Gimme a ‘F’! Give me a ‘U’!
What’s that spell? Follow-up!
Except it doesn’t.
Gimme a ‘L’! Give me a ‘M’! Give me a break.
As we tumble through our clients’ CRMs on a daily basis, we see countless examples how innocuous notes in the form of acronyms are a great indicator for work not being performed. We call these sales agents “Cheerleaders”. They may appear to be doing backflips by completing tasks, but in all actuality, their notes are all jazz hands, yet no style. (May be controversial to say, but cheerleaders don’t win games.)
When Cheerleaders resort to using big capital letters, they’re showcasing school spirit by writing an acronym to detail their engagement. Here are the most common occurrences of notes we see spread out across customer contact histories.
LM: Left Message
LVM: Left Voicemail Message (that extra letter helps clarify)
CM: Call Made
NA: No answer (but might as well be Not Applicable)
The CRMs that have call-tracking, click-to-call, or call monitoring integration have the ability to time-date-stamp whether or not a call was truly made, as well as the duration of the call. This allows our TaskTeachers at DealerKnows to be certain that the ISM/BDC agent is indeed completing the calls required of them.
Yet, when a Cheerleader is only using acronyms in CAPS for their contact notes like the ones above, we typically find out they’re the least likely to be picking up the phone. They may be clicking to complete the task inside the CRM, but no activity is really being performed. Usually, when it says nothing more than LM, no call had ever been attempted. Cheerleaders lie to the CRM system only to tell us what we want to hear, but are not helping the store at all. I’ve written before that salespeople are only as good as their notes in the CRM. When we condone our team to use acronyms we’re letting them take the easy way out, and nothing more. We’re not doing them favors. Instead, we’re demonstrating that we blindly trust their actions and expect them to recall everything about each deal with no further details needed.
As a manager, if you cannot review a customer’s contact history in the CRM, review the emails sent, read the notes added, and confirm the calls have been made, then you cannot definitively say your team is doing their job. Managers must be able to understand all actions, contact, and attempts that have been made in an effort to use their experience to bring prospects closer to the sale. Acronyms don’t help. They’re nothing more than inconsequential placeholders of the lazy team members sitting on the sidelines and not contributing to the game.
At DealerKnows, we promote the benefit of leaving good notes. We hold them accountable to their notes. We train them to recite what they said in their voicemail message in the CRM notes as well. This way, if a manager, BDC agent or even they themselves revisit the customer profile to check in, they have a better recollection of where they’re at rather than a lonely “CM” in the history.
Following up proficiently and effectively with consumers is all in the execution. Your team needs to be trained on the verbal gymnastics for phone conversation, on the email acrobatics of the lead conversation, and the routine of texting. But with only acronyms in the CRM, and no detailed notes, your team won’t be cheering anyone on to victory.
Another great article Joe. It gives clear precise reasons why as management we ask for clear notes. This is one I will be sharing with our BDC to remind them and easily explain to them why we ask for no acronyms and better notes. Also, not all the acronyms mean the same to all people.
Movie reference intended?