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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

SaaSquatch – Time for a Change in the Pay Per Seat SaaS Model?

The Last Big One

Salesforce.com was founded in February of 1999.   Best I can tell, that was the beginning of the last real innovation in the business of software.   The pay as you go, pay per seat business model directly challenged the prevailing model of large up front software license fees and perpetual maintenance fees.  Folks my age remember the bright red circle and line through the word “Software” that was integral to the early messaging and positioning of SFDC.  Needless to say – Salesforce.com and Marc Benioff were right, and through a ton of hard work and market making transformed the Software industry into what we affectionately now call the “Cloud”.

That was 17 years ago.   Other than a few derivative business models such as “Freemium”  coined in 2006, there has been a complete absence of innovation in the business model of how SaaS companies charge for their products and services.   For a while, the per-seat model made a ton of sense and was good for everyone.  Enterprises enjoyed massive reductions in upfront fees and eventually could materially reduce CapEx as solutions moved more and more to the cloud.  The SaaS providers enjoyed stable recurring monthly revenues, easier and more frequent product iterations, and far quicker enterprise sales cycles.  Even the economics made sense regarding the cost of goods to deliver SaaS – each big customer required more storage, more processing, more servers and co-locations.  But something changed.  And the business model of SaaS did not not keep up with innovation.

Really it was two things that changed at about the same time:

1)  The number of SaaS providers exploded causing a massive migration to the Cloud for nearly all newly purchased enterprise software; and,

2) The cost of building software, storage, and processing plunged as AWS and others created today’s modern cloud infrastructure.

Proliferation of SaaS Solutions

There is tons of data on the proliferation of cloud apps and it all points up and to the right with regard to how fast SaaS (used to be ASP and now it’s “Cloud”) applications are growing inside mid to large enterprises.  It’s not just Salesforce.com and Box anymore.  To name just a few SaaS segments that have exploded over the past five years:  CRM, ERP, Marketing Automation, Document Management, Finance, HR, Cloud storage, Disaster recovery, Customer Service, and many more.  It is not uncommon for an enterprise to have 30 or even 50 SaaS providers.   That’s a lot.

For many, the proliferation of SaaS solutions creates a data mess.   While each platform may serve its purpose well, companies with any scale are discovering that data is trapped in SaaS silos and difficult to use in support of the “rest of the enterprise”.   For example, SFDC may work well for sales and customer service reps who live in the application all day long, but it fails to provide easy access to Product, Marketing, Finance, Integration teams, Legal, or even the C-suite.  Many companies invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to create customer solutions that work across the enterprise but with the pace of SaaS innovation, will likely find themselves back in the SaaS data disaster that has been created.

Interestingly, SFDC understands this issue and hopes to solve it by becoming the center of the SaaS universe with their ecosystem – AppExchange.  Smart.  However, for now, most integrations create a “dumping ground” of data that exacerbates the difficulty of non-sales functions to find what they need to better perform their jobs.   Meanwhile,the once innovative SFDC per-seat business model has now become near-universally despised for taxing growth and success.

Silo’s are Silo’s?

The reality is that Sales reps are the only ones that need all of SFDC, marketing folks are the only ones that need all of Marketo, Finance same for NetSuite, and the list goes on.   However, almost everyone in the enterprise needs a little something from nearly every system to arm themselves with the data required to better perform their jobs.   This is where the pay per-seat business model falls down.   Compounding this pain is the reality that no one wants to learn and use multiple UI’s to get all the data they need.

So…. perhaps SFDC continues to conquer the world and becomes the center of the enterprise data universe?  Maybe.  But now we are back to the reality that per-seat pricing does not work for everyone in an enterprise.   Perhaps it’s time for innovation in the business of SaaS.

Time to Innovate the Business Model of SaaS

What if each functional area of an enterprise could cherry pick the data they require to better perform their jobs from across the enterprise SaaS landscape?  What if you could reduce your current per-seat SaaS costs by up to 30% and pay a simple flat monthly fee for enterprise wide access to all your data in your SaaS investments?   This is what we are building at SalesWise — delivering each person all the data they need to better perform while eliminating up to 30% of the cost of SaaS seat licenses like Salesforce.com.

Take the free Salesforce Audit here to see how much you could save while driving better performance across the enterprise.

Enabling Salesforce-for-All With No Per-Seat Additions

In an earlier blog, we talked about the biggest problem with Salesforce according to Forrester Research. To recap, studies found that a “rigid and inflexible pricing model” registered as the top complaint among companies that hoped to do more with this excellent CRM.

While the pricing structure remains a problem, there’s an even more significant issue from a productivity standpoint: uneven Salesforce adoption by sales teams and the resulting data corruption. Your CRM can only be as good as the data inside it, which will degrade rapidly without constant updates.

No Time for Data Entry

Successful Salesforce adoption has always faced challenges from reluctant sales teams that are under intense pressure to shorten the sales cycle. From the point of view of these sales professionals, it’s easy for repetitive data entry to get pushed way down on the priority list when there are quotas to hit and active prospects on the line.

When sales people don’t have time to update the CRM, or they speed through the task so fast that errors creep in, the inevitable result will be inaccurate, out of date, no good data. This has been precisely the case for many firms, and it severely impairs the effectiveness of their CRM. If you already have Salesforce in place, you need better control over your data. If you don’t, you need to be certain that your sales teams will actually use Salesforce effectively before you commit to substantial investments of time, resources and training.

The Answer: Enterprise Intelligence

Here is the answer to all of the above complications. SalesWise can open up a single Salesforce access point to every single person in your company for zero additional costs. That means everyone in your organization gains the ability to work better together without having to worry about inflexible pricing. Meanwhile, your sales professionals don’t have to waste their critical sales time in updating the CRM. With increasing global competition and the accelerating speed of business, a few minutes can be the difference between a close and a wasted effort. And, over the course of a year adds up to serious revenue.

Picture how much more organized and productive your sales teams will be once they are liberated from busy work like data entry and reporting. This elegant, cloud-based enterprise intelligence platform will do just that. The gorgeous SalesWise UI was developed from the ground up to clear away all distractions and allow sales teams the freedom to do what they do best: sell.

For a substantially lower investment, you can get access to the most powerful tools in Salesforce, share them all across your organization for closer collaborations and ramp up productive sales time. What else could you want? Actually, quite a bit more.

Deal Visibility: The Original Goal of CRM

To secure higher revenues in the new economy, you will need to share more than just access to Salesforce. Your sales team should be knowledgeable about every interaction and every document relating to a specific client. Nothing should be lost inside Dropbox, Evernote, email attachments, social media exchanges or messaging apps.

SalesWise acts like an intelligent personal assistant that immediately lays out a true picture of what’s going on with any deal and any prospect. In practice, that translates into instant, transparent deal visibility for effective pipeline management. Not coincidentally, that’s exactly what CRM was supposed to do in the first place.

The End of Oversharing

Is it possible to share too much information? Absolutely. Anyone who’s ever gotten stuck inside an email chain where everybody automatically hits “Reply All” knows the frustration of TMI. SalesWise keeps you one step ahead.

The unique SalesWise platform was carefully designed to allow you to share what you want with who you want. Maybe the CEO needs to be brought in on the most important deals. Maybe Production has to get involved on a personalization or localization issue. Undoubtedly, Finance will need to be involved on some deals but definitely won’t want details on all of them. The power to dial sharing up and down is in your hands.

This facilitates team selling, vacation coverage, field office reporting, mobile presentations, new hire training and a host of issues related to today’s more complex buyer’s journey.

Direction and Purpose

Try out SalesWise Enterprise Intelligence for free and see how good it feels to make your entire sales team more productive with one application to connect everything. How much of your day do you want to spend toggling between windows just to figure out what you’re doing next? In a glance, the SalesWise dashboard informs you the stage the customer or prospect is in at the moment, when they were last contacted and the probability to close.

To start your sales team off in the right direction, sign up for Wise & Shine. This early morning daily email gives a comprehensive overview of the day’s meetings, goals, notes and all the documents your team will need to organize a more successful day. You’ll break out of the gates with direction and purpose, while the competition is still doing their data entry from yesterday.

Sources:

https://www.saleswise.com/how-to-eliminate-90-of-the-cost-of-salesforce-com/

http://blog.thetasgroup.com/smart-sales-blog/4-common-salesforce-data-entry-mistakes-and-how-to-fix-them

Is Your CRM Getting in the Way of Closing Deals?

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is supposed to be the holy grail for a salesperson who wants to make the most productive use of his time. According to Qvidian, the typical salesperson is spending 41 percent of his time doing activities outside of selling, which can have a severe impact on performance. Think about how much of your time is spent sitting in the office doing everything except following up with your prospects. One of the biggest supposed boons to the sales department is the CRM—but in many cases, it ends up being one of your biggest time sinks.

Data Entry Woes

A CRM is only worth the data put into it, and most solutions are going to make you do the hard work. Marketing might send over a few bits of information on your leads and opportunities, but it’s hours of work putting it all together in a way that actually gives you useful output and insight into your customer. What about all of those neat features the CMO was talking about when the CRM got deployed? The sales department doesn’t even use half of them because it requires jumping through too many hoops.

Scattered Data

Following up is the key to sales, so why does it seem like so few people are actually doing what they need to do? Hubspot reports the average qualified lead is only getting touched 1.3 times, when it takes an average of 8 contacts before the lead is ready to go through with their purchase. A further 71 percent of qualified leads never get a single follow up. One potential explanation is that the sales staff couldn’t keep up with their follow ups because the CRM was getting in the way of their jobs.

How many steps does it take to get all the information you need to keep you on track with your prospect? If you’re resorting to sticky notes because your CRM is only good at showing you contact information but it doesn’t bother letting you know when to get in touch, you are losing out on productivity and closing sales. Your software solution shouldn’t frustrate you into using low-tech methods to stay on top of a critical part of the sales process.

In many cases, you’re bouncing between your calendar, email, messenger and documents to gather all the data you need to effectively follow up with your prospect. Add that to the time you need to spend checking in with your department manager or prodding marketing for leads that are actually qualified, and you’re losing out on a ton of sales opportunities every day. Additionally, sitting through training on all the software you have to use cut into your onboarding time when you first started. A lack of integration between applications makes it impossible for you to see your data in one place; plus, it leads back to the dreaded time spent on data entry.

Unintuitive Interface

Can you see how many prospects you have in your pipeline easily? Do you have any idea on the deal values or the pipeline stage for a particular lead? Some CRMs have interfaces that seem counterintuitive to improving the sales department’s productivity. If you need to click more than once to access your most important data points, you’re adding complexity to your sales process.

Many industries rely on face-to-face time, particularly onsite with a prospect, in order to close a deal and land the sale. You want an interface that allows you to quickly pull up the information you need, review it before your sales meeting, and not miss out on essential pieces of the puzzle.

Is Relationship Intelligence the Answer?

By this time, you’re lucky if you aren’t beating your head against the wall any time you think about CRM. They have some good features, but it’s not worth it when you spend almost half of your non-sales time trying to feed it the information it needs to do anything. Relationship intelligence solutions, such as Saleswise, take a look at CRM problems and approach them in a more sales-centric way.

The biggest difference is that you cut out a lot of unnecessary data entry. Instead of manually entering data so you gain some visibility on your prospects, Saleswise aggregates all relevant data from your CRM, calendar, messaging apps, tasks and even your notes into a single page. It takes one click to get to anything you need. Saleswise is also particularly set up for follow-up tasks, as it enhances a typical calendar by giving you all relevant data on the prospects you’re reaching out to that day.

Are you ready to try out a free solution that helps you get away from endless data entry and CRM frustration? Improve your follow ups and close-won rates with Saleswise.com. It only takes a few minutes to aggregate your data and get the visibility you need to hit your sales quotas and rise to the top of your sales department.

Sources:

http://info.qvidian.com/Sales_Execution_Trends_2015.html

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-and-when-to-follow-up-with-all-types-of-leads

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.

Are You Having a Love/Hate Relationship With CRM?

Sixty-seven percent of businesses depend on customer data to make strategic marketing decisions. Many companies employ customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in the form of software platforms. Salesforce is one of the most popular and widely used platforms. There are a number of pros and cons to using this type of CRM, and many sales professionals have come to hate it. Whether or not your company requires you to use CRM, you can learn to love it when paired with software that involves automation rather than tedious data entry.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of CRM Platforms

Good customer relationship management is an essential part of the sales process. In order to see a good ROI, relationship building and tracking is a must, which is why CRM software, like Salesforce, quickly became immensely popular. It’s a great way for sales staff to keep all of their customer information in one shared location. Generating reports, calculating analytics and accessing information remotely are a few other benefits of CRM systems. When implemented correctly, CRM can help businesses increase customer loyalty and boost their bottom line.

As good as this may sound, serious problems exist with many CRM solutions. First, you have to manually enter customer information. Data entry is time-consuming and it can be demotivating. Second, the cost to implement a CRM system can be too high; especially for growing businesses. Third, staff must be trained how to install, deploy and use the platform, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient.  Finally, to use CRM well, you are constantly flipping between the CRM, your mail, your calendar, your dropbox, your presentation/conference platform and others — trying to keep them all up to date.

High Cost and Dirty Data

Many additional issues plague CRM like Salesforce. The data entry involved often results in “dirty data,” or duplicate information and inaccuracies that can work against you.  In most cases, the status of deal in the CRM system is not updated and does not represent the true status of whats going on.  Folks are too busy doing there job on the front lines of sales to enter every scrap of information — despite the fact that these details may be key in closing a deal.

Salesforce can be very expensive. At a cost of $125 per seat per month, it’s simply not feasible for many small businesses. And, to make matters worse, if it works and you start really growing, it gets more and more expensive with every new seat you have to add. The good news is that recently new CRM solutions are available with comparable features at a fraction of the cost.

Automated Alternative Approach

The new adage of modern business is “automate, automate, automate.” Automating processes helps businesses keep all key data in one system without the data entry and dirty data that plague traditional CRM systems. Even if your company is large and complex, automation can boost productivity and ensure their is one accurate system of record for every prospect or client. Simply put, CRM tools with automation reduce the chance of human error. Managing the sales pipelines becomes less of a burden, and teams can focus on getting sales. The Harvard Business Review reported that companies have increased sales by 10 to 30 percent with automated processes.

Automated technology, like that available from Saleswise, gives you access to everything you need at your fingertips, requiring no data entry. By pulling in data that’s already on your calendar, emails, notes and tasks, we make it easy to consolidate and view your sales and customer information. In a single click, you can see all of your current customer’s information on one page. To keep your sales team and supervisor updated, simply share all the data without the cost of adding a “CRM Seat”.

The Power of CRM Integration

It can be difficult to choose from among the many tools available. While it may be tempting to employ everything, it’s important to focus only on tools that make working simpler and easier, rather than those that create more work. Salesforce and similar CRM systems have plagued businesses with problems in spite of their popularity. Understanding that CRM is merely a database—some call it a “glorified Rolodex”—is helpful when considering it as part of one’s sales process.

If you’re married to your CRM—whether you like it or not—there is hope. When a business pairs their existing CRM with new systems that automate all data, a love affair blossoms that enhances productivity like never before. For example, SaleWise technology “auto-magically” aggregates and organizes information from various sources, including Salesforce.com data, email, calendars, notes, documents, contacts, tasks and more. Information is stored securely, so you don’t have to worry about customer information being at risk. Even if your business doesn’t use Salesforce, you can still benefit from the many features available to you through Saleswise. Best yet, it’s free to use.

Love it or hate it, frontline sales professionals need some form of customer relationship management to engage successfully with customers. Even if you use a CRM platform that leaves much to be desired, you’ll delight in adding Saleswise, and you’ll find it makes sales much easier and maximizes your investment in any CRM you deploy. Our automated technology will save you time, energy and money like no standalone CRM system can. To learn more and get started, sign up for free.

Sources:http://www.marketingweekly.com/crm/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-crm-software/?mode=featuredhttp://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/6-common-problems-with-crm-data/http://www.digitalmarketer.com/business-automation-tools-email/https://hbr.org/1989/01/automation-to-boost-sales-and-marketinghttp://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2012/12/31/what-salesforce-com-wont-tell-you/http://www.crmsearch.com/salesforce-strengths.phphttp://brandongaille.com/12-salesforce-pros-and-cons/

Sales Safety Net?

Sometimes the difference between a good sales person and a great one comes from the little things. Actions such as consistently following up can make or break your sales commissions, as a full 80 percent of sales comes from leads that are followed up 5 to 12 times. However, 44 percent of sales people don’t even make it to a second follow up! In many cases, the software you have to use, such as customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, makes it hard to organize your follow-ups or easily track what your next steps are.

The Next Principal

The “Next” principal is what takes you from an average sales person to one who’s on top of the entire department. It’s a simple methodology that dramatically increases the efficiency of any sales team or individual sales agent. After you implement this principal, you’ll sleep better at night with the thought of your commission statement and your security in knowing nothing is falling through the cracks.

The way you spend your time and how well you’re prepared to engage with your business prospects and relationships is the key to your success. It all revolves around what you do “Next.” Getting leads from your marketing funnel is simply the first part of a long journey that doesn’t stop after your first follow up. How you handle the “Next” steps spells the difference between average and exceptional results.

What’s Your Next Move?

Saleswise is a relationship intelligence platform that gets you to your next move without endless data entry, switching between multiple applications or digging through your calendar. It’s manically focused on making sure your “Next” move is the right one, and that you’re armed with every tool you need to do well in one place.

Knowing what’s “Next” on your agenda, such as your calendar and task list, and being properly prepared for it is not easy. It’s especially hard in a typical sales department, which uses a combination of calendar, tasks, email, CRM, contact and documents that aren’t remotely integrated together. You’re pulling data from Salesforce, a spreadsheet, a huge email thread and a calendar that’s only shared to one of your business email accounts, and you’re still missing pieces of the puzzle. Even if you know what you need to do “Next,” you don’t have the tools you need to properly succeed at this job.

No More Confusion Over the Next Move

Saleswise empowers you and your sales department to own what’s “Next” so you never have to let another valuable opportunity slip through the cracks. The “Next” Principal attaches a “Next” step to each prospect, customer and valued business relationship. Every single person in your system has a follow-up move for improving your relationship, whether you nurture a lead or close a sale. Under this principal, there’s no exception to this rule. It might take multiple follow ups before your prospect finally turns into a closed deal, but it’s well worth it when you have a system in place to support your sales process.

What About Task Management?

Tasks require discipline and diligence to actually be effective. If you don’t stay on top of the task system and have the right tools fueling your business processes, you aren’t going to keep making the right “Next” move. Each and every prospect and customer is an open task under the Saleswise system. It might sound like a chore, but once you actually try it with a system that supports your sales actions, it makes your life easier and ensures that you aren’t worrying about missing a critical data point. The less you worry, the more mental energy you have to focus on making the sale or improving the customer relationship.

The most effective tasks are different for every person and company, depending on your prospects and general work flow. In some cases, you set up tasks to remind you to follow up on a call within a few days, but other prospects may need a follow up in months or years in the future, if they don’t currently have a budget. In that situation, you can set a follow-up reminder in Saleswise to hit at the beginning of the fiscal quarter or year. A “not interest” response may put the task on the back burner for another year, when they may be less content with their current system.

The Next Thing is Always There

No matter what type of task you create, the “Next” step is always there so you don’t have to waste time worrying about it. It increases your efficiency and lets you relax because you aren’t always wondering “Did I follow up with that prospect…?” The system lets you know, so you can focus on taking that “Next” step. You always have an answer for your manager and co-worker when they ask what you’re doing and when you have follow-ups.

Once you have a good handle on what’s “Next,” you’re halfway there. You just need a system in place that will give you instant access to the prospect and customer information you need, all in one panel. You do the hard work of making sure every business relationship has a clearly defined “Next” step, and we’ll supply the best platform to make it as easy and effective as possible. Take a look at our free Saleswise platform, which is simple to sign up on and get started with. It pulls in all the data for you, so you aren’t stuck with hours of data entry. Over 1,000 happy subscribers are already using it to fuel their “Next” steps – now it’s your turn.