Chris Vitale, Vice President and Partner of Phone Ninjas, speaks to how one thing his industry is obsessed with is CRM workflows. Everything from facilitating daily reports, reviewing them at multiple points per day, and even using them as a benchmark for success on which to judge people’s worth shows that we live and breathe by the idea of workflows.
While Chris Vitale is a fan of keeping reference of past performance metrics, he maintains that it is essential for these records to have consistency in follow-up and an ongoing score card, he recognizes that many CRM’s workflows are inherently flawed. Chris argues that they are often flawed to the point where those in leadership positions spend more of their time focusing on the percentages rather than end results.
But these results are the goal, and we should be focusing on quality and outcome first and foremost. Chris mentions that a lot of the efficiency of a workflow hinges on who is crafting it. If it is someone who is not familiar with the reality of the market, someone embittered with today’s typically client, or a person who is not great with a particular prospect channel, or who has never been in the business, it could be that these workflows are flawed from the very beginning. This is why Chris Vitale proposes evaluating the efficiency of our workflow and, here, he explores why this concept should become the norm.
Shifting Perspective to Examine Workflow Efficiency
When Chris Vitale encourages leaders to consider workflows, he does not suggest that teams should ignore key tasks. Instead, he offers the caveat that focusing on how many calls, texts, emails, and chats it takes to get an appointment should be avoided in favor of evaluating the number of appointments set and the quality of engagement.
This empowers leaders to have a better strategy for if they find BD Agents or Sales Consultants are continuously completing tasks and making their reports look optimal but are not setting the right number of appointments. If you check the content that they are sending, you’ll now right away if it is not situationally appropriate.
One of the reasons Chris suggests this strategy is that the framework that states “the more tasks you complete, the more appointments you will set” is outdated and not necessarily effective anymore. Chris argues that it can actually have an inverse effect. If you call a few extra customers that might set another appointment, this is just hopping. Sending 100% custom responses is an approach that upholds quality over quantity and can be twice as effective as canned responses.
The Concept of Quality Over Quantity When Addressing Leads
But what if we instead prioritize who tasks are being engaged by our employees? The key in this case is focusing on meaningful engagement. This means treating prospects with more care than simply sending a bunch of otherwise nonsensical emails such as “welcome to our buyers club”. “here’s a letter from our General Manager”, “here is what our customers have to say”, and “why we are number one”. This approach simply does not address what customers actually care about. Many base their decisions on factors such as treatment, convenience, price, and proximity. For online purchases, reviews may come into play as well.
Chris Vitale recognizes everyone knows that the initial response for an internet lead is vital when considering content, approach, and technique. Organizations have only one shot at their first impression, and prioritizing checking a task box instead of focusing on how leads are being addressed is comically missing the point. Workflow is not measuring success in these instances. Success is measured by performance.
If the performance is not up to par, employees are just clicking “complete” just to mark something “complete” and their results will certainly show it. We need to consider if management is being told not to ask “did you set the appointment, did they show, and why they didn’t get to meet them” vs. if they checked off that a response was set, if you mark that you called and texted, etc.
Providing Proper Support to Your Talent Through Active Coaching
BD Agents and Sales consultants need to have the proper mindset and support for workflow to make sense and actually drive results. Preferably, this would be supplemented with proper training to support this process in both a nurturing and ongoing manner.
Chris Vitale encourages leadership to think about the effectiveness of coaching teams how to email their customers efficiently. How many more appointments could they amass through using their workflow to drive results rather than incumber them? The purpose of a workflow should always be to facilitate meaningful engagement, creating an environment where prospects feel more compelled to book appointments.
Chris upholds that one of the best ways to combat response rates and make the most of your workflow is through active coaching. Self-proclaimed gurus, self-help books, and even advice from someone else within your organization to not address how to apply core techniques and often do not work. So, in most cases, organizations that pay the money for a magical fix end up forced to approach their obstacles from a different angle.
Active coaching instead presents a simple formula: consistency x excellence + accountability= results. Active coaching works on building a foundation of understanding for how to approach answering leads on all prospect channels. Through completing these tasks, results will follow the completion of the workflow with the goal of meaningful engagement. It is important to note that active coaching also provides teams with actionable and immediate takeaways. And, because teams will establish a solid foundation, they will hone skills in using actionable, high impact versus relying on potentially helpful tips and trips. Tips and tricks simply do not define success.
Fixing Workflows with Results in Mind
Chris Vitale urges those in leadership positions to think hard about how many opportunities they are willing to sacrifice to complete their store’s workflow checkboxes. Is it not time to fully address the root of the problem here and offer your team access to actionable, high impact takeaway that can be leveraged to build their acumen and bring real results? It all starts with examining workflows and their efficiency and taking the steps to support employees on the road to success.
About Chris Vitale
Chris Vitale is a business development professional and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience bringing innovative solutions, strategies, and technologies to organizations across several industries. Chris Vitale is currently the Vice President and Partner of Phone Ninjas, an organization specializing in providing access to sales and dealership phone trainings to help businesses create and close more leads, improve the quality of their calls, and sell their products and services successfully.