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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.

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/.

A New Year for Sales Resolutions

A New Year for Sales Resolutions

It’s a New Year and perhaps you’ve already outlined a number of personal resolutions you hope to accomplish during 2017. But, what about your sales team? What resolutions do you hope to make professionally? Fear not – SalesWise has you covered with these five common sales problems that we’ll be sure to help you resolve in 2017!

1. Lack of Data

One of the chief challenges a sales leader can face is an insufficient sales data. Maybe:

  • Your sales team struggles to find the motivation/ time to enter the customer data or sales activities (e.g., 71% of sales professionals believe they spend too much time on data entry according to Toutapp);
  • There’s virtually no data (e.g., Salesforce reports 91% of CRM data is incomplete);
  • And/ or, the data that you do receive is already outdated or inefficient (i.e., CRM data by nature is reported after-the-fact vs. real-time customer interactions taking place).

In fact, we’ve found that most of the valuable relationship data is locked away in individual email inboxes and calendars. Why work so hard to uncover the data? With SalesWise, we aggregate the data from every message, meeting, document, and person involved so that you gain a clear view into key relationship insights.

2. Lack of Productivity

Every great sales leader knows that effectively managing your team’s productivity is a critical factor contributing to overall sales success. The less time your team has to sell, the less sales they can close. So, what contributes to a lack of productivity?

  • As we recently shared, when asked what gets in the way of work the most, employees said wasteful meetings (59%) followed by excessive emails (43%) (Workfront 2016 Survey).
  • 40% of salespeople still use informal means to store their lead and customer data such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook (HubSpot).
  • According to B2B Lead, 50% of sales team’s time is wasted on unproductive prospecting.

Productivity matters not just when it comes to the quantity of hours in the day, but more so the quality of time being spent on customer relationship building and selling. On average, sales professionals spend 33% of their time actually selling (Toutapp).

SalesWise helps keep your team productively focused. We decrease email workload by 30% by eliminating the need for CC and forwarded emails, as well as internal catchup meetings on the status of your team’s deals.

3. Lack of Visibility

You may be asking yourselves how you can ensure a necessary level of visibility of your sales team’s status without regular reports and meetings. And, despite the fact that you may currently feel that you have a strong level of visibility with a participatory sales team, it can never compare to real-time data with a full 360-view of customer interactions (a.k.a. Business Relationship Intelligence).

With SalesWise’s proprietary Cross Application Relationship Data (CARD) platform, all of the data you need to review existing customer relationships and to even grow new relationships is readily available. On average, our customers discover 5-8 times more contacts and increase visibility by 300% beyond their CRM system. The CARD always remains up-to-date, seamlessly synchronizing across your systems – CRM, inbox, calendar, contacts, documents and more – to share real-time critical intelligence to help you lead, predict, and plan more effectively.

4. Issues with Siloed Divisions

It comes as no surprise that many organizations struggle with siloed divisions. When it comes to sales, these structures can be extremely limiting and consequently inhibit sales success. McKinsey found nearly 80% of senior executives surveyed in a study said that effective coordination across product, functional, and geographic lines was crucial for growth. Yet, only 25% described their organizations as “effective” at sharing knowledge across boundaries.

When divisions are siloed, so is data. Who says your sales team is the only one that needs data? In reality, many other functions within your company – such as finance and legal – contribute to the sales process and/ or customer experience.

At SalesWise, we believe in democratizing your data as a means of driving stronger, more effective alignment and collaboration across your teams. You can rest assured that no matter how your team or customers change, all of your data is organized and instantly accessible for those who need it most.

5. Challenges with Rising Costs

When it comes to running an effective sales team and organization, keeping your costs low while increasing sales success is key. Traditional per-seat pricing models, usually associated with CRM and SaaS systems simply don’t work for growing sales teams and certainly don’t promote data accessibility to those outside your sales team. That’s why SalesWise believes in a pricing model that truly rewards growth instead of taxing it. We deliver key relationship data access across your enterprise without per-seat fees.

Traditionally, people have a 92% failure rate in following through on their New Year’s resolutions (StatisticBrain.com). Debunk the norm and let this year be your year for sales team success! Learn more about SalesWise by visiting www.saleswise.com/the-platform/.

SalesWise Raises $1.3M

SalesWise raises $1.3 million

Atlanta productivity software firm SalesWise has raised $1.3 million.

SalesWise aggregates business data from online calendars, email, document management, and customer relationship management apps to drive productivity and effectiveness of the sales force. The software helps sales people prepare for customer meetings, follow-up and share data about relationships in a more effective way.

The new capital, which will be invested in sales and marketing, was raised from SalesWise CEO Gregg Freishtat and existing investors, including Atlanta venture firm TechOperators. SalesWise has raised $3.5 million so far.

SalesWise supports productivity suites Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365, and CRM software such as Salesforce.

“We look at and aggregate every document that goes through the mail server, whether it’s Gmail or Exchange,” Freishtat said last year.

SalesWise presents the information via a web dashboard, or mobile device. Calendar appointments, for instance, include information on related documents, email messages and contact information of meeting attendees.

“We blur the lines between what traditionally is in a calendar, what’s in an email, what’s in document management and what’s in CRM,” Freishtat noted. “When I go out of town and I need an associate to cover for me, I’m not forwarding emails and documents — I can share the entire customer card, so the associate has access to all the information that was in four or five back-end authenticated systems.”

SalesWise was launched in 2014 by Freishtat and Jason Parekh. The company, which employs 10, plans to add up to 20 new jobs next year depending on business traction.

SalesWise is targeting the lower mid-market — companies with $20 million-to-$100 million in revenues and 20-to-250 employees.

Urvaksh Karkaria covers Technology.

(This article was originally published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle by Urvaksh Karkaria, Staff Writer of the Atlanta Business Chronicle — http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2016/12/27/saleswise-raises-1-3-million.html)

How to be WISE in Sales Leadership

How to be WISE in Sales Leadership

Leading a sales team is no small feat. From managing the pipeline and projecting revenue to overseeing the sales process and coordinating efficiencies, it can be a challenge to stay ahead and in-the-know with your whole team.

Here are a few traits we have found in some of the most successful sales leaders we’ve encountered. See how you can be more WISE as a sales team leader.

Willful

Oftentimes, willfulness is associated with stubbornness or disobedience. By no means do we endorse this style of leadership. Rather, we look at willfulness as a leader taking intentional and deliberate action. It’s no surprise that sales teams use technology to enable and manage their sales process. Did you know that 61% of employees typically access four or more systems to get the information they need to do their jobs (IDC)? WISE sales team leaders are willing to look at the alternatives.

Today, many sales teams rely on a CRM system to collect and utilize customer relationship data. However, a CRM system alone is always retroactive in nature. The reported data you are reviewing as a sales leader will always be out-of-date (and likely a sliver of what’s really happening). Instead, utilizing an event-driven SaaS program allows for you to be informed to prioritize and work more effectively to lead your teams. Event-driven SaaS programs, such as SalesWise, aggregate events from multiple data sources such as your email inbox, contacts, messages, calendars, shared documents, and more to optimize your workflow and provide a wealth of real-time, insightful customer relationship data.

Insightful

Accessing insightful data doesn’t just allow you to see more information; but, it also allows you to be more insightful as a leader. What do we mean by this? Well, being insightful as a sales team leader means looking beyond the numbers to unearth new information and to utilize intelligent relationship data. With SalesWise, our customers uncover an average of 5 – 8 times more contacts and increase visibility by 300% beyond their CRM system. This is important because Gartner reports that there is an average of 7-8 people involved in most buying decisions. In today’s sales environment, it is essential to be relationship-focused.

Strategic

When it comes to relationships, we aren’t just talking about the relationship with your current/ prospective customers. Equally important, if not more so, are the internal relationships between your sales team and other individuals/ departments involved in the sales process. Too often, sales get bottlenecked in the siloed structure of so many companies. In fact, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures (Salesforce). Moreover, 80% of line-of-business leaders in sales, HR, procurement, and more say problems arise because they have different internal systems/ applications that do not talk to each other (IDC).

Thinking strategically is a crucial trait for any WISE sales team leader. In order to enable sales, it’s necessary to bridge this gap between your sales and non-sales team members. We wrote about this democratic process recently as we describe the importance of making data accessible to all. In doing so, you create greater transparency which breaks down any functional silos and walls. Couple transparency with a no per-seat pricing model, SalesWise encourages your organization to provide this access to many staff members beyond your sales team (and makes it more affordable).

Enterprising

Lastly, WISE sales leaders embody an enterprising spirit! They’re always looking for a new way to do things better. They’re receptive and open to untried methods that will afford them greater efficiency, increased productivity, more engaged team members, and more. According to B2B Lead, 50% of a sales team’s time is wasted on unproductive prospecting. It’s no wonder many sales leaders aren’t just contemplating the sales numbers but also productivity numbers!

When asked what gets in the way of work, employees said wasteful meetings (59%) followed by excessive emails (43%) (Workfront 2016 Survey). What if there was a platform that could reduce both of these productivity killers? At SalesWise, we believe visibility (“transparency”) leads to greater, more effective sales productivity. We do this through our platform’s Card-based system, and we level the playing field by giving everyone access to customer relationship data. We reduce the need for frequency of sales catchup meetings and decrease email workload by 30%. Employees are more engaged – working together across the organization to enable a shorter, more productive sales cycle.

According to the Workplace Research Foundation, increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. Meanwhile, highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.

Why wait to get WISE? As a sales team leader, it’s time to get in the know with end-to-end visibility into the sales process to prepare your team for anything. Know everything. Be prepared for anything. Get SalesWise. Visit www.saleswise.com.

Sales - Right Time, Right Place, Right Person

Sales – Right Time, Right Place, Right Person

The key for most successful endeavors in business is being in the right place at the right time with the right person. So, why should your sales process function any differently? We’ve written before about the importance of your CRM system to your organization. But, what’s worth noting is that 91% of CRM data is incomplete (Salesforce). So, how can your sales team achieve success if they don’t have the appropriate data available to access the right person at the right time in the right place? Let’s take a closer look.

Do you have the TIME?

You can read a dozen sales books that will tell you that it’s best to make cold calls in the late afternoon, Thursday is the best day to prospect or that it takes an average of eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect (The Brevet Group). But, these are generalities and every prospect is different. The importance of time is knowing when your prospect or customer is the most responsive and/or prefers to be contacted. It’s the time it takes to build the connection. Communication is key to the sales process but so is persistency. In fact, according to the Marketing Donut, 80% of sales require five follow-up calls after the meeting while 44% of sales representatives give up after only one follow-up. Seamlessly tracking your interactions with a prospect or customer as well as the quality of those communications can help you to consistently connect and build a successful sales relationship.

What PLACE should we meet?

It’s not just about the right time. But, where should you engage with your prospects? Phone calls and especially check-in calls can help you to maintain relationships or learn about new company developments that could open sales opportunities. But, sales interactions aren’t only taking place by phone, with the rise of our digital lives both personally and professionally, Forbes reports that 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. But, don’t worry, the tried and true staple of email won’t be going anywhere soon. Email performs nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter when it comes to acquiring new customers (McKinsey). And, meetings, whether in person or virtually always offer a unique opportunity to engage more personably.

Who’s the right PERSON?

Getting time with a prospect in-person is a very good thing. But, of even greater significance, it’s about getting time with the right person. According to Gartner, at the typical firm with 100 – 500 employees, an average of seven people are involved in most buying decisions. No longer are the days of sales one-to-one. Today, it’s many-to-many. Whether within your own company with people in your sales, marketing, accounting and procurement departments involved in the prospect-to-sale journey; or, on the customer’s side with multiple decision makers with a variety of areas of expertise, knowing who the right person(s) may be has never been more crucial.

How do you possibly manage it all successfully? Tracking so many interactions on a number of different channels can be a challenge. Limited CRM data and access across your enterprise can also present many barriers. That’s why SalesWise tracks all your emails, key contacts involved, meetings, and documentation conveniently all in one place. We also believe in democratizing data so that everyone in your enterprise can access the information they need to enable successful customer relationships free of per-seat license fees. Relationship Intelligence has now reached a new level ensuring you can be in the right place at the right time with the right person. If you don’t believe me, just #CheckTheCard.

Porsche Evolution

Like a Porsche

Have you noticed how Porsches look and feel similar despite being 85 years old? It’s because they stick to what they’re good at, and make incremental changes to make the driving experience the benchmark.

Likewise, SalesWise has gone through minor updates recently to provide you with the best experience to drive greater productivity for you and your colleagues.

(Yes, we’re like the Porsche of Enterprise Relationship Intelligence. I said it.)

Check Out Our Latest Updates

Surfacing More Relevant CAL & TASKS

Quickly see the latest (past and upcoming) tasks and calendar events on the Card including which tasks have been completed.

Cleaner, more detailed MESSAGES

We received several requests to see more message details in the Card. You asked. We delivered. Check out the Messages section of the Card to see more details including attachment designations.

More informative notifications by the Chrome Extension

The SalesWise Chrome Extension now surfaces additional details seamlessly so you can quickly review key details and take next steps, if needed. Or, simply stay in-the-loop.

Install the Chrome Extension for Seamless Updates

The SalesWise Chrome Extension is the easiest way to stay informed on the customers important to you. Get notifications on interactions between your customers and your company. No need to fire off those one-off emails or Slack messages to check the status of customers because you’re on top of it all.

We’ve got you covered. Enjoy the ride.

Get the Chrome Extension here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/saleswise/fjmkgmglgjmpaoefnnepaddegnbkcedo?hl=en-US&gl=US