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Sales Hard Talk Podcast with SalesWise CEO Gregg Freishtat: Business Relationship Intelligence

SalesWise CEO, Gregg Freishtat was recently featured on an episode of Sales Hard Talk by Top Sales World with Barbara Giamanco. In this interview, he shares his insights on Business Relationship Intelligence and how it helps salespeople focus on what they do best – sell.

Enjoy the Interview!

Top Sales World (TSW) is a unique location dedicated exclusively to the profession of sales and our primary objective from day one, has been to redefine the parameters governing sales team performance. In effect, TSW is the world’s first online “sales hypermarket,” with the shelves stacked with every conceivable resource front-line sales professionals and their managers could possibly need.

TAG Sales Leadership Podcast with SalesWise CEO Gregg Freishtat: Business Relationship Intelligence in Sales

TAG Sales Leadership Podcast with SalesWise CEO Gregg Freishtat: Business Relationship Intelligence in Sales

Listen to this TAG Sales Leadership Society podcast on how Business Relationship Intelligence is critical to modern and future B2B sales. Barbara Giamanco, TAG Board Member and best-selling author, hosts Gregg Freishtat, SalesWise CEO.

From Barbara:

In this episode, I talked with Gregg Freishtat, CEO of Saleswise about a new category that has huge, positive implications for improving sales performance and productivity. Gregg starts us off by explaining what he means by Business Relationship Intelligence, many of the challenges he sees customers facing, how CRM can’t be the only productivity tool you rely on and some of the current/future trends Gregg sees in modern sales organizations today.

Enjoy the Interview!

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Sales Leadership society serves executive sales management professionals and sales operations leaders in the Georgia Technology Community.

SalesWise Sales Game

Three Signs It’s Time to Up Your Sales Game

Everyone knows you have to have “game” to close deals and solidify the sales relationship. But what should you do if your sales have slumped and solid leads are coming in at a snail’s pace? There are many reasons performance may be temporarily lacking. Here are three telltale signs it may be time to up your game:

Sign #1: You’re struggling to get updates from your sales team.

Your team works hard. Inevitably they feel inundated by the amount of data entry they need to complete while also ensuring to spend adequate time selling. In fact, sales professionals spend only 33% of their time selling (Toutapp). They spend an average of four hours per week updating Salesforce. The reality is, you’re not alone. Yet, Salesforce itself reports that 91% of CRM data is incomplete.

Therefore, do you spend time motivating, inspiring, incentivizing, or maybe even antagonizing your team into completing their CRM updates? Or, do you look at the real dilemma? Truth be told, what you really need is greater visibility. Your CRM solution is only as useful as the data it holds. If most of the data is incomplete, you need to look elsewhere. The real relationship-building is taking place outside of your CRM. Instead, it’s in your team’s inboxes. It’s their email communications, the meetings on their calendars, shared documents, and more. Transparency breeds more effective sales outcomes – time to get wise!

Sign #2: Productivity is a never-ending challenge.

A wise guy once said, “Don’t be busy, just be productive.” So, what’s keeping your team busy?

Part of it may be the CRM data entry we just talked about. Another part may be all of the other disparate systems your team is utilizing. IDC reports 61% of employees typically access four or more systems to get the information that need to do their jobs. Moreover, in their 2015 Workforce Transformation Survey, they additionally reported that employees spend an average of 7.36 hours per week trying to find information and an average of 8.15 hours per week trying to find people or experts.

Other productivity killers? When asked what gets in the way of work, employees say wasteful meetings (59%) followed by excessive emails (43%) (Workfront 2016 Survey). Perhaps it’s possible that in your best efforts to increase productivity and the flow of information – through regular status update meetings and/ or a continuous trail of CC/ forwarded emails – you may, in fact, be enabling a less productive work environment.

At SalesWise, we resolve common sales productivity issues with our proprietary Cross Application Relationship Data (CARD) platform that aggregates all of your sales relationship data into one simple view. In turn, you reduce the need for recurring sales-update meetings and decrease email workload by 30%.

Sign #3: You feel like you’re on an island.

In today’s corporations, it’s impossible to achieve effective sales without the efforts and collaboration of other interdepartmental groups (e.g., accounting, procurement, legal, etc.). According to a 2005 study by McKinsey, only 25% of senior executives surveyed described their organizations as “effective” at sharing knowledge across departmental boundaries.

Equally important to your external sales relationships are these internal relationships taking place within the walls of your organization. Truth be told, when divisions are siloed, so is your data. As long as your team feels like it’s on an island and/ or communication with these departments is cumbersome, lengthy, or worse, ineffective, your sales may suffer. In fact, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures (Salesforce).

At SalesWise, we believe in democratizing your data as a means of driving stronger, more effective alignment and collaboration. No matter how your team or customers change, all of your relationship data is organized and instantly accessible to those who need it most – whether on your sales team or in the marketing department.

Merriam-Webster defines “game” as “a procedure or strategy for gaining an end.” Whether in a slow season or at full capacity, your team should feel ready to take on the challenge without concern that opportunities or contacts will fall through the cracks. Learn more about SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence by visiting www.saleswise.com/get-started.

How to Ask Your Customers to “Be Mine”

How to Ask Your Customers to “Be Mine”

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and we all have love on our minds, right? Well, maybe…

While you may be hitting up the nearest florist shop or chocolatier’s quarters on your way home from work, as a sales manager, you’ll be spending the day like any other – pursuing leads with your team. What if you took this commercialized-holiday-of-love as an opportunity to ask yourselves, “How will I ask our prospects to ‘be mine’?” Following are a few tips from a few Wise (and smooth) Guys.

Be Attentive.

You can’t exactly woo a woman, or a customer for that matter, unless you are attentive to their needs. Being attentive to a prospect’s needs involves having access to information. With multiple departments – sales, finance, legal, etc. – likely communicating with your prospect, too, attention requires coordination and collaboration.

At SalesWise, we enable teams to be more attentive through our Discover console. Here, we go beyond the CRM and limitations of your per-seat licenses to access customer information. We help sales leaders and their teams to see the real-time status of accounts. We couple your Salesforce CRM data with account-based relationship activities, such as meetings, tasks, email exchanges, documents and more, to allow you to Discover the prospects with the greatest needs and/ or potential.

Now, if only there was a barometer like this for dating, right?

Show Them That You Care.

Knowing who to send your valentine to is one important step. Sharing the right message and/ or delivery channel is also equally important. It’s in these ways that you show your Valentine (or customer) that you really care.

With SalesWise’s proprietary Cross-Application Relationship Data (CARD) platform, you can gain greater visibility into the vital details of the communications that are already taking place across functions within the enterprise. In one simple view of the CARD, you can see up-to-date information to help you more effectively manage your growing sales relationship. Armed with this critical intelligence, you and your team will be able to send messages that will resonate favorably with your target customers.

And, no, a text message is not a valid Valentine’s Day gesture.

Find the Right Timing.

So you have the flowers, the chocolates, and the sentimental card, but when should you deliver the burning question…“will you ‘be mine’?” Most sales professionals have heard that it’s best to make cold calls late in the afternoon or that Thursday is the best day to prospect (The Brevet Group). But we all know every customer is different.

With SalesWise, you can filter your customer data by given time periods to ensure you and your team are not missing out on opportunistic moments. For example:

  • Meetings held last month with no follow-up
  • Accounts to close this month with no emails or meetings in the last week, etc.

Timing is everything when it comes to sealing the deal. Don’t let another Valentine’s Day pass without exploring the possibilities with SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence. Visit www.saleswise.com/get-started.

Maximize Sales: How to Develop a Winning Spirit

Maximize Sales: How to Develop a Winning Spirit

Super Bowl LI is set to take place this weekend with our Atlanta Falcons taking on the Patriots. It’s no wonder we’re in the #WINNING spirit here at SalesWise! Believe it or not, sales organizations work much like sports teams. No, you’re not running the field and tackling 200-plus-pound men. But, you are tackling other big challenges in the marketplace, among your competitors, and maybe even within the walls of your own company. A sales leader is much like a coach, guiding his team towards the win. But, how do you ensure you have the right winning spirit?

Step 1: Use #WINNING Words.

We know sales can be tough. Some days you’re up and others you’re down. One of the biggest keys to cultivating a winning spirit for your team is to continuously use winning words. Though the numbers may be low, it’s about looking ahead. The team may have lost the last three games, but to win, they must look forward and never lose faith in their ability to win. As a sales leader, you should point to the positive and/ or the progress you and your team are making. Be sure to devise a plan to keep your team moving forward.

According to Wayne Goldsmith, a sports coaching consultant, effective motivation is a lifestyle, not a one-off speech or promise of gifts or money. Sure a bonus can go a long way as a motivator, but that prize may be a ways off (e.g., end of the quarter or year). Instead, focus on the positive culture you are creating day-in and day-out to inspire optimism and self-motivation for your team. Do you have 50 yards to go, or do you only have 50 yards to go?

Step 2: Have Skin in the Game.

Let’s get real for a minute. Whether you realize it or not, you already have skin in the game. As a sales leader, your success is directly related (probably wholly dependent) on your team’s success. So instead, the real question is: does your sales team feel like you’re in the game with them? Or, just standing on the sidelines?

How do you lead while also allowing your team to feel like you are one of the team? It’s a fine balance for sure. There are some measures you can take. Ask yourself, “What am I doing to personally communicate my commitment and ambitions to my team?” Some of this may be verbal, but much may also be non-verbal. When your team stays late, do you stay late too? Every company is different; so, think about your organization and the ways in which you may show your team you’re in it with them.

Step 3: Always be #WINNING.

You’re probably thinking, “Sure, easier said than done!” But to always be winning does not mean that you’re always “scoring” great leads. Rather, it’s about taking a winner’s approach to every task. New York Times best-selling author and business coach, Suzanne Evans, said it best with her book, “The Way You Do Anything Is the Way You Do Everything.”

In sales, there are no off-days… no losing moments. The attitude of each of your team members must be to always do every task to the best of their abilities. As the sales leader, you must also recognize that abilities are never equal. Be attuned to the subtle differences between “involved” team members and “committed” team members. An “involved” team member will participate in the task at hand. A “committed” team member will dedicate themselves to the task at hand and seek to perform it at a higher standard than what’s required.

Set small goals for your team. Achieving these smaller targets can provide focus and motivation in their day-to-day operations. Over time, the cumulative effect of setting and achieving these daily goals can be significant and lead to greater success. Consider the Olympics. For Olympic athletes, it’s not every four years; rather, it’s every day (W. Goldsmith).

No, you’re not seeking touchdowns and field goals in the 51st Super Bowl, but you are pursuing leads and new customers. How you get there is entirely up to you. Developing a #WINNING spirit is a must and committing to the relentless pursuit of improvement is also most valuable.

For the Atlanta Falcons, we hope that belief brings a win this Sunday. For your team, we hope that means you’ll venture to learn more about SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence by visiting www.saleswise.com/the-platform/. #RiseUp

 

SalesWise Discover Console

SalesWise is Helping Sales Teams Discover Deals And Win Opportunities

SalesWise has always gone beyond the CRM to help sales leaders understand the statuses of the most important accounts. To that end, we are releasing the latest Discover. Now, leaders and their teams can find opportunities and accounts based on activities.

SalesWise Discover Console

Discover Opportunities. Discover Activities. Win Deals.

From Day 1, every Account and Opportunity is extracted from Salesforce and synced with SalesWise. Couple your CRM data with account-based relationship activities, and you have a powerful way to find accounts needing attention and how.

From the Discover console, surface Accounts by activities in a new, powerful way. Simply filter activities by

  • Meetings
  • Tasks (Salesforce)
  • Emails
  • Documents
  • Notes (Salesforce)

Combine these filters given time periods to identify accounts requiring your absolute attention including — great to ensure deals don’t fall through the cracks.

  • Opportunities to close this quarter with no scheduled next step
  • Opportunities to close this month with no emails or meetings in the last week
  • Meetings held last month with no follow-up
  • Accounts with lost opportunities with no touchbase in the last 90 days
  • Many, many more!

Create the searches important to you!

Want to learn more?

Contact a Wise Guy today to find out how SalesWise can provide clarity and continuity into your customer relationships to drive greater productivity across the enterprise.

Sales at a Stalemate

Sales at a Stalemate?

It’s still January and though you have set your sights on a banner year, your sales pipeline may be telling a different story. Why is it that sales seem so much harder these days? And, how can your sales team cut through the noise to create meaningful connections and successful sales?

Finding the Connection

With advancing technologies and growing corporations, the sales cycle has become even more complex. Where sales used to be one-to-one, now most B2B buying decisions involve 7-8 people (Gartner). That’s a lot of decision makers! How can you possibly make all the connections?

Traditionally, connections are tracked in your CRM system. However, with growing contacts, the feasibility of updating all those records becomes wholly inefficient for your team. In fact, today’s sales professionals update an average of 60 CRM records a day, and only spend 33% of their time actually selling (Toutapp)! There’s a need for a better way.

The reality is that much of sales relationships are fostered through your sales team’s inbox. Whether that’s an email, meeting, or shared document, a lot is taking place in the space between your team’s individualiz inboxes and CRM database. That’s why, with SalesWise, sales professionals discover an average of five times more contacts.

An essential step in creating meaningful connections is to first identify all those connections. Don’t get lost in the space between.

Making the Connection

Thank goodness you now have all the cards and players before you. But, what now? How do you make that connection meaningful? You’ve likely heard it before – as Entrepreneur recommends, you have to help your prospect buy rather than simply trying to sell to them. According to CSO Insights, sales teams have a 56% greater chance to meet quotas if they engage a buyer before that buyer is contacting the seller.

That requires your team to get curious. Ask your prospects questions, and work to build more personal connections. Access to data will become even more crucial as you work to anticipate your prospects’ needs and respond to them preemptively.

Business Relationship Intelligence (BRI) allows for full-access to critical data unencumbered by traditional per-seat licenses. Just as your contacts externally have grown, so have your internal contacts. With SalesWise, there are no limitations on who can access crucial customer data. Strategic collaboration between your sales team, marketing, finance, procurement and other functions enable more capable responses to prospects and customers – which, in turn, leads to more successful sales.

Don’t let sales get stuck in a stalemate. SalesWise offers sales leaders 300% more visibility into your team’s relationships and interactions with prospects and customers. Know everything. Be prepared for anything.

Learn more about SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence platform by visiting www.saleswise.com/the-platform/.

5 Essential Skills of a Great Sales Leader

5 Essential Skills of a Great Sales Leader

The role of a sales leader can be challenging – managing teams, projecting sales, enabling and sustaining a stable (and hopefully successful) sales process, and more! The job description is clear. Your role is defined. But, what skills really set the great sales leaders apart from the rest of the pack?

1. Strategic

Every great sales leader must be strategic. In a position where you are constantly reviewing data, plotting an approach and predicting an outcome, it’s crucial to be not only analytical but also investigative. It requires the ability to recognize patterns, tune into trends, and seek out the necessary insights.

Data is central to these points, and thus, must be readily available to you. CRM systems can provide some of the data you need, but in most cases, sales leaders are also pulling data from alternate teams/ resources, as well as anecdotal insights from their sales team members that never made it into the CRM system! If there is a problem to be solved, a hurdle in your team’s pathway, you’re the leader to figure it out. Devising the how-to plan isn’t even possible unless you have the most efficient tools to do so. A leader recognizes this challenge and will approach a solution strategically.

2. Innovative

According to GE’s 2012 Global Innovation Barometer, 92% of senior executives agree that “innovation is the main lever to create a more competitive economy” (Inc.com). The ability to innovate is a vital skill. In an industry that’s about as old as they come, it can be hard to think outside the box and reinvent a new and better way.

Great sales leaders are always looking for a new way to do things better. By nature, they are receptive and open to untried methods that may afford them greater efficiencies and growth – that competitive edge.

CRM has been a cornerstone tool in just about every sales organization. With new technologies abound, maybe it’s time to think outside of the software box. SalesWise is an innovative Business Relationship Intelligence platform that provides sales leaders with real-time data synchronized across all their systems to provide a full 360-view of customer interactions.

3. Communicative

Having a strong, innovative plan is great and all, but if you can’t effectively communicate it with your team, you go nowhere. Communication is essential in any managerial role, but to a much larger extent in a sales leadership role. Relationships both inside and outside of the organization carry great weight. Insight into customer interactions is important, but so are insights into inter-departmental interactions. 80% of line-of-business leaders in sales, HR, procurement and more say problems arise due to different internal systems/ applications that do not talk to each other (IDC). It’s clear siloed structures are a challenge.

Collaboration is the brother to effective communication. 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures (Salesforce). It’s fundamental to a sales leader’s role. Successful sales models employ not only a smooth process, but also equal collaboration between both sales and non-sales team members alike. Data limited to CRM licensed users and/ or an individual’s inbox makes collaboration an uphill, time-consuming, and costly battle. That’s why SalesWise believes in democratizing your data to facilitate communication and office-wide collaboration.

4. Effective

In a personality test, top sales managers scored 27% higher in the priority-focused facet than underperforming sales managers. To be effective, sales leaders must be good at identifying and tackling the priorities. They’re impactful – seeing the big picture and discovering the one solution that can make it better. In fact, high-performing sales leaders are 51% more effective, on average, in meeting their quota goals than their underperforming counterparts (Harvard Business Review).

So, how is this possible if, sales team members only spend about 1/3 of their time selling? What else could they be doing? The rest of the time is spent on administrative tasks (e.g., CRM data entry), meetings, and research. What if you could increase sales productivity by reducing the need for data entry, catch-up meetings, and customer insight research?

SalesWise’s proprietary Cross Application Relationship Data (CARD) platform enables visibility into every vital conversation with prospects and customers, meetings occurred or upcoming, documents exchange, and every person involved in a sales relationship. Everything aggregated into one simple, always up-to-date view. By just checking the CARD, sales leaders and their teams can share real-time critical intelligence across the enterprise while more effectively managing their sales relationships. Talk about impact!

5. Motivational

Lastly, every great sales leader must be a motivator! As the late and great Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” A sales leader’s job is to minimize the pebbles for his team.

Coaching is the number one sales management duty that drives sales performance. 69% of salespeople who exceed their annual quota rate their sales manager as being excellent or above average (Harvard Business Review). A great sales leader is a great coach who inspires his team to reach their greatest potential. Challenges to a sales team’s productivity, data accessibility, and integration are all pebbles in the sales process. To motivate, great sales leaders must eliminate these stones.

Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Behind every great sales leader is a team of great sales people. Together, you are stronger. The right tools can help to set you apart. To learn more how SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence platform can enable sales leaders, visit www.saleswise.com/the-platform/.