Posts Tagged ‘Sales Effectiveness’

The CRM Debate Goes On: Do We Really Need It?

Written by on . Posted in CRM, Sales & Technology

Over the years, we’ve worked with literally thousands of companies considering a CRM system. Big companies, small companies, in-between companies. Some bought ours, some bought someone else’s, and some did nothing. It is this last group that this paper addresses.

I recently polled an industry group of manufacturers who sold capital equipment and services to a narrow, B2B market segment. Their sales cycles are long, complex, and varied, the competition is stiff, and the repeat business substantial. A dream market for CRM. Over half of them have no CRM system, and no active plans to implement one.

One part of me says “great, more sales opportunities for me.” Another part says, “why not?”

The reasons I hear (and interpret):

  • “We don’t need it.”

This is usually accompanied by “Excel/ Outlook/ Quickbooks/ Other works just fine.” But you do need it. You think you don’t because business is going along as it always has, so why rock the boat? The answer is because your customers and competitors are already rocking the boat, and you’re gonna get swamped sooner or later.

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How to be Highly Effective in Sales Management

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

Presentation

This article is dedicated to sales managers. We have discussed a lot about methods and tools that assist salespeople in their work, but how can we help managers? What is the important information they need to work effectively with the team?

Contrary to the conventional wisdom found in many companies, when it comes to sales productivity indicators, less is more. That is, just a few indicators are sufficient to evaluate the team’s performance. To manage sales requires focus, alertness and speed in decision making. There is not much time for extensive analysis.

All of us who work in sales know that, at the end of the day, what matters is whether or not we achieve our sales goals. This is the main indicator of sales performance.

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Your CRM Solution – Great Dashboard and Poor Results

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

Imagine someone is buying a car simply based on the quality of the dashboard instrumentation. The speedometer is more accurate than an average car, there is a wonderful navigation system that provides the driver with details of their journey, and a number of additional instruments displaying the engine condition. All of this is nicely presented with an attractive design and interface. Now this person takes out the new car for their first ride and it turns out that the car performs poorly. The acceleration is too low to keep up with the traffic. The fuel economy, combined with a small fuel tank, forces the driver to make frequent stops costing valuable time. The exclusive focus on the dashboard led to the purchase of a car with low performance superbly displayed on a fancy dashboard.

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

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

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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The Army of New Sales CRM Vendors, and Why They’ve Got It Wrong

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

We have recently released a new version of ASPEC that has added Accounts, Contacts and Interactions to our Sales Tracking and Opportunity Management functions.  Some call this CRM, others call it Sales Force Automation. I tend to view ASPEC 4 as true Sales Automation.  As usual, however, there is no standard definition out there on what Sales Force Automation actually is – some say it includes inventory management while others define it literally as the automation of sales tasks.

I mention the distinction because there is a resurgence in what seems to be called “Sales CRM.”  Startups and Investors have recognized there is a large market opportunity in CRM, specifically for the sales organization. There are a number of relatively new players in this Sales CRM market, and their focus is almost entirely on sales process and opportunity management.  They all agree one thing – the established current CRM vendors just aren’t cutting it with helping sales people and sales teams win more business, be more disciplined, and be more productive.

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Effective Team Selling – The Culture of Sharing Information

Written by on . Posted in Information Management No Comments

When the sales department gets automated, spin-off benefits are high both for the individual and the team, or, at least, they should be. An important thing to get right is to ensure a culture of “sharing”. Sharing plays a big role in the effectiveness in CRM, and by default, SFA projects.

I can see eyebrows being raised? Why should there be a problem with sharing? Well, in business (and remember, sales is the business of doing business), sharing is often something that people find difficult to do—sometimes a major shift in culture has to occur to make it happen. Salespeople are by nature competitive—and have to be. Their financial and spiritual reward depends heavily in individual effort, know-how, and tenacity. Knowledge gained from that is prized, and leveraged for career gain and success.

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The Real Reason Salespeople Fail To Sell

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

Everyone has heard about meritocracy, a professional evaluation and compensation model based on achieved results, usually revenues. It has been successful model for years and it is used all over the world, moving companies and industries up in business. In most cases, meritocracy produces effective and positive results, however, in extreme cases, it has also caused negative side effects across sales teams.

In terms of managing people, I’ve read an article where experts say that in extreme cases of meritocracy, employees can experience increased stress. This stress will actually have the opposite effect of success, and will lower their drive to produce results, which will result in the failure to reach sales targets and goals. As business gets more competitive, maybe it’s time to think about the evolution of the means by which we obtain results through people. In particular – salespeople.

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The Future of the Sales Executive

Written by on . Posted in Career & Profession, General Sales Topics No Comments

Dyanne Thorn Leeson has gained a breadth of experience in sales management, coaching, and leadership, while working for Kodak, Xerox, Canon and IBM. Dyanne recently completed her MBA degree with a specialization in International Sales and Key account management. From her genuine interest to inspire and motivate others she shares her unique perspectives gained from her experience in sales, her background in training, coaching individuals and her most recent academic development. She continues to develop herself and aims to remain up-to-date with current thinking in the sales arena.

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3 Simple Ways To Make Your Sales Calls More Productive

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

When your sales activity is low and you’re not hitting your targets for the month, your sales manager will often assume that you’re not making enough calls in a day. Since, to most salespeople, sales is a numbers game – the more calls you make and the more potential customers you talk to, the higher your chances are of closing a deal. But is sales really a numbers game? Isn’t the number of calls you make irrelevant, if you are continually striking out each time because you keep making the same mistake? What about your sales strategy?

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