sales and football success: saleswise scores

Sales and Football Success: How Greater Visibility Scores

There are a few signs that summer is coming to a close: Labor Day weekend cook outs, cooler temperatures, Q3 winding down, and the return of football. For football coaches and sales leaders, the long road to the “big games” of the year begins – whether it’s meeting end of the year goals or making it to post-season playoffs. Every good coach – in sales and sports – knows that a strong playbook is the key to success, combined with good coaching and great players. In this post, we discuss the benefits of SalesWise as your game film, playbook, and coaching guide to lead you to success.

See the Last Game Played

In any meeting, it’s crucial to know when – and the outcome of — the last time you met. CRM acts as a great highlight reel, but it doesn’t complete the larger picture. In fact, we found in our research that 76% of events aren’t ever captured within CRM. With SalesWise, we show graphically when the last meeting was, and most importantly, who was in attendance. As a sales manager, you can see if the star players were in the meeting, or if they were sitting on the bench. The absence of these key decision-makers may indicate that an account needs some attention, and allows you to step in for further coaching.

Analyze First Downs and Fumbles

Whether it’s in sports or sales, fumbles are inevitable. But having the ability to “review the film” allows leaders to analyze why it happened, and better coach their sales representatives so that the same mistake doesn’t happen again. And while pipeline meetings have traditionally been an effective coaching strategy, being able to see the actions, rather than the representative’s description of the actions, allows more effective and efficient coaching. On the flip side, once you develop the recipe for success, it’s important to replicate it – especially when new members are added to the team. With SalesWise, you’re able to see the play-by-play of every relationship, including the calendar events, email messages exchanged, contact information for key players and crucial documents needed to close business.

Build on Success

When it comes to winning championships, it takes more than just a good offense. The combination of offense, defense and special teams performing at their best makes the organization as a whole successful. We know this at SalesWise, which is why our platform enables better communication between functional groups after the touchdown. Without per-seat licensing, you can easily share the details of every account with Finance, Customer Success, or anyone else that may have an interest. You always want your customers to have the most positive experience possible, and a more informed team provides that. In addition, this historical information, SalesWise helps you easily see up- and cross-sell opportunities that may have been lost in CRM. In fact, SocialToaster uncovered about $1 million in opportunities that were previously overlooked.

 

Coaching is key when it comes to setting your players – in this case, the sales reps – up for success. By providing the right tools and visibility into accounts and historical data, SalesWise enables sales leaders to be more efficient and effective coaches than ever before.

Future of Sales – Reward on Excellence

The tech-fueled social world is a wealth of information. Buyers no longer have the time or patience for aggressive, uninformed sales people who don’t deliver on promises. Indeed, the future of sales hinges heavily on evolving customer relationship management (CRM) trends – namely relationship intelligence, where only excellence reaps rewards.

A Holistic View of Sales

Think holistic co-ordination, and rowing scenes from boat races come to mind. In order to smoothly propel the boat forward, all the team members must pull their oars in perfect sync. It’s the same with sales. Your sales force is the boat, and all the other departments working in the background are the oarsmen. The sophisticated tools and information your sales and marketing teams work with are the oars. Unless the various departments work in tandem, your sales force will flounder about like a ship without direction.

The Current Sales Scenario

Until recently, the sales and marketing departments of businesses have been working toward what they thought was a sound enough goal – the bottom line, or profit targets. Profit is almost always the metric productivity and excellence are measured by, and so CRM solutions are bandied about towards this ambition.

Disconnect Between CRM Solutions and Ground Reality

While CRM employs technology to combine market research with data analytics and provide customer insights, the overall customer profile is murky and incomplete at best. Why is this? The answer is the huge disconnect between these solutions and operational control.

CRM solutions are often framed by executives who don’t actually connect with customers, and so their efforts are mostly disjointed. Indeed, you can collect all the sales and marketing data you want, but it’ll be nothing but a pile of useless junk – unless you have a cohesive record of what happens to customers within the spheres of customer service, sales and marketing. When sales, marketing, strategy and execution run alongside each other rather than harmoniously integrate, customer retention is lacking and your business’s bottom line is threatened.

Relationship Intelligence

The new metric for measuring excellence is based on customer retention. Linda Sharp, in her book, Customer Relationship Intelligence, calls this metric, “relationship value.”

Atomic Unit of Sales

According to Sharp, every single touch point between your company and your customers or latent customers is an “atomic unit of sales.” Each of these units should be measured from the consumer’s perspective, instead of your business’s standpoint. Only then can you convert prospects and leads into sustainable sales.

Customers Are Your Partners

The whole business-sales-marketing process is a symbiotic relationship where you and your customers are equal partners. You have something your customer wants – products and services – and your customers have something you want – their money and continued patronage. The entire process is a continuum. So why don’t CRM solutions have some sort of framework that measures customer relationship value?

Relationship Value

In her book, Sharp defines relationship value as a “relative numerical value” that can be assigned to each of your company’s interaction with the customer. But how can you use it to measure your customer relationship?

Sharp outlines the use of a real-time tracking system to record Customer Relationship Intelligence (CRI). It is important to know what interactions leads to something, and also what that something is. Conversely, it is just as important to know what interaction prevented the conversion of a prospect into a lead. To measure individual customer relationships, and thereby relationship value, you must set up a system that automatically adds or subtracts the relative numerical value every time your marketing, sales or customer service department interacts with your buyers. In other words, relationship value should be measured with each atomic unit of sales.

Why Build a CRI Framework?

The problem is that the reactions of different customers to the same situation are wildly inconsistent. However, within the CRI framework, it is possible to know which actions will keep a particular customer happy under a given situation. You can boost your productivity when using CRI as your basis for making informed customer-related decisions.

Your Actual Profit Center

The profit center of your business is not the sale of a particular product or service. That may be the source of temporary gain, but when you think about it, your customer could just as easily get the same things from your competitors. How, then, can you measure profits if not in terms of your products or service? The answer is so: customer service is the actual profit center. This viewpoint is contrary to the current business practice of tagging customer service as a cost center, but customer service has to be removed from the slot labeled ‘cost center’ and put where it rightly belongs under ‘profit center.’

Until now, customer service has been viewed as a pesky problem to deal with, and not as the relationship-building opportunity it actually is. In this setup, you may believe you are focusing on excellence. If you are, then your perspective of excellence is skewed, because what you’re doing is beaming your focus on short-term gains with sights set on turnover. In the process, you lose sight of a more durable reward in terms of customer retention.

Saleswise is a comprehensive springboard that helps you harness and aggregate all the CRI you need, to reap the rewards of excellence and to propel your business to success, primarily in the form of customer retention. Visit our website today, and see how our free service can help you and your business grow.

Sources :

  1. http://www.managementexchange.com/sites/default/files/media/posts/documents/CRI%20eBook%209780979965715.pdf

What Happens When Sales Skills and Technology Align?

As powerful as today’s Customer Resource Management (CRM) tools can be for data insights and planning, they often create as many drains on productivity as they eliminate. One major reason for this is the fact that the very skills that make for great sales people do not make for great database managers, and CRMs today are definitely still reactive databases, dependent on users to enter data. But what happens when sales technology amplifies the natural skills — relationship building, engagement, the right follow up — of good sales people, and even enhances them? What happens when forecasting and revenue can be projected from a more realistic and reliable pipeline? This is not just a pipe dream. Relationship intelligence technology is here, and it is a game changer.

What is Relationship Intelligence?

The stars of the sales world tend to fall into a very distinct category: They seem to have an innate interest in and memory for people. As much as process and discipline are increasingly part of the sales world, these high performers tend to be the ones that resist logging their emails into a CRM. They don’t take many notes. And they don’t schedule a lot of reminders to follow up with accounts or individuals. Instead, they seem to just sense when it is time to check in, and know what to send to be intriguing enough to get that follow up call. When you talk to them again, even if it has been a while since your last conversation, they pick back up discussing that trip you were going to take, the progress of your sports team or whatever other connection they made with you previously. You can’t help but feel special, and perhaps even a bit charmed. These people have mastered, or simply have the natural talent for, the human version of relationship intelligence. They see people — their needs, interactions, interests, sense of urgency — holistically, and adjust the sales process accordingly.

As great as it is to have these sales standouts on your team, we aren’t all wired this way. And that’s okay. Training and hard work can certainly power a strong sales career, too. Besides, there are drawbacks to relying on innate talent. For instance, it is hard to forecast numbers that exist only in a person’s head. The ideal sales force is one that develops or matures into these relationship intelligence skills through experience, training and discipline.

Is Process Killing Productivity?

Yet even as a sales force strives to build on or acquire these human relationship intelligence skills to sell well, the focus in recent years in the sales industry has shifted much more to process and data management. CRM databases such as Salesforce have certainly made an enormous difference in accountability, forecasting and customer insights within sales, particularly in an age when most companies have a national if not global sales mandate. The challenge, however, is that CRMs are incredibly labor intensive, relying on human inputs to offer those insights and forecasts accurately. What is the opportunity cost of a sales representative who spends four hours a week updating and adjusting 40 accounts in Salesforce? Two deals a month? Five? How much does the process of sales kill its productivity? Those questions do not even begin to dig into other CRM challenges, such as data accuracy, consistency of use and data security. Most great sales people are not natural data managers, and great data managers are not usually sales people. Yet managing data has become an enormous part of sales work.

Can We Bridge Both Worlds?

Executing on the process of sales while focusing on the importance of people is always a balancing act, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we’ve made it. That’s where relationship intelligence technology comes in. It aggregates the natural business of communications — email, calendars, attachments, notes about clients, resources — with the formal tracking fields of the CRM into a dashboard that looks a lot like the way the sales superstar mentally organizes his or her accounts: a complete, clean, holistic view of those people, their needs and the conversations and communication you have had with them. In a sense, this is really what CRMs were meant to do, but could never quite deliver. Relationship intelligence technology is the human overlay on the data, looking at it the way great sales leaders should.

The benefits of this approach are two-fold: This dashboard view of clients and your history with them empowers the entire sales team, not just the natural sellers, to manage relationship-based selling while maintaining process and organization. At the same time, it also captures data much more accurately and simply, with less duplicate work from the sales force, which actually drives better and more accurate forecasting. That double win sets the perfect pitch for clients, for the sales force and for business leaders. It builds on the natural talents of a sales team, encouraging their productivity and best practices, while feeding the leadership reliable and useful data. Technology doesn’t get much smarter than that.

To see relationship technology in action, check out saleswise.com for your own relationship intelligence dashboard.

Time is a Deal Killer

Time Kills ALL Deals

So you’re in sales. How’s your relationship with time? Think for a minute about how you handle time when you’re aiming to close a deal. You want to manage the tempo; you want to be the one who recognizes the exact moment when potential buyers need a few minutes to ponder and when they need to be diplomatically nudged with a deadline.

In today’s high-pressure sales world, decisions are made at the real-time pace of conversation. Your customers are used to having information materialize instantly at their fingertips, and they expect you to deliver facts just as efficiently. They will judge the value of your product by your personal efficiency, even if that’s not exactly logical. Something as simple as how quickly you can access a document can make the difference between completing a sale and losing a customer to your competitor. In that sense, time is literally money!

Imagine This Scenario

A sale hinges on sharing an information document with the potential customer. Your client has a few specific questions and if you can answer those questions you’ll close your deal. You call your colleague and ask her to upload the document to your shared drive, but her connection is slow and she’s having trouble. Your customer looks at his watch and reaches for his jacket. “Give me a call or drop a note when you are ready”.  As you watch him drive away, your phone pings to tell you that the document just arrived.

Have you experienced that scenario? Everyone is carrying mobile devices these days, working in different locations, and too often data ends up inaccessible. Someone doesn’t have the right login, or the “owner” of the document you need is at the dentist. What do you do?

The Solution? Organization

SalesWise has an answer for you: organization. Now, you may think that means a CRM. But you’ve probably already found how much time gets eaten up inputting all your data into SalesForce. Furthermore, the sales environment is always moving, and data that has to be entered into a CRM gets outdated fast. SalesWise takes an entirely different approach.

What SalesWise Does

As a Relationship Intelligence Platform, SalesWise works automatically behind the scenes, integrating your email, calendar, documents, notes and CRM data into one unified launchpad. On a single screen, you see a clean graphic layout of every piece of information you need concerning a prospect, with instant access to any part of it. Select one name and view every relevant colleague, schedule, document and message — all in one place. Send emails and schedule appointments without having to leave the platform. Furthermore, you even get visual metrics, to help you prioritize and shape your relationship.

What It Means for You

In today’s data-saturated environment, organization is not optional. You don’t have the spare time to be constantly maintaining, analyzing and explaining the exact status of each prospect. The information you need has to be ready at a glance, organized into a clear, coherent picture, and immediately shareable. SalesWise integrates communications, documents, names, history, contacts and calendars; it automatically gathers all those disconnected operations and bits of knowledge, organizing them out in one clean dashboard.

Sign up today for SalesWise; it’s free and always will be. Once you experience the ease, speed and sense of control you’ll get from having all your information automatically unified, you won’t go back to trying to gather it all together manually. Success in sales depends on building relationships at today’s digital pace, so let SalesWise turn time into a resource that you control.

Know Too Much about Your Customer or Prospect??

Are you alone right now? Even if you think you are, you’re probably not. As you read these words, it’s very likely that some intelligent digital agents are hovering over your virtual shoulder. Cookies and trackers—sometimes called “cross-channel customer success enablement”— are discovering what you care about based on where you spend your time. That’s just how business gets done online.

Most have made peace with the idea that bots will be collecting data on their online behavior, but they are considerably less forgiving of salespeople collecting the same data. This begs the question, as a salesperson, how much information should you collect?

Blurred Lines

If you’re in sales, you’ve likely experienced prospects confused or irritated when you reveal you know personal information. How do you decide when thorough backgrounding steps over your prospect’s privacy?

There are two huge forces in play here, blurring the lines of the personal and professional information: deploying social media for sales and bringing your own devices to the business (BYOD). Facebook can be both an online office space and chatroom for casual conversation. BYOD delivers official business communications into the prospect’s intimate personal space.

Will your next lead nurturing message be read on the office laptop or on a bedside smartphone? Where they read it makes a huge difference on how they receive it. Respecting your customer’s privacy really depends on making a separation between personal and professional messages, even if your prospect doesn’t.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If your comment can’t stand close scrutiny by your boss in a “corrective action” meeting, don’t put it in writing, even in “evaporative media” like texting or Twitter. Don’t expect any online communication to be private.

3 Tips for Being Informationally Responsible

The best sales people understand the danger of knowing too much. Relationships are based on fragile foundations of trust, which means it’s better to give them control about what they want to tell you. Do they want to be notified about new special sales events? Keep good notes about each customer’s privacy boundaries and refer to everything you know about them before you send out your next communication.

Here are three tips for using prospect information more responsibly:

1. Only comment on clearly displayed information, like comments they’ve made in social media or details listed in their public profiles.

2. Collect the information you have on each account in a secure, central sales tool likeSalesWise, where nothing gets lost or shared accidentally.

3. Delete any customer data you’ve collected that that doesn’t directly pertain to potential sales or service after the sale.

Information and Belief

Our society is struggling to work out a new definition of privacy based on technological capabilities. In this environment, even relatively innocent researchable details can make clients uncomfortable and endanger deals. Don’t forget that the relationship between the buyer and the seller has always been personal; a blend of information and belief. Whatever you do, ensure you have the trust of your clients.

10 Best Practices to get the most out of your Sales team

Anyone who says sales is easy has never tried to lead a sales team. Here are 10 non-intuitive insights into how top-performing sales teams got to where they are:

1. Put the Team First

People in sales love to win and get charged up by competition. That’s why so many managers run contests for the most sales or the highest dollar sales. No brainer, right? Not the case. Instead of generating discord, give prizes that reward profitable teamwork.

2. Make Your Expectations Clear

Sales teams need to know what you expect from them. Post what you expect them to achieve and help them understand the business necessity for making those numbers.

3. Use Fewer Metrics

Remember that metrics are for evaluation, not humiliation. Use three to five key metrics tied to business objectives. These may change over time. Keep it simple and discuss poor metrics in private discussions. Everyone does better when they know they are surrounded by winners.

4. Make Time to Sell

A good leader knows what the sales environment looks like right now, not mistaking it for five years ago. Get out there and sell with the team, even if you aren’t the best at sales. You’ll gain a better understanding of how to help them.

5. Tame the Mavericks

When a high performer emerges, managers tend to step away to see how high they can soar. Don’t be so hands off that their behavior negatively impacts the team. For the sake of your business, help the mavericks develop a legacy by showing the team how they work their magic.

6. Reward Them Socially

Money is nice, as anyone in sales can tell you, but commission can’t be the only reward. Promote winners on social media and invite the team to lunch in honor of the top seller.

7. Build the Team with Better Hiring

Involve the team in hiring individuals that click well. The most effective teams—from Navy seals to NFL special squads—are those who align their social goals with organizational goals.

8. Coach in Real Time

Slidedecks and sales videos are useful reference tools, but top sales leaders make unscheduled coaching a top priority. You need to counteract the negatively that salespeople deal with on a daily basis.

9. Spend More Time at the Top

Believe it or not, top performers deserve more of your attention. Allow team dynamics and positive examples to work on the lower performers. Top performers need your help and guidance to achieve even higher sales.

10. Give Your Sales Reps the Best Tools

People in sales tend to hate administrative work. You should hate it, too. Cutting and pasting between systems that don’t integrate equals less time selling. Supercharge your sales team by giving them a tool that automatically syncs all of their data about clients from their calendars, emails and CRMs into one beautiful, elegant platform. Of course, we’re talking about SalesWise here.

SalesWise streamlines the sales process for your team, shows them what they need to focus on today and advises them where to best spend their sales time. Best of all, when the close is coming and they need your involvement, anyone on your sales team can share all their info with one click. Try out SalesWise before you show it to your team. It’s free to try, free to use so you have nothing to lose and plenty of revenue to gain.

Where Do I Know You From?

Everyone experiences that moment when you see someone you know but can’t quite recall where you met them. One of the worst things about this moment is how tongue-tied you feel, because you can’t place the person in a context. Did you meet them at that crowded pub last week or at the vet when you were picking up your dog? Were they doing a spinning bar stool trick when you saw them last or were they wearing a stethoscope? Most of the time, you never end up figuring it out – the person’s identity stays firmly stuck on the tip of your tongue, and you just can’t remember. So you end up making some all-purpose vanilla statement, and hope that it’s at least vaguely appropriate. You’re not alone; this interaction happens on average once a week.

Sales people can’t afford this – Ever.

As natural as that confusing moment of amnesia may be, you can’t afford to let it happen if you sell things for a living. Sales people have to be poised to turn every professional interaction into a sale. When you look at someone you’ve met before, you don’t have the luxury of feeling your way through a conversation or inventing something out of thin air. Instead, you need to know exactly where you met the person in front of you, what kinds of information you exchanged, and just where they fall in your sales funnel. You need to be socially agile, with the ability to shape your words no matter the situation.

Where the answers live

Now that there’s a resource for providing answers to the “Where do I know you from?” question, you’ll never again be plagued with that tongue-tied feeling. Saleswise keeps track of every interaction you have with your leads, so you’ll always be ready to approach a potential sale with confidence.

Your Organization Genie

With Saleswise, you can glance at a prospect’s name and instantly see every message you’ve exchanged, every document you’ve shared, and every meeting that you’ve had in common. Furthermore, Saleswise plays nice with all your other systems: your email, calendar, documents, notes and assorted data are all integrated into one beautiful automatic sales launchpad. Now that these systems are connected, you can do a search across them all with just one click. You can see which people are connected to the individual you’re researching, and search for a specific organization to see all the movers and shakers that belong with that company.

All of this indexed, organized information is ready to be shared with the click of a mouse. If you need to provide background to your colleague before a conference call, you can simply share as much or as little of your Saleswise data as you choose. It’s like having a secretary with flawless memory and discretion.

So don’t be that person improvising crazy stuff to try to seem like they know the person they’re talking to. Sign up for Saleswise for free, and start storing your data in a safe encrypted form so it’s right at your fingertips when you need it. Leverage the power of technology to give yourself a stellar memory — so when your prospect is the one asking “Where do I know you from?” you will look like you have the grace and poise of a true professional.

You Can’t Close Sales Today with Yesterdays Technology

As in most other industries, the world of sales has changed radically since the days of “Mad Men.” Today, buyers are both more sophisticated and more impatient.

In the 1960s, the speed of business accelerated from days—waiting for contracts to arrive by snail mail—to minutes, beginning with the weird techno-whistle of a dial-up modem’s fax “handshake.” A similar turbo boost in the 1990s took business from minutes to seconds with the wide-scale acceptance of e-mail. People who became early adopters of this new technology ran circles around the competition.

 Martinis and CRM

In the past, sales were about cold calls and martini lunches. In the new world, the three critical elements of the most effective sales strategies are: faster turnaround speed, more concise communications and deployment of the advanced technology. This means that even relatively new technologies are practically obsolete.

A decade ago, massive CRM software like Salesforce were the shiny new toy of the moment. Even though they required hours of logging and updating information every week, it was the CRM software that would make life easier for people in sales. Collecting account information in a CRM system was a good start, but it is not enough anymore. Today, sales people on the cutting edge think of CRM more like a fax machine than a functional sales tool.

 The Next Turning Point

Now we’re at another one of those turning points, where waiting a few seconds for data to load on a screen feels like forever. We have become a mobile society where the vast majority of people work from their homes—or work from their phones.

A proliferation of online solutions has created its own problem because sales people have data rushing at them from all sides. Chunks of information about their prospects and customer accounts are scattered across their CRM system, personal and business emails loom, documents are stuck in cloud storage, notes are kept in apps like Evernote, Google calendars and a range of other siloed applications can’t talk to each other. It’s too easy to lose the thread and lose the sale.

Today, you’ve got to bring all those elements together if you want to be prepared in an instant and sync up with the buyer at the right moment to close the sale. You need one interface that can show you what matters most today, where your focus needs to be, how likely you are to close each sale and what the long-term value of the sale would be. Armed with that intelligence, you can decide which actions will be the best use of your precious time.

 Up to the Second

The technology you need to stay ahead of the competition is SalesWise, the latest relationship management platform for optimizing the way you conduct your sales. SalesWise automatically brings all of your relationship information about a single account in one place. It keeps you up to date, down to the second, by unifying your email, calendar, CRM and other sources of customer info. The sales professionals using the most advanced technology are seeing the best results. Be one of them. Try SalesWise today to see your future in sales.  Its free and takes less than a minute to try out

The Edge of the Enterprise – Higher Ground for SaaS

The Edge of the Enterprise….

If you want to see what’s coming next, you’ve got to go right up to the edge. The “edge of the enterprise” is a new field that will be defining business for the foreseeable future.

“Edge of enterprise” refers to a new breed of software and devices that captures data on the front lines of customer interaction, far from the enterprise core systems. Apps, cloud-based software and mobile devices for data collection are increasingly taking on the role of the brains for enterprise network operations.

The Edge and the Core

This new breed of technology works with traditional core systems like CRM, email and scheduling calendars. You will find edge of enterprise software running as sales guys meet with their prospects and customers, helping them do more of what they do best: sales.

For those in sales and customer-facing positions, its easy to see that enterprise software was never designed for folks on the front lines. Instead, enterprise software was made for management. Sales teams, account managers and customer service professionals – anyone dealing with the public, really – all need a faster, easier, minimal data entry app that can help them get their job done and close the sale quickly.

What they don’t need is to take time away from their main responsibilities by entering in tons of data that is required for the core enterprise. That data is still needed, but it no longer has to be manually entered and re-entered in different systems thanks to new technological breakthroughs.

4 Advanced Technologies That Put an End to Data Entry

Here are just of few of the latest developments in the world of software that eliminate old school data entry and drudgery from the daily routine.

Expensify

Expense reports are the worst. People often end up paying out of pocket for some business expenses just because the time and effort of creating an expense report is not worth the trouble. Someone should have automated the process a long time ago. Fortunately, now they have. Expensify is similar to the new online bank deposit software in that it combines new mobile-based photo technology with optical character readers to turn little slips of paper into reports. In many cases, it eliminates data entry and cataloging.

SaveOnRoad

In the old days, corporate travel agents had to train for months to figure out how to book the best hotel room for the best price over specific dates. The travel calculus could be overwhelming. Now everyone with a mobile phone has travel apps like SaveOnRoad that can easily book hotels. Its GPS-based dynamic hotel lists will update themselves as you drive, and its pricing screens calculate taxes and fees automatically.

Wasp

Inventory management is so complex that it’s amazing anyone ever attempted it without computers. How many of what are where? How many did customers order? When will new shipments arrive in the warehouse? Wasp is a new type of inventory control system that uses handheld devices and UPC readers to automatically update core systems in real time. Now salespeople can get answers on the fly, improve customer satisfaction ratings and be more productive with their sales time.

SalesWise

A collection of data points is simply information, but when they all come together, that’s intelligence. SalesWise is the machine intelligence that brings together data about a single customer spread across traditional CRM, your email program, your appointment calendar, apps for notes on the fly like Evernote and your task scheduler.

The View from the Edge

SalesWise unifies and normalizes all this information coming from separate, unconnected legacy systems into a gorgeous and elegant interface that you can understand in a glance. Your Today screen in SalesWise allows you to be in the moment and give your all to each customer without worrying about what you’ve forgotten. There are already over a thousand happy subscribers organizing their critical data on this completely free service.

When it’s time to move on to the next step in the sales process, you can share all the relevant data with supreme simplicity. There’s never a need to sit down with the boss and try to get her up to speed. No more emails explaining everything that went on with this client. You don’t have to contribute to document sprawl by emailing various attachments and wondering which version you sent. Best of all, you don’t have to break your stride and put your current sales cycle on hold to explain what’s going on with this prospect.

Try SalesWise and get a better view of your future at the edge of the enterprise. It’s simple to sign up, easy to use and we promise that SalesWise will always be free. SalesWise was designed to make sales easier for those doing their jobs out on the front lines, since we all benefit from greater efficiencies in the marketplace. Move up to SalesWise. The view is better from up here.

Why You Don’t Need CRM (Even If Your Company Does) – Part I

Remember when CRM was a big deal? Many in sales today take CRM for granted, but two decades ago it was future tech. In the mid 1990’s, just as the web was being born, sales teams were told to throw away the Rolodex and get ready for new sales software that would make it easy to organize leads and turbo-charge sales. That was the plan, anyway.
In reality, there was an alphabet soup of sales enablement software at the time vying for market leadership, including enterprise customer management (ECM), customer information systems (CIS), contact management systems (CMS) and sales force automation (SFA). CRM (customer relationship management) came to dominate the market and has developed slowly over the past two decades. As a result of that slow pace of change, CRM can get in the way of sales. Here, we’ll review how sales professionals are spending their time and four reasons why CRM may not be the best solution to those wasted hours.

Where Sales Teams Are Spending Their Time

In the modern sales environment of automated mobile apps, around-the-clock social networks and non-stop content streams, staying up-to-date and organized has become more complex, to say the least. It’s clear that CRM and a good memory just aren’t enough anymore. Across all industries, many salespeople report that they spend too much time on organizational and administrative tasks, such as data entry for the CRM system.
Here are a few statistics on how much productive sales time is being lost on average, according to research from Chief Sales Officer Insights:

  • 41 percent of their time is spent selling over the phone or face-to-face. That’s down from 46 percent five years previous to the report. More technology has made sales teams less productive, partially due to all the time they have to spend switching between different types of software and re-entering data.
  • 24 percent of their time is spent on generating leads and researching accounts. This is another area where the proliferation of information systems is slowing down sales. Everyone on your sales teams can benefit from working together more closely with a better way of sharing research.
  • 19 percent of their time is spent on internal meetings and administrative tasks. Multiply that number by the number of staff in your sales team and number of weeks per year. That makes it pretty clear how many sales opportunities are being lost simply because sales teams don’t have the right tools.

Four Common Reasons Why Your CRM Isn’t Working

It would have been impossible for CRM to live up to all of the promises that its software manufacturers made over the years. Now, many companies have reached the effective productivity limits of their CRM and they are looking for a more efficient solution.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why CRM implementations haven’t lived up to their hype.

1. Learning the CRM System Detracts from Sales Effectiveness

Learning everything you need to know to succeed in sales is hard enough without having to learn how to be a software expert at the same time. Many salespeople use their CRM as little as possible because they haven’t been trained properly. Even the best training fades from memory when some tasks are not performed regularly. Sales professionals need a software interface that is elegant, simple and useful enough to use on every sale.

2. Some May Be Invested in Seeing the CRM Fail

This is one hard truth not often recognized by upper management. CRM systems are normally expensive, require a great deal of customization and are driven by top-down decisions. In other words, there are three times more likely to involve intense office politics. It shouldn’t be a surprise that some employees will be resistant to using the CRM, especially if they were at odds with the person or department that championed the system. A free application that sales professionals choose for themselves, based on day-to-day utility, will be more attractive and less politically charged.

3. Most Sales Reps Know Exactly How to Work More Efficiently

Everyone prefers to handle things in the way that is most comfortable for them. In the interest in making efficient use of time to up their sales numbers, salespeople often don’t stop to update CRM, and there is no reason why they should. CRM is not fluid enough to capture all the data streams that salespeople use on a regular basis. What salespeople need is an application that aggregates and normalizes their existing data without re-entering data.

4. CRM Isn’t Designed for Sales

The rarely spoken truth about CRM systems is that they are merely databases designed for pulling reports. CRM is for managers and marketers, not for front line salespeople who would rather be doing anything, even making cold calls, rather than re-entering data and updating records. Salespeople need an application that compiles and displays data automatically across all their proprietary software channels.

CRM vs. Relationship Intelligence

In part two of this blog, we take a look at a better methods of capturing and organizing data, called relationship intelligence, which doesn’t involve the painstaking re-entry of critical company data into CRM systems. Even though all your important sales data is scattered across many systems, your software shouldn’t be making life more difficult. Relationship intelligence is a far more useful approach than CRM because it streamlines the sharing of every piece of data that affects relationships. See what relationship intelligence looks like in the real world by visiting SalesWise.

Sources:

http://blog.sellingpower.com/gg/2011/02/how-much-time-do-your-salespeople-spend-selling.html

http://www.accenture.com/sitecollectiondocuments/pdf/accenture-top-five-improvements-sales-effectiveness.pdf

http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/6-keys-to-getting-organized.html

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207016

Why You Don’t Need CRM – Even If Your Company Does, Part II

In part one of this blog, you saw some figures that show how inefficiently many salespeople are spending their valuable work hours, particularly on administrative updates like entering CRM data. In short, CRM tends to make life more difficult for sales professionals, leading them to waste the time that they need to spend adequate preparation for prospecting and sales.

This post delves deeper into what “relationship intelligence” means as a successor to CRM. Although CRM was cutting edge software two decades ago, relationship intelligence makes a lot more sense in terms of how sales are done today. Here’s why.

The Limitations of the Old CRM Model

Customer relationship management makes sense when there is a simple relationship between buyer and seller. That’s not how most sales processes operate anymore. There may be various relationships with different employees at the same company, ranging all the way from prospect to customer collaboration contact.
Sales have become extremely complex. Your data is scattered across many systems, like Gmail or Exchange for email, various calendar applications, task tracking programs like Trello and note compilers like Evernote. Every time you make a contact, you may have to flip back and forth among these applications several times to find the information you need.
In a typical sales meeting, you might need to instantly refer to emailed documents, social interactions, reminders from in-person meetings, content provided on both sides, upcoming scheduled actions, and networking trails.

Defining “Relationship Intelligence”

Relationship intelligence refers to the way SalesWise aggregates and organizes all the correspondence, calendar events and supporting documents involved with the complex relationships in today’s marketplace. On SaleseWise’s personal dashboard, you can see each person involved in each of your deals, in addition to immediate access to metrics you need, like prospect age, close probability and their stage in the sales funnel.

This also means you will be able to keep better control over what you’ll be sharing by limiting the display to only the most pertinent information. You no longer have to forward long email chains or large documents with your boss and teammates. You also won’t need to add hand-written explanations to give proper context to the data. SalesWise allows you to share just an overview or any detail of your conversations, notes and documents.

What Relationship Intelligence Looks Like

SalesWise has developed data science to understand and organize data into the most elegant presentation for your sales productivity and sanity. From the moment you sign up, SalesWise normalizes the information streams from each of your disparate data sources within a few minutes.
You will be able to easily navigate from your inbox to your calendar to your alerts or documents while you have the prospect on the phone or in front of you. Color-coated sales graphs let you know instantly when and how many times you have interacted with individuals by emails, notes, docs sent and more. It’s like having your own personal assistant who can turn strangers into network contacts in real time.
At the same time, SalesWise is committed to protecting your most valuable assets: your information. You can be assured that your private data is encrypted end-to-end from browser to storage. It is protected through global security standards, including the same strong encryption used by banks all over the world.

The Need for Better Organization

Presentation is everything when seconds count. It’s impossible for sales professionals to stay organized when they have to maintain a working memory of many interfaces and logic systems just to pull up the information they need for each sale. When all the necessary backup data is arranged elegantly in one place, accessing and sharing that data becomes effortless. Never again will salespeople have to go into a call or meeting unprepared. Make better relationship intelligence your sales team’s secret weapon. Markets and technology are always shifting. The global economy is uncertain. You owe it to yourself to stay on top of the data.

The Path Beyond CRM

CRM may be seemingly essential in your organization, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste valuable sales time on data entry when you could be preparing for your next sales meeting. It’s very likely that your company has invested a great deal of money in its CRM system and it won’t be going away anytime soon. It may be that some in the organization still find it useful.

No matter what, you no longer have to let your company’s CRM interfere with your sales effectiveness. You’re going to need a way to organize all of your vital data in one place with an automated and personalized system that is both fast and easy to use. Try SalesWise for yourself and discover how uncomplicated your sales process should be.

Sources:

http://blog.sellingpower.com/gg/2011/02/how-much-time-do-your-salespeople-spend-selling.html

http://www.accenture.com/sitecollectiondocuments/pdf/accenture-top-five-improvements-sales-effectiveness.pdf

http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/6-keys-to-getting-organized.html

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207016