Posts Tagged ‘ASPEC’

Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.

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Everything that humans do is process. Everything.

Process is “a systematic series of actions directed to some end.” That pretty much describes everything you do, from brushing your teeth to designing a jumbo jet. The only time we escape process is when we’re asleep.

So why do many sales people react with, “Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.” (Apologies to Humphrey Bogart and Gene Wilder.) But you do. And here is the most important process you need: choosing the sales opportunity you’re going to work on right now.

That’s more important than your process for closing the sale because if you’re working the wrong opportunity, winning doesn’t matter. Neither does losing, which you will do more often than your manager will like.

That’s more important than your process for prospecting a lead because when that lead becomes an opportunity, chances are you’ll screw it up if you don’t get it into its proper priority in your pipeline.

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Baseball, Big Data, and Selling.

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A while ago I wrote a post on Sabermetrics which us using baseball statistics to make strategic decisions in improving a team’s performance especially when it came to individual performers. This was the subject of the story in the movie “Moneyball” staring Brad Pit. My post was how to use some of these ideas in building sales teams.

Now there is another book that discusses the role of Big Data in baseball.  (“Big Data Baseball ; Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20yr Losing Streak,”  by Travis Sawchik. This idea takes Sabermetrics a bit further and looks at the idea of sifting the huge amount of Big Data that has amassed in baseball to make long range decisions on a Club’s success rate.

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Arm Yourself With A New Sales Strategy and Sales Tool: Change

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Change. It happens all the time, and sales cycles are no exception. Maybe even more often than in other professions, change happens. You’ve got a mix of personalities and factors. You’ve got a winner-takes-all process with dollars and careers on the line. There is competition, sometimes severe competition. There are others out there whose goal is to screw you over. They make plans, set their tactics to do so in secret and will spring them on you unannounced.

And that’s just on the selling side. On the buying side, you have many of the same factors. Budgets disappear, organizations re-organize, schedules expand or contract, urgency disappears or increases, new solutions to old problems are found, and so on.

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The Evolution of Computational Selling – What You Need To Know About Sales Automation

Written by on . Posted in Sales & Technology, SFA No Comments

Regular HUB readers will know that at SalesWays we are constantly looking to improve sales performance using technology – that’s been a mission of mine since my early career in sales and my first personal computer. This is referred to as “sales force automation” and I’ve never really liked the term. It sounds too military for me—I see images of rows of salespeople lined up in battle formation. SFA spun out from “contact management” which involved PCs maintaining databases of names, addresses and other customer data. Attempts to store details of sales opportunities morphed it into SFA. As the information expanded in scope and involved workflow between other departments in the company, the terminology Customer Relationship Management (CRM) took over and quickly became the norm. Now most people are confused between SFA and CRM—trust me, my company sells both products and we find it hard to quickly convince people of the difference.

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8 Sales Pain Points – Do You Have Sales Pain?

Written by on . Posted in ASPEC, In Practice No Comments

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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Opportunity Management: Why We Built An App For Salesforce

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This week we will be co-presenting at two sessions at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco. We’ve built a sales app on the AppExchange called ASPEC for Salesforce. Our development team has used the latest Canvas technology from Salesforce to integrate ASPEC’s graphic and gamification design features, to make sales automation fun and easy to use.

Our vision, here at SalesWays, is to make our ASPEC technology as widely available to as many salespeople as possible, whether solo users, small teams, or large enterprises. To make this happen we had to consider the different technology platforms that are currently used. As I write this today, ASPEC itself by our own definitions at SalesWays is not CRM—we prefer to call it sales automation (SFA). 

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Presenting at Two Sessions Next Week at Dreamforce ’13

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Dreamforce 2013 is less than a week away and I am extremely excited. I am proud to announce that I will be co-presenting at two sessions, at the world’s largest cloud computing event. I will be talking about our experiences as an ISV Partner, explaining the architecture behind our Canvas integration, and performing a live demonstration of our app.

We recently released ASPEC for Salesforce on the AppExchange, and worked with a great Salesforce ISV team, as we navigated the process from idea to reality. One of the early decisions was to use Canvas, a new technology that came into its own in Summer ’13. I’ll be speaking on why we chose to use Canvas and our journey through the ISV lifecycle.

ASPEC for Salesforce is truly a great example of a connected app. I am thrilled to be able to share it with the fantastic crowd of sales professionals, partners, and industry experts in San Francisco.

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Sell On Value, But Which Value?

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Selling on price seems like the easy way out in sales. If you have no other arguments, just drop the price until you get the order. But unless the ability to produce at lower cost than anybody else is the company’s primary strength, this behavior doesn’t lead to long-term success. Instead, it will cause unnecessary price wars and probably economical failure sooner or later. This is why more and more companies tell their sales people to sell on value and not on price.

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Gamification and Sales Automation

Written by on . Posted in Design & Evolution, Sales Methodology No Comments

Anyone interested in the direction that business applications are evolving toward these days will have encountered the term “gamification.” In addition to the fact that my spell checker insists on changing it to “ramification,” I don’t much like the word—it seems a little too contrived. But, gamification looks like it is here to stay, even though experts have widely different views about what gamification is.

The basic idea is simple. People like games, but they don’t like work. Games are fun—so put key elements of games into work, and work will become fun. Too much of a stretch?—I don’t think so. I think gamification fits extremely well with computational selling (sales automation, sales force automation, etc.) In fact, I have always been downright enthusiastic about the idea.

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The Competition Is Doing Nothing

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The competition is rarely doing nothing. It’s best to assume in any sales situation that the competition is doing at least as good as you are, and maybe better. Selling is about winning against competitors—people like you, from companies like yours, with products or services that are, in the customer’s eyes, in the running for the deal that’s currently going down.

Competition is an essential part of sales. Selling well means doing a better job of convincing the customer that you have something better to offer than someone else. On first glance the alternatives might look indistinguishable—any of them will satisfy the customer’s requirements, but the best salespeople will have an uncanny knack at singling out something that makes what they have different, different enough that the customer sees it as representing better value–standing out from the crowd.

But there is another quite different alternative in the sales opportunity, one representing a tougher competitive challenge to the salesperson—the customer may elect not to buy anything at all. It’s important to understand what I really mean here. The opportunity has been identified, the customer has expressed a legitimate need and the sales cycle is underway, often near completion. The customer decides, “after a lot of work, research, trial, and discussion, we’ve decided that we’re not going to do that—we’ll revert to status quo.”

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