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Trillion Interactions

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My business has been CRM and SFA since the days that those terms first originated. Our products have evolved over the years to incorporate new technologies and business ideas.

CRM has revolutionized the way companies communicate and interact with the customer, leading to a win-win of a better customer experience and a more lucrative business model.

Interactions with the customer should be the focus of CRM apps. The app should encourage and simplify entering customer interactions. I’m especially interested in recording interactions in the sales cycle – it helps enormously with the planning of the sale and archived interactions from previous deals are a great source of information for developing winning strategies.

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HBR Article On The Move To Inside Sales

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Following in the theme of my last post, I ran across the results of a survey done by Harvard Business Review on the move from outside to inside sales. You can find it here.

The writers surveyed over a hundred companies in high tech and business services. Over fifty percent say they are moving from an outside (field) sales to an inside sales model.

I found a few of the other conclusions interesting.

Inside sales is the favourite among early growth stage companies – it’s cheaper to get your message over to more potential customers.

Field sales is more effective for complex sales with long sales cycles, and inside sales better for Cloud delivered standardized package sales.

Reasons for the movement from outside to inside sales models were thought to be:

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Are Outside Salespeople Quaking In Their Boots…

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First what is an outside salesperson. It must be the opposite of an inside salesperson, right?

Yes – according to Ken Drogue the expert in the field of inside sales:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2013/02/26/what-is-inside-sales-the-definition-of-inside-sales/

Ken says:

“The most pragmatic definition of Inside Sales is simple: inside sales is remote sales. It has been called virtual sales, professional sales done remotely, or one of my recent favorites “sales in the cloud.” Where outside sales or traditional field sales is done face-to-face.”

So, really the difference between “in- and out- side sales” is the amount of time you spend face to face with the customer.

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The TASC Top 10 – Number 3 You don’t know whether to talk or listen at a key customer meeting.

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Here’s number three in the “TASC Top 10” tip sheets for sales automation that come from the “legacy” days of SalesWays, originally written by our sister company Ardexus.

This one goes to the heart of how ASPEC looks at the sales cycle – as a natural flow of the the communications between the customer and the salesperson as the sales cycle evolves from start to end.

ASPEC says the sales cycle flows through three “phases” – Probe, Prove, and Close. These phases are as much a part of all sales as sunrise to sunset as day moves to night. All sales, from simple (retail) to complex (think BIG, like fleet of airplanes) follow this pattern. That’s how ASPEC can sensibly tell the salesperson what kind of strategies are needed for a precise point in the sale. 

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The TASC Top 10 – Number 2 The local weatherman puts your forecasting to shame.

Written by on . Posted in Forecasting, Sales Methodology No Comments

We’ve been researching and studying and analyzing the sales process and methodology for a long time. Back in 1999, our CRM was called MODE and consisted of three modules: FIND for marketing; TASC for sales; and CARE for after-sales support and service. TASC was an acronym for Territory, Account, Sales cycle, and Contact, and it incorporated the ASPEC technology, although it wasn’t called ASPEC then.

It was, as I said, 1999, and CRM was in its infancy, not really understood as a software tool by most businesses. We wrote a series of ten vignettes illustrating various situations where CRM would solve some business problem and published them as the TASC 10. They are still relevant today, and sixteen years later, here is Number 2 – The local weatherman puts your forecasting to shame.

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The TASC Top 10 – Number 1 You have no idea how much time is left on the game clock.

Written by on . Posted in Sales Cycle, Sales Methodology 1 Comment

We’ve been researching and studying and analyzing the sales process and methodology for a long time. Back in 1999, our CRM was called MODE and consisted of three modules: FIND for marketing; TASC for sales; and CARE for after-sales support and service. TASC was an acronym for Territory, Account, Sales cycle, and Contact, and it incorporated the ASPEC technology, although it wasn’t called ASPEC then.

It was, as I said, 1999, and CRM was in its infancy, not really understood as a software tool by most businesses. We wrote a series of ten vignettes illustrating various situations where CRM would solve some business problem and published them as the TASC 10. They are still relevant today, and sixteen years later, here is Number 1 – You have no idea how much time is left on the game clock.

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20 Reasons to Share Your Sales Process With Your ComputerReason No. 3 – Singing from the same page.

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The common way for sales teams to get automated is through a CRM system. Early adopters of CRM have managed to iron out the flaws and have settled down to life with CRM doing a pretty good job of assisting with customer experience—making it as good as you can.

Salespeople and sales managers use the CRM system. If the CRM is implemented correctly, they have to. Sales, however, is the last bastion to get into the CRM fold and sometimes only with kicking and screaming. There are reasons for that which are a fairly common topic in my posts. Let’s think a bit about what the sales manager wants out of computer involvement with his team and his processes.

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Multitasking In Sales

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Productivity No Comments

I’m reading a couple of interesting books and by chance they both discuss multitasking. In fact, the first one deals entirely with multitasking from the point of view that it is far more effective to tackle one thing at a time. The second is about SCRUM, the highly popular way to manage software teams and projects. It talks about using SCRUM outside of the realm of software—I’m interested in applying the principles of SCRUM to all areas of business.

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20 Reasons to Share Your Sales Process with Your ComputerReason No. 2 – Because It’s the Best List Manager on the Planet!

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You can’t get lists out of your life – we depend on them. Before writing this I did a bit of research on the history of lists. Belle Beth Cooper in her wonderful article on lists says, “We pack all the madness and ambiguity of life into a structured form of writing. In short, making lists is a great way to increase our overall happiness and feel less overwhelmed.”

Beth’s was the first piece I turned up in my research and it drew me in so deeply I didn’t bother to go any further. She has some very excellent tips for those of us that are always searching for ways to pack more productive time into our lives. But, back to the post—I’m interested in the list as it applies to salespeople.

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20 Reasons to Share Your Sales Process with Your ComputerReason No 1 – Because It’s Cool

Written by on . Posted in General Sales Topics, Sales Methodology, Sales Process No Comments

Well right off the bat, computers are cool. Every salesperson has one in some form or another. The choice is not limited to laptops or desktops—might as well include smartphones, tablets, phablets, ultrabooks, chromebooks and, of course, pads and pods. And now there’s wearable computing—soon salespeople will be looking through Google Glass, and reading their schedule on their iWatch, Gear 2, and so on (and on).

Technology has proven valuable for salespeople, assisting in a zillion different ways to do things better, faster, and overall, just making things easier. The effect is, or should be, more sales. But all of this is not that new— can it be cool? Cool easily becomes a passing fad.

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