Posts

Understanding Your Customer’s Needs (Before They Know They Need it)

Understanding Your Customer’s Needs (Before They Know They Need it)

 

As one of the oldest professions, there have been many philosophies through the years about how to sell more effectively. While it’s not a new concept to sell to a customer based on their needs (e.g., solution-selling), it is a relatively new concept to sell to a customer based on the needs they don’t yet know they have. This is better known as insight-selling.

Here are five key components sales leaders should look for in understanding their prospective customers’ NEEDS:

Necessity

Every business has a unique roadmap. It’s the way in which they carry out the core functions of their business. Before your sales team picks up the phone to cold call a prospect, it’s imperative that they understand the nature of the customer’s business and the innate needs that customer may have. When asked, only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs (The Brevet Group). Not doing your homework is one thing. The reality is the data is likely already there. Work with your company across divisions to share your collective insights into the necessities of these customer targets. It’s not likely they would ever even be on your list of prospects if you didn’t have an initial understanding of their core business needs.

Enterprising

It takes a wise guy to know a wise guy. As expert Wise Guys, we understand the need (and pressure) for business leaders to show innovation and enterprising qualities on the job. Perhaps the most important factor in selling to a customer before they know they need what you have, is understanding this need for the customer to be the discoverer.

Yes, you reached out, but it’s the wise customer who was resourceful in discovering the advantages they may bring to their organization through your product or solution. Allow your customers to show the initiative within their company. The decision is rarely left with one individual alone these days. In fact, on average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s business-to-business purchase decisions (CEB Global). By allowing your prospect to show his/ her enterprising nature, the customer, in turn, becomes the champion for your solution among the many purchase decision-makers.

Execution

Another key need for the successful champion is to clearly and simplistically outline how your solution can be effectively implemented. Sure, you know the plan, but to effectively sell it, you should put your customer in the driver’s seat and give them the “race car” experience. Allow them to feel the speed, the wind across their face, and the exhilaration when they cross the finish line. Depending on your business model, this could look as simple as a detailed case study or customer testimonial from a similar industry or it could be as hands-on as a demo or trial program. Remember: talk is cheap and seeing is believing when it comes to effective sales.

Direction

Keeping with the race car analogy, the car is on the track, but we all know this isn’t just one race. Selling to a customer involves understanding their need for direction beyond the first lap or test drive. In many cases, this could be the need for projections or ROI. Clearly defining and demonstrating how your solution or product will help their business to grow and gain trajectory over their competitors is a crucial step. It’s what ensures quality and sets the foundation for not only a more immediate sale, but also a long-term, trusting sales relationship.

Sales

Finally, the last factor you should never overlook when it comes to understanding a customer’s needs is their need to sell! How will your product or solution enable them to sell? This could be a direct sell in terms of a solution that furthers their operational structure. Or, it could be a metaphorical “sell” in which a sale is equal to their company’s definition of success or end goal. Consider how your solution or product will be used within the core functions of their business and be proactive in communicating how it will enable a win for their business.

Selling to a customer before they are even shopping for your solution or product (i.e., insight-selling) requires access to insights. Business Relationship Intelligence (BRI) offers companies and sales teams alike critical insights into their customers’ needs and experiences in order to effectively sell and build a positive sales relationship. Learn more at  www.saleswise.com.

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.

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/.

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.

Visibility for the Homestretch

The End of Year Homestretch: How to Stay In-the-Know

It’s the last quarter of the year and like most leaders in a sales organization, you’re probably reflecting on the past year’s numbers while simultaneously devising a plan and setting projections for the new year to come. There are a number of systems, tools, and technology you may select to complete these tasks. However, the reality is the best way to plan, execute, and achieve your numbers this year and next is to have full visibility. In fact, 50% of professionals say transparency would assist them in reporting and predicting revenue. 39% of sales professionals also believe transparency would help them to reach their quota (SpringCM).

On Productivity

By now you might be thinking, “Sure, transparency sounds all well and good. But, what we really need is better productivity so that my sales team can make their numbers.”

Too often, sales professionals feel bogged down by the monotonous and time-consuming CRM manual data-entry. And, likely as a result, 40% of salespeople still use informal means to store their lead and customer data such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook (HubSpot). The truth is you may be reviewing your CRM system for sales figures and data; however, the majority of sales and, indeed, relationship data is housed in a number of other channels including email contacts and messages, calendar meetings, shared documents, and more!

According to the American Psychological Association, switching back and forth between tools can cost you up to 40% in lost productivity. With so many channels, it’s essential to streamline the data-collection and review process on both the team and managerial side. At SalesWise, we do this through our innovative Card design. When you simply #ChecktheCard, you’ll gain a real-time 360°-view of aggregated, intelligent customer relationship data that will not only help you to manage, predict, and plan more effectively; but, also to ensure maximum productivity with a single, comprehensive view.

On Transparency

As a sales leader, you’re in a unique position to not only manage your sales team but also to provide analytics and reporting on current and projected revenue. Visibility into the sales process is key and will allow you go beyond just knowing how your sales team is selling. Visibility of your sales team will enable you to respond and lead with confidence.

Per CSO Insights, only 60% of sales representatives meet quota each year. This may be due to the fact that, on average, sales professionals spend 33% of their time actually selling (Toutapp). Easy access to critical relationship intelligence data is not only important for you as a sales leader but also to your sales team.

Here at SalesWise, our customers recognize visibility provides insights that aligns their sales organizations while driving stronger, more efficient collaboration across the rest of the enterprise. Reporting shouldn’t be an end-of-year, quarterly, or even monthly event. Relationships and sales are happening real-time and so should your insights.

Greater visibility increases productivity. Greater visibility helps optimize your sales process. SalesWise provides this visibility to help leaders lead with confidence. Learn more about how SalesWise can help you at www.saleswise.com/the-platform.

Democracy of Business

The Democracy of Your Business

It’s election week and the topic of democracy this electoral season has been a hot one to say the least! While we’ve all probably thought about what it means to be a democracy as a nation, have you ever asked yourself what it means to be a democracy as a business? What might that look like?

Coming Together

By definition, a democracy is control of an organization by the majority of its members. While we wouldn’t suggest suddenly introducing an electoral vote for your company leadership, we would recommend looking at “control” as the ability for your members (a.k.a. staff) to work seamlessly together. As The Beatles so eloquently put it in their 1969 Abbey Road hit, we’ve got to “Come Together.” Too often, organizations – and subsequently their data – are siloed. McKinsey found nearly 80% of senior executives surveyed in a 2005 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.

Departmental silos are a growing pain for businesses of all sizes. The burden often lies with the executive leaders and management to foster a democratic environment to help their teams break down these business barriers that prevent growth.

Understand Their Experience

To do this effectively, organizational leaders must first look at the employee experience. What does it take to get it done?

When it comes to complex sales organizations, a sale can cross several job functions during its sales cycle. While there’s much discussion on the customer’s experience during that journey, there’s little-to-none about the impact internally. Sadly, when asked what gets in the way of work the most, 59% of workers said wasteful meetings followed by excessive emails at 43% (Workfront 2016 Survey). Many office environments have become dependent upon status update meetings and CC/ forwarded emails to share customer information and keep their siloed teams in-the-know.

Data Access for All

Technology can be a solution to reducing meetings and emails. However, with the per-seat license fees and lack of complete data traditionally associated with the CRM and other SaaS solutions, it can quickly become challenging and costly to fully democratize your data.

To truly create a democratic business, you must practice the principles of social equality. Why shouldn’t accounting have access to the same relevant data your sales team has on a customer? Democratizing data means making it accessible to everyone.

At SalesWise, this is what we do best. We believe in creating greater transparency and in helping teams to work more intelligently with 3X the visibility of what’s going on. Reducing email by 30% on average with our customers, we believe in empowering your sales and non-sales teams to simplify the process and shorten the overall sales cycle. Seamless communications and data access enables your business to work as a democracy. Not just for the benefit of your customers, but for your internal teams too.

To learn more about SalesWise, visit http://www.saleswise.com/the-platform/.

As a BDR With SalesWise, I’m Happily Waving Goodbye to the Old Ways

As a business development representative (BDR) for a SaaS startup company I had chaotic days, not because I wasn’t organized or highly motivated, but because I missed out on tools that would help me be more efficient in my role.

Like many BDRs, SDRs (sales development reps) or other sales hunter title used at your company, I was responsible for making XX number of calls per day and setting YY number of demos per week. Easy right?! Well it can be, especially if you’re not spending 20% of your day doing data entry or searching for information.

My past routine (“workflow”)

I was a pretty good BDR in my previous post before joining SalesWise. Not cocky, but I was good.

Our product was the industry benchmark, and as a company, we were turning a great annual recurring revenue (ARR). It’s a pretty ideal situation as BDR. However, there are a few things I was asked to do every week that frustrated me.

For one, account executives (AE) consistently asked for the pain points of a prospect I spoke with 5 days ago. No big deal — I’m 26 and have a great memory. However, this happened 3-4 times per week. Is there not a better way?

Despite having a CRM, I was constantly asked to send updates and documents over to the AEs. I always did it because it is what has to be done to close the deal.

That same week, however, my direct supervisor would ask for notes on the SAME account. I started to worry — what’s going on? What do they need these for? Did I qualify the lead properly? Did something happen in the handoff to the AE, or has the AE fumbled the demo?

I have no idea, but what I do know is I have to go through my records again for the same stuff that might be missing from the CRM (it wasn’t, for the most part). Again, no big deal – especially since I did my job.

So what’s wrong?

As they say, you only start missing things when they’re gone. Kind of. For me, I don’t miss the constant questions for updates because I don’t get bugged as a BDR at SalesWise. Why? Well, let’s take step back at the picture of my past routine again. What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, I was asked 3-4 times for data I already shared. That took anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours gathering this information for others and any “catch-up” meetings that might have resulted. Yes, even though they could have gotten this data out of Salesforce… Or can they?!

Did I document ALL my emails in the CRM? My call notes? My calendar events? What about documents I sent? Did I enter every contact copied on a reply? I admit I might have missed a few, but that’s the truth for most of my BDR and SDR brethren. Logging everything slows us down while we’re expected to hammer the phones and set demos. Constantly updating the CRM is too time-consuming and slows me (us) down.

What I appreciate as a BDR at SalesWise

Like I said, taking a step back, I “miss” the things when they’re gone. Except in this case, I’m happily waving goodbye to the old way, and I’m welcoming SalesWise with open arms. Not just because it’s my new job. In fact, I joined SalesWise because I saw how it could solve a pain-point I experienced everyday as a BDR before.

We have a saying around here of #CheckTheCard. It’s a really simple concept — one that speaks to me and should to you as well. Now when my AE and/ or supervisor ask me for information regarding an account, I tell them to #CheckTheCard! Bold, it is, but it’s our culture here. Even our CEO will #CheckTheCard daily. He then swings by my desk to say, “glad you reached out to XYZ company. That was a great message.”

SalesWise automatically shares my conversations with customers with everyone in my company, as needed. My sales leaders now have access to every email, every contact, and calendar appointment without me ever having to enter the data into Salesforce. Don’t get me wrong — I still do enter data into Salesforce, but only the necessary bits to help forecast our pipeline. The details stay in SalesWise, and they get there automatically. It works kind of like Google Docs but better and for sales, at least, for me.

Before SalesWise and now with SalesWise

Here are a few examples of the mundane tasks that I had to do in my previous role, and how they could be improved with SalesWise.

 

# Before SalesWise Now w/ SalesWise The Value w/ SalesWise
1 Copying emails into the CRM so we had a record of the conversation. SalesWise pulls in every email from every contact with no data entry required. You do nothing! The ability to truly see how your prospect turns into a customer and see their journey. Plus, it saves time — which everyone needs more of.
2 In a handoff to the AE, providing notes, relevant emails and milestones not logged in Salesforce. Well, you don’t actually hand over anything. SalesWise automatically captures everything, so the AE already has access to what he needs. Time for sure, maybe even eliminating some extra steps.
3 Daily, my direct supervisor was looking at my activities and wanted more info about specific accounts, especially key accounts. They don’t have to ask. How about that? SalesWise would allow my supervisor access and visibility to the data — CRM data, email, and calendar at anytime.
(Yes, permissions and restrictions can be set).
There are many. First, you’re no longer asked for information — #CheckTheCard.
Second, if someone is not an account admin or does not have a Salesforce license, they can still get the information they need — again, #CheckTheCard.

But wait, there’s more!

As a BDR at SalesWise, I hear the constant reminders of how difficult it can be to make heads or tails of data in Salesforce. I feel their pain. Luckily, I’m able to share with them a much easier way to check customer relationships — the very product I’m now selling.

Here’s another simple use case and value of what SalesWise offers — in a few months, I’m going to marrying the woman of my dreams. When I’m away for my wedding and honeymoon, I know all of my leads are being taken care of because everything is in SalesWise. I know my colleagues can respond to any leads because they can just “Follow” my accounts and #CheckTheCard. I don’t have to fret about my colleagues pinging me while I’m relaxing on the beach because they have full transparency and they #CheckTheCard. (It’s fun to say.) If someone were to leave the company, SalesWise works the same way.

Okay, one more example — I started a couple weeks ago, and one way I’m ramping up quicker is by using SalesWise. I can go through SalesWise looking at the history of relationships for Closed Won (and Closed Lost) Opportunities to understand what it takes to close a deal. I can see who are the key contacts, what are the common objections and rebuttals are. I was able to ramp up much faster than previous roles because I (you guessed it) #CheckTheCard.

Truth is, I can go on and on about how SalesWise is going to be great for me as a BDR (and beyond). However, you have to see it for yourself. Like me, maybe you’ll happily wave goodbye to the old way of driving leads.

You can give SalesWise a try with a 14-day Pilot, but first, let me set you up for a demo (ryan@saleswise.com). I have a wedding to pay for. 🙂

– Ryan Tolle

(Connect with me on LinkedIn)

Ryan Tolle

Path to Profitable Sales Growth – Redefine Productivity

Where are you going to find revenue and sales growth this year? For 79 percent of companies, the top driver for hitting new revenue targets has come from improvements in sales team productivity. It’s not hard to see why. We know productivity has an enormous impact on revenue because sales teams, on average, are only able to spend about one-third of their day on actual selling. If your title is defined by what you do with most of your time, sadly you might be more accurately called an administrator.

At this very second, a vast amount of revenue is slipping away as your sales team searches for content, reports on what they’ve completed, conducts duplicate data entry for CRM or tries to figure out their next priorities. A relatively small improvement in productivity could go a long way toward crushing last year’s profitability numbers.

The Ideal Sales Team

Instead of trying to make incremental improvements, start with your ideal and work backward to discover the sales growth steps needed to take you there.

Imagine this:

The ideal sales team has the freedom to focus – to go directly into sales mode whenever, wherever sales teams locate their best prospects. The team collaborates effortlessly to share and organize information, collapse sales cycles and make sure customers are happier with their experience.

The ideal sales team depends on an ideal software platform that runs on any device, is easy to learn and has the type of gorgeous interface that sales teams want to use. The platform would be so elegant that all mission-critical information could be accessed immediately at the touch of a key, while the prospect or customer is on the phone. It should make work simpler for everyone, from sales professional to team leader to customer service to the C-suite. The ideal platform will empower productive focus. It will ensure people work better together and retrieve only the information they need; a free rein to shine always results in success.

Back to the Real World

You might think this ideal world we’re describing, with its technologically unique sales platform, is a long way off. In reality, it’s only as far away as this link. SalesWise eliminates data entry, aggregating all prospect information across your organization from CRM, calendars, email, notes, documents and other sources. Share what you want and nothing else. Managers get instant visibility into team activities. Forget those not-so-fast “up to speed” meetings! Sales teams are clear on their priorities, with visualizations of the likelihood to close and potential deal size. Everyone sees better productivity, and finance posts more revenue.

What’s your path to stronger, more profitable growth? It’s not going to come through cost reductions and CRM tools demanding busy work. Profits come from securing greater revenue in less time with less hassle.  Check out SalesWise to learn more.

Sources:

http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/salespeople-only-spent-one-third-of-their-time-selling-last-year