8 Sales Pain Points – Do You Have Sales Pain?

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Any enterprise considering an opportunity management solution has, by definition, an opportunity management problem. Just as in medicine, triage is the first step in selecting an opportunity management app – where does it hurt?

It is a fair assumption that most companies today will have an established CRM program. For many sales organizations, the opportunity management capability of that program is inadequate, or even counter-productive, the victim of trying to do everything for everyone instead of focusing on doing the important thing for sales success. Here is a list of some of the customer pains caused by poor opportunity management modules, and the solution that ASPEC provides.

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The Usability Guide for ASPEC for Salesforce.com – Part 1: What It Is & How It Works

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ASPEC for Salesforce

In this guide I intend to introduce how ASPEC for Salesforce.com can benefit your business, and specifically how it works. We have previously talked about why we built the app, and have given presentations at Dreamforce ’13 on how we created it – but this guide is on the usability of the app itself.

Installing the App

The quick guide to getting up and running is as follows – this is meant for Salesforce administrators or for anyone with access to a sandbox account:

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Sales Forecasting With ASPEC – Part 2: Putting it all Together

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In Part 1, I reviewed the different methods of choosing the numbers that power your forecast – Unweighted, Weighted, and Committed.   ASPEC supports these three methods – and you don’t have to pick just one.  In fact, you can use more than one as a double check to validate the numbers you are seeing.

Let’s talk now about the operational side of using the Forecast function in ASPEC.

For most opportunity tracking tools (either in CRM, or stand-alone), forecasting falls into one of two categories:

1.  Reporting

This is the idea that forecasting is left to a reporting section of the software tool – it is considered output.  The kind of output you run once a month or once a week.  This comes from the pre-historic days of CRM – which many of the current crop of Cloud vendors copy.  Forecasting should be interactive – rather than run a report on a territory and product, you should be able to apply a territory or product filter to your forecast.

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Introducing Sales Forecasting with ASPEC – Part 1

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ASPEC Series - Forecast Part 1

Monthly or weekly, or even at times daily, sales teams have to forecast. Before ASPEC, sales forecasts (or “order forecasts”) were often done in Excel or some other simple tool, and sent around with some manual manipulation. With ASPEC, transparency moves to the forefront. Opportunities are entered and managed right in the software – not just for forecasting, but with a focus on creating a complete and inclusive list of all opportunities in order to manage them better and to win more.

I’m going to focus on how to use the Forecast section within ASPEC, with the goal of explaining how it works and how to forecast right from the software, in real time, whenever you want. Rather than wait for the “thumb in the wind” forecast to be sent around, at any point anyone in the team with the appropriate security access can see the forecast. (Note that I said see, not do – ASPEC builds it for you and keeps in constantly up-to-date.)

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ASPEC Usability Series – Generic Opportunity Lists Aren’t Enough, and Here’s Why (The By Priority View)

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ASPEC - Sales Cycles

In most applications that sales people use for opportunity management (mainly CRM), opportunities are presented in a single, sortable list. Perhaps there is some sort of pipeline view as well; the top is generally a lead, and the bottom is generally the final steps in the sales process. The world has been stuck in this method of working with opportunities since Sales Automation first came around.

Sales Funnel
The Sales Pipeline: Does it Really Make Sense as a List to Work?

As I mentioned in the previous post in the series, ASPEC has a unique method of assigning probability and priority to an opportunity using a universal, computerized sales model. With this technology, we can do much more than present a simple sales pipeline. ASPEC is about maximizing your overall use of time to win more, and this is done in the “By Priority View”.

The view is simple in nature – a list of tabs for each of the five different Priorities (Review First, Review Second, Review Third, Break Through Needed, and Leave it Alone) that ASPEC assigns to each and every opportunity and updates constantly. There is a special category called “Overdue” which means that the expected close date for the opportunity has now passed.

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ASPEC Usability Series – Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

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ASPEC - Let's Start

As mentioned last week, we will be releasing posts over the next few months describing how to best use ASPEC in daily and recurring, and even unusual, sales and sales management situations.  How should it be used to plan your day?  Your week? How does it apply to that situation where you got in the sales cycle late, or find you’re not the preferred supplier?

This is not ASPEC help in the traditional sense – it’s much more than how to create a new contact or sort and filter a list. It’s how best to use the ASPEC methodology embodied in the app to run your opportunity management in a way to achieve maximum success. We have a lot coming – how to run a forecast meeting, how to sort through and prioritize, and even how to generate custom reports, so get ready.

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Introduction to the ‘Sales Productivity with ASPEC’ Series

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ASPEC, the sales productivity system

Here at SalesWays we have been working hard on ASPEC, our Mobile and Cloud-based sales tracking and opportunity management application.  But ASPEC isn’t just software – it’s sales methodology and technology combined.  We’ve invented something special with ASPEC – a universal model for the sales cycle.  In fact, we’d argue that no one else has ever done this, as evidenced by our three patents.  For the first time ever, the computer can understand the sales process.

There hasn’t been a lot on ASPEC on The SalesWays Hub since its launch – but that’s about to change.  We’re introducing an extended series on how to increase sales productivity and sales effectiveness using ASPEC.  The series is going to focus on how to apply ASPEC to everyday life as a sales person, sales team, and/or sales organization.

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The ASPEC Video Library

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Now Playing

We have a new video released at The HUB, and following the success of The Artist last year, it’s not a talkie. The ASPEC Experience is a one-minute visual extravaganza, dancing through some of the unique opportunity management capabilities of ASPEC products as shown on the screens of iPhones, tablets, and computers. One of the features of the ASPEC products is this interconnectivity – the ability to use any of these computational devices alone or in concert, providing the user with unprecedented sales productivity capabilities.

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ASPEC Mobile – the Movie

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It’s finally here – the sequel to ASPEC Cloud – the Movie, the blockbuster that had us all on the edge of our seats, wondering, “Will it happen? Will we win?”

Yes, it’s ASPEC Mobile – the Movie! Smaller than the original. Available for only $4.99, less than a bucket of popcorn. All your favorite characters are back – Probability, Risk, Forecast, Priority. You’ll find them in the same views, doing the same things, BUT SMALLER! ON YOUR IPHONE! See it now!

OK, that was fun.

We have added a new video, this one introducing the ASPEC Mobile app. It runs about 3 minutes and gives a good overview of the technology and use of the app. You’ll find it through this link, or in the Library, or at SalesWays.com.

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ASPEC Cloud – the Movie

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One of the things that we will be doing is creating lots of our own videos on sales-related topics and on the ASPEC and OPM products, and also publishing videos from other sources that might be interesting to sales professionals. One of the first of those was in the first of our Entertainment articles – the clip from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross featuring Alec Baldwin’s famous “always be selling” rant.

To get started on our own productions, we’ve created a series of three introductory videos to ASPEC Cloud. In a previous article, Keith Thompson introduced you to ASPEC, so you can learn about the meaning of the ASPEC acronym and the development and explanation of the unique and patented ASPEC Sales Methodology there.

Or, if you want to sit back and watch, these three videos are done in a “marketing how-to” style, explaining some of the use of the application while also describing what is going on in the background to apply the methodology to your sales opportunities.

One of the first reactions sales professionals have to ASPEC is that it seems like magic and therefore not really a serious tool. This is because the program has been designed to be extremely easy to use while at the same time providing an unprecedented level of support and guidance to the user. For example, two dates and two multiple choice questions yield a probability/risk assessment and a priority for working the opportunity. This seems like, well, magic.

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