Sales Skills: How to Set Up a CRM to Build a Pipeline

Recently I've had so many friends ask me how to build out a CRM system and manage their pipelines. I was surprised that so many people with established businesses aren't using a CRM, especially with free ones like HubSpot, on the market. While I cover this in depth in our Build and Manage a Pipeline course, I thought I'd briefly cover it here for all of my friends who aren't paid members of Perfrm. Unlike most of my blog posts this one is a general step by step guide on how to set up a CRM. 

1.) Pick a CRM: I use HubSpot, I even use the free version. If you already know which one you want to use skip to step 2. It's awesome and works great for what I'm doing now. There are about a hundred or more options for this software. I suggest making a list of everything you want your CRM to do for you. I suggest trying at least 3 of them for a week each. Put 10 contacts in that are at different stages of communication and see how you like the user interface and flow of the systems. 

2.) Set up your Pipeline Stages:

These are the Stages we use for Perfrm:  

Lead: Anyone in my pipeline that I haven't actually spoke with.

DM Contacted: This is used when I start talking to the person who has the final say. This stage is often skipped visually because a proposal will get sent to someone else first and then the Decision Maker will be pulled in. 

Contacted:  Anytime I have verbal contact with a lead I move them to "Contacted".

Pitched: If I give someone an overview of our product and pricing I move them to "Pitched".

Proposal: I send out proposals to companies I'm working with on Sales Strategy. I like to have a record of the pricing and dates for anything that isn't listed on my website. It keeps everyone on the same page and gives them a nice document to share with their team. 

Contract: This stage is when I've sent a contract out. 

Closed: The contract is signed or they have signed up online.

Unresponsive: I move people to unresponsive if I have moved them out of "Lead" at anytime and they haven't been in contact for over 30 days.   

Lost: This is used for anyone who has said, do not contact me again (this will happen), No 3 times, they can't afford my product at all in the next year. 

My stages won't work for everyone. This should give you a good idea of some stages you can use as well. 

3.) Set up Your Contact List and Assign Stages to Your Contacts: I recommend starting with the format the CRM you've chosen asks for. You will end up having to do this before uploading your contacts. 

4.) Add Your Contacts: Upload your contacts to your CRM. Simply follow the steps within your CRM to do this. 

5.) Set Up Users and Connect Email Accounts: Each CRM will walk you through this process. Connecting your email addresses from the beginning will help track and project sales. 

5.) Set up Call and Email Campaigns: Each CRM will call this something different. Call Que, reminders, for example. Some CRM's also do not have this function. I think this function is extremely important. You will be able to set up daily call schedules, reminders and targets within your CRM. 

Now you're ready to start using your CRM and effectively managing your pipeline! Once you have been using your system for 3 to 6 months you should be able to start projecting your sales cycles and revenue for the coming quarters! If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will respond to them. 

Megan EverettComment