outlook (GTD would call it a Next Action) for each sales lead. And as that sales lead moves through different phases of emailing to set up a phone call, to having a phone call, to sending a proposal, to waiting for a response, I keep [b]updating its category. There is only one task item for each sales lead.

          For example, a current client might say "contact my friend Joe at Acme Inc. because he might need your products." In Outlook, I create a new task called "Call Joe at Acme regarding potential sale." I file it under @Call-Sales. In the notes section, I might even list out all the steps I need to go through for this sale (like call a friend who knows Acme, or look up articles about Acme before contacting Joe). After Joe and I talk, and agree on a general proposal, I change that same item to "Send proposal to Joe at Acme" and I make sure that as part of the Task's Notes, I keep my notes from the conversation with Joe. That task is now refiled under the category for @Proposals. After I send the proposal, I change its name to "Follow-up with Joe about Acme proposal" and file it under the category for @Follow-up.

          This lets you monitor your sales funnel. By counting up the tasks, you can see how many prospects are in the stages of @Call-Sales, @Proposal and @Follow-up. (or any other categories you set up)

          The key for me has been creating just one task for each potential customer, and then changing the title and category of it as I move it through the sales process. I also keep complete notes in one centralized place as I go through the sales process.

          Sometimes I'll also put a tickler on my calendar that I need to call the sales prospect for follow-up, for instance 1 week after the sales proposal has been submitted. But it doesn't substitute for that one Task that is always associated with that customer.

          If you don't like Outlook, I suppose you can do this with Index cards -- 1 for each customer. Just ensure that the same card follows the same customer through the whole process.

          Does this help?
          Scott, the methodology you describe above can easily be setup in Ecco Pro using the Phonebook as your Home Folder. I would create a contact for each Sales Lead and then below each contact enter data as follow:

          Contact Name
          Discuss Proposal with Mike

          Things I need to cover before calling Mike
          A
          B
          C
          Outcome of Call
          A
          B
          C
          Send Sales Proposal

          Follow-Up with Mike regarding Proposal

          To the right of the Sales Contacts Name are Folders such as Date Of Entry, Type, IMP Dates, Clients, Keyword, Delegated.

          I have prototyped this methodology and can send it your way, if you'd like to review it. You can monitor everything in the Phonebook view or the Calendar View using the Tickler Section. Also the Phonebook has a more powerful Search engine than what is available for the other Notepads in Ecco Pro. Under the Type Column, which is a Pop-up folder I have entered @Call-Sales, @Proposals and @Follow-UP. You can then Search on this field using the Value in the Type Folder that you want to Filter on. Makes it very easy to get a snapshot or focused view based on your template.

          This is just the beginning of what can be done with Ecco Pro and just scratches the surface of what a Final Sales related Template would look like using GTD as the model and Ecco Pro as the engine.

          wussery@gmail.com

          Comment

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