Closing Time

CRM Best Practices to Generate More Sales – Show Me You Know Me!

How you personalize your sales outreach can make or break your sales process.

Show Me You Know Me (#SMYKM) is a concept that runs through every single part of your sales process, from the first email the buyer receives – to the 1,000th touchpoint you’ve had in a long-term client’s engagement.

In this episode of Closing Time, Sam McKenna, CEO of #samsales Consulting, discusses CRM best practices that use SMYKM to capitalize on the data in your CRM, personalize your sales, and run effective outbound campaigns.

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SMYKM defined and how to use it

Among the many software tools in a sales rep’s arsenal, the CRM is the foundation–providing valuable customer information and acting as a powerful platform for sales success. By taking the time to understand our existing book of business and delving into the goldmine of data within the CRM, sellers can uncover customer insights that will significantly enhance their ability to conduct personalized outreach campaigns with higher engagement rates. Customers want personalized, human experiences with sellers, which is where Sam’s Show Me You Know Me (#SMYKM) concept comes into play.

Best practices for prospecting

SMYKM is an ideology that permeates every aspect of the sales process. At its core, it emphasizes the importance of demonstrating to buyers and prospects that we have taken the time to truly understand them. What are their interests? Where do they work? What is their background and education? Were they interviewed recently on a podcast? Have they changed jobs? We aim to connect on a human level by conducting research, such as exploring LinkedIn profiles and delving into customer interactions within the CRM. By utilizing the CRM to conduct research and understand the account’s history, sellers establish a foundation of knowledge before engaging with a prospect. Instead of starting with a blank slate, sellers have a wealth of information in their CRM (their interactions with your website, workplace, industry, company size, etc.) to help establish a strong connection from the onset and elevate their outreach to stand out from the competition. 

Critical CRM info to keep updated

Salespeople often have a less-than-stellar reputation when it comes to keeping their CRM updated. As a sales leader, you may find yourself urging your team to prioritize this task. Here are the most critical pieces of information to keep updated:

First and foremost, leaders need to encourage their teams to keep information about all opportunities updated. This includes essential details like the contact record, next steps, closing date, and amount. While forecasting the exact amount can be challenging, it is crucial to continuously update the notes with the latest developments and progress. Reps can date each update to maintain a clear chronological order of the sales journey.

This simple practice of keeping records current sets a positive standard for the entire sales team. It creates a seamless flow of information across the organization, benefiting colleagues and ensuring that when a new book of business is handed over, all notes and contact records are up to date. 

Leveraging your CRM data

The customer journey extends beyond the salesperson to the service, support, and marketing teams. Stitching together this data is crucial, not just for individual sales reps, but for the entire organization. The go-to-market team’s collective goal is to generate revenue, regardless of their specific roles in CS, marketing, or net new sales. During sales interviews at #samsales, they ask account executive candidates about how their recent success and prompt a process question: “Hypothetically, let’s say we give you your book of business, but we give you one specific account say, no matter what, we need you to close business with this account this year. How would you start to dig into it?”

The majority of reps tend to mention sending outreach campaigns and using tools like ZoomInfo for contact data. However, the truly smart and strategic reps—approximately 5%—are the ones who prioritize their CRM right from the beginning. They understand that the CRM is the first place to start. They dive into the history of the account, review notes from CS, check if the account has been a client before, and explore reasons for churn. They examine closed lost opportunities, looking for ways to revive them. They identify the contacts associated with those opportunities, determining if they are still at the company or if there is an opportunity to reignite the relationship. They even consider whether contacts have changed jobs but remain within their territory, albeit at a different company.

Your CRM holds a wealth of information that enables you to work smart when tackling your book of business. The example mentioned here is just the beginning. By leveraging the data in your CRM, you can approach your accounts with strategic insights, uncover new opportunities, and make informed decisions. 

Using SMYKM for first contact

Quote about subject lines

Even if you’re offering a million dollars in the email, it’s irrelevant if you fail to convince the recipient to open it, which is why your subject line and first sentence are the two most critical components of your outbound email.

Imagine if someone from the sales team at #samsales were to pitch to you without doing any research and not realizing that you have been a repeat customer. That would likely be off-putting, right? Instead, picture a well-trained #samsales representative who dives into their CRM, discovers your name, and finds that you’ve made two successful purchases from us in the past—two closed-won opportunities at different companies. In the subject line, we could use a cheeky and engaging approach, like “You’ve been our customer twice. Could we convince you to become a #samsales customer a third time?” This demonstrates their knowledge of your history and shows that they’ve done their homework.

By incorporating information from the CRM or even leveraging details from your LinkedIn profile—such as previous workplaces, common connections, location, or alma mater—reps can authentically tie their message to your background. For example, if they know some of your team members went to the University of Florida while they attended the competing school, the rep can inject a playful and light-hearted touch into the subject line. 


Looking to supercharge your outbound sales strategy? We’re talking all about LinkedIn Sales. Navigator on this episode of Closing Time. Welcome to Closing Time, the show for go-to-market Leaders. I’m Val Riley, head of content marketing at Insightly. I’m joined today by Sam McKenna. She is CEO of #samsales Consulting, an award winning sales leader, and a brand ambassador for LinkedIn. Hi, Sam. How are you? Hey, Val, I’m good. Thanks.. How are you? I’m well. I’m so glad you’re here and you’re the perfect person to talk about this because of your relationship with LinkedIn. But like the stats coming out of LinkedIn, just they continue to amaze me. 810 million people on the platform, four out of five business decision makers are on LinkedIn. As a sales professional, this has got to be the key platform for you. Is that correct? It is the key platform for you. And I feel like even though it’s been around for so long, no one has really realized the true value, and what it could do. I feel like I’m sitting on a little secret and I can’t wait for everybody to find out about it. So my first question is, can can sales reps use LinkedIn without LinkedIn sales navigator? Because I know a lot of times they’re they’ll say, oh, I already use that. And I say, I don’t think you do. You absolutely can. So you can use LinkedIn to its full capability on the free platform,, you can have your profile there, you can connect with people, you can engage, you can do searches. There’s so much that you can do. Then you can even get premium, which does a little bit more. But I would say skirt premium, and just think about navigator as a separate, totally awesome platform that can do so much for you. But as a starter, yes, you can absolutely use to be a great seller and to get ahead. OK, so you’re on Sales Navigator and it’s really just a goldmine for prospecting. Can you talk us through how a rep would effectively use Sales Navigator? So I think when you get in the platform, there’s all these options you have. You can look at profiles, you can save them, you can mark yourself to be private while still looking at who looks at your profile. But, here’s a few key things. I think are really effective. So number one, make sure that your book of business is loaded into your account list. If you have a CRM integration, you can do that really easily, but make sure you’ve got all of your accounts saved. Then start to save out your top prospects. So Val, if I wanted to make sure I sold to you I would save you in my profile. I would make sure to save you in lists. I would also look at recommended leads. This is one of the most lovely untapped resources at LinkedIn Sales Navigator because it tells me who else searches for you and when they search for you in clusters. So I can imagine that these are probably people that are in your buying circles but that also might report to you or might be part of the decision making process for whatever you buy. Now, let’s talk about a couple of things. LinkedIn Navigator is known for two other things. It’s lists and it’s searches, which I love. And your searches are so powerful because you have 25 different search criteria and there that you can use to basically answer any question. Let me give you two of my favorites. Number one, I love to say, hey, LinkedIn, tell me if there’s anybody who used to work for our top clients. So think of their top 50, 20 whatever clients that have worked with you guys for years, who have purchased with you over and over, who are in your client advisory board giving you customer testimonials, who are your best clients. Put those companies in for past company in a search and then for current company put your existing book of business. And then what you’re going to get is search results of anybody who has previously worked for your best clients and currently works for your book of business. That’ll probably be a lot of results, so start to narrow it down. Do they live in my area? Have they gone to my school? What’s the title that I’m looking at? What size company specifically do. I want to make sure I’m targeting now? There’s so many different filters that you can use to find those warm leads. The other thing that I love to know is who has previously worked for my previous employers that currently works for my book of business? So do a quick search put your previous employers as past company, current company put your entire book of business and go from there. And I’ll give you one bonus one that I absolutely love. TeamLink extend. If you are lucky enough to have this, you can go on look at anyone in your company’s profile or anyone that you’re looking to get in front of and then figure out through TeamLink extend and a few other search criteria like school or location, who your executives are or who your employees are that you work with, that know the buyers you want to get in front of. It’s so powerful. Now, the other thing that I love to do is list building. So one of the most common hacks that we use at #samsales is tracking all of our existing customers and when they change jobs. So I might build a list that saves out every single person that has purchased from us, that has used our products. That was part of the procurement process. Financial process, et cetera. And I saved them into a list of our current clients. Every single time somebody changes a job,. I can go in there and see and I can see where they went and I can hopefully close additional business with them or refer them to a colleague internally. I’m going to give you one more search, and then I promise I will stop enthusiastically talking about this. Let’s say that you work for a larger organization, perhaps a mid-market company or bigger. I love to create a search that says,. Tell me any time a new executive joins my company. For instance, let’s say I still worked at LinkedIn. I would put current company LinkedIn,. I’d put the executive titles, let’s say VP, SVP, maybe senior director and above, and I would save that search. Any time a new executive joins my company,. I’m going to get a lead alert about it. I’m going to go connect with them on LinkedIn. And then I’m going to do this bonus pro move and they click on their 500 connections and I’m going to immediately be able to see who they know in my existing book of business, and hopefully use them for more introductions. Even when I got to LinkedIn,. I had one person, one person in the entire company who used this move on me and she got an immediate meeting out of it. So this is so powerful. I mean, the timing couldn’t be better for that feature. Due to the great resignation, I mean, people are moving from job to job so much. I imagine that those alerts are just popping up all over the time. Exactly. And even think about it when people are joining your company, but also when they’re getting promoted, do they now have that, you know, additional responsibility, additional budget? I mean, there’s so many great searches and list that you can create. You just need to know how to use it and what queries to ask to be successful. So when you advise people or sales reps on using sales navigator, is there a certain portion of their day number of logins per week? How much time should they be spending in that platform? I always get this question of how much time I spend in LinkedIn and Sales Navigator, and I’m like, I don’t think I can even disclose it with any kind of dignity. To me, this is a place where you start every day, and to me this is especially where I spend a lot of time on Mondays. I try to block out Mondays for prospecting. Why? Because a lot of people tend to post on Mondays, so I might see my top prospects posting which means I can engage with them, or I might see them commenting on other people’s content on a Monday. Mondays are interesting in terms of the user spikes and also the content posting spikes. Monday tends to be kind of a New Year’s resolution of every week where people wake up and they’re like,. Today is the day I’m going to post on LinkedIn. So you get a lot of content there and you can go and engage with your prospects. I also love to go through some of the lists that I’ve built, like let’s say a top 50 list of prospects. I might have 50 people that at the end of the earth that I want to make sure that I close business with that year. I’ll go and look to see what have they posted, have they change jobs, are they commenting on other people’s content? Do they perhaps follow my company all of a sudden? I’m looking for all these triggers that I can use in meaningful outreach or to contribute to their content so they start to get to know me and who I am. So I’m using one of your tips. I found someone internally who’s connected to like a hot prospect that I’ve been going after. What do I do next? So this is one thing that happened to me all the time across organizations. I would get a Slack message that would say, you know, Hey, Sam, it’s Bob. Can you introduce me to Val? And I’m like, No, who are you? So we want to make sure we do when we find an internal or even external connection to one of our buyers, we want to make sure to give context first and foremost. So if somebody instead said, Hey, Sam, we’ve yet to be properly introduced. I’m Bob, I’m on this team. I’ve been trying to get into Insightly. I see that, you know, Val, here’s some history of me trying to crack into that account. Would you have a good enough relationship with Val that you could provide an introduction for me? Also,. I’m happy to ghostwrite that email for you just to make sure that you’ve got context and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. So we want to make sure that we handle these correctly. Keep in mind also that if I make an introduction to that person, to you Val,. I also want to make sure that that person knows. I’m sticking my neck out for them. So just thinking about conversations that we’ve had around referrals, it’s really, really important that we treat those referrals and kind of those introductions like gold. These are our leads handed to us on a silver platter, and we want to do the person that’s referring us to our buyer, proud. I mean, that’s night and day, the two approaches that you just shared. So I can see how one would be much more successful than the other. It’s such an easy way to be different. You know, in everything that we train on, whether it’s social selling or sales or whatever, we talk about the art of being different all the time, just be different. Think of how to stand out. And this is a great way to just bring in some EQ, to bring in a little polish and a little class and make it easy for that person to say yes to making an introduction on your behalf. Because if you’re coming to me and saying, Hey, it’s Bob, can you introduce me to Val? I have no faith that you’re going to do a good job talking to Val, and I’ll probably say no. Great stuff, Sam.. I really enjoyed speaking with you. Thanks again for joining us. Thank you so much, Val.. Great to be here. That’s going to do it for this episode of Closing Time, the show for go-to-market leaders. Remember subscribe, like, hit that bell for notifications so you don’t miss a thing. We’ll see you on the next episode of Closing Time.

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