GTD and C-Level Sales
I have been trolling the forums for a couple of months now and finally decided to jump in with a question. I am in a high level sales position where I call on C-Level executives throughout the United States, at any one time I have about 1,000 contacts in my queue, that I typically contact about 4 times a year. I have utilized everything from Stephen Covey's system to using Salesforce.com (which I am using now) to attempt to keep everything in order. The problem that I am finding is that some of my contacts are falling through the cracks. If I call and I can't get in touch with them at that time I re-input that contact into the calendar for a new date and time. Any suggestions on how I can keep this many contacts, as well as adding new ones, in a good GTD system would be greatly appreciated.
I have read and re-read David's Books but when I attempt to figure out ways to start this system I am lost.
Thanks for the help in advance!
I think a tickler file would serve you well in this situation. You might even want to create an individual tickler system just for this. I've seen mini-tickler file systems that hold index cards and business cards. Rotate the business cards of your contacts through the tickler file so that you are reminded to contact them at the appropriate intervals. The contact details will be right in front of you on each card so you won't have to look up that information when it's time to make the calls.
Thanks for the suggestion, so utilize the January - December and 1 - 31 tabs and rotate the contacts through and re-file after I have spoke with them? Sounds possible.
I use an electronic version of ellobogrande's suggestion - an Outlook task, set to repeat x weeks/months after completion, with whatever reminders, contact details etc I need in the Notes field. I have them in my @work context, but you could use @calls or whatever is appropriate in your system.
I use a web based relationship management tool @jibberjobber.com created by Jason Alba. It started out as a job search tool and evolved into a relationship tool since networking is key to both sales and search. You can make notes on any calls or meetings and flag it for a follow up date of your choice. If you purchase the upgrade, it will send a reminder to your email program or if you want the free version you can check your home page daily for networking reminders. JJ also has lots of free tutorials and a twice monthly user conference call.
I do a lot of Salesforce consulting, so I have a specific suggestion: create a report based on Last Activity Date and any other relevant factors for each of your contacts. Since every record has a last activity date, this will keep anyone from falling through the cracks.
I find SF's "tasks" to be very bloated, so for callback related tasks you might just make a custom field "next callback date" and update that, then check upcoming calls via a report.