It’s not every day that we celebrate milestones in our lives. As Nutshell’s new VP of Customer Experience, I took the opportunity to reflect on my journey up to this point and wanted to tell my own story in a nutshell.
I remember having spent the In short office in downtown Ann Arbor a few times before applying. At that time, I was hanging out at a favorite breakfast spot next door, Afternoon Delight, before heading to a job that I thought would open doors to a career, but actually taught me that I didn’t. no longer wanted to do this job. I wanted to help people, but the job I was doing involved so much paperwork that I never felt I could do enough or do the right thing.
The sign in Nutshell’s window read: “Despite appearances, we are not a bicycle shop.” He also said: “We are creating CRM software to help people grow their business” and mentioned that they are hiring in client experience.
It was in fact the first time that I exposed this sentence. I was not into tech and had no plans to be. It intrigued me. Help companies to develop by offering them a great experience? It felt like a perfect blend of creativity and connecting with people. Sign me up!
I spent my early years at Nutshell talking to many clients. In fact, while going through Nutshell’s activity reports, I sent nearly 18,000 messages to Nutshell customers (mind = blown away). Through all of these conversations, I’ve learned a lot about what’s important to growing businesses around the world, and the end result isn’t all that different.
People want a human experience when they talk to a business. And knowing this, they want to offer a human experience to their own customers.
It was clear from the start that Nutshell was a very Human company. Everyone from the management team to everyone I met in the office kitchen were open, sympathetic, ridiculously smart and empathetic. I was getting phone calls and getting Slack messages from engineers saying things like “Sorry! We’re going to fix this!” Everyone wanted Nutshell to be a successful business, and wanted to make it happen by caring about what helped customers and fixing the things that didn’t.
At first, I decided two things:
First of all, I wanted to invest in my knowledge and skills to make my role in the customer experience a major contributor to the growth and success of Nutshell. I heard and learned so much from our customers and wanted to be sure those voices were at the table when decisions were made.
Second, I wanted to enrich our corporate culture to make sure Nutshell remains an amazing place to work for myself but also for current and future colleagues.After all, we spend most of our time together. Additionally, I firmly believe that the way we feel and behave at work towards each other has a direct impact on how our clients think about working with us (whether through conversations or their interactions with our software).
With the encouragement and support of my bosses, my team and the local community, I started attending lectures and meetings, reading many books and articles (book clubbing whenever possible) and looking for ways to turn the ideas of thousands of conversations into an understandable and actionable solution. areas of interest. In the customer experience, separating the signal from the noise is an ongoing challenge. There is so much data and so little time. It can be overwhelming!
One of my first attempts to do this was creating and internally sharing a cancellation report. When customers are unsubscribed, we ask them to complete a survey sharing some information about their reasons for leaving, but we did nothing with that information. I started to compile the results so that our entire team could understand our biggest contributors to departing clients. I still create this report twice a year and it has guided product development as well as process changes in the way we support and communicate with our customers.
One of the constant feedback we received was that Nutshell was too difficult to learn and use, and teams needed training. This corresponded to a first advice I received – that proactively taking meaningful action would be more beneficial than constantly reacting in our responses. If we can avoid questions or problems by providing training up front, we help our clients be more successful, faster.
I have strived to convey this philosophy to all of the resources we offer our clients, including the content and appearance of our instructional articles and videos, proactive messages and training webinars. It also serves as the basis for the development of our Customer Success program. We spent a few years experiencing proactive customer success before hitting the jackpot with a process that was created primarily through actively listening to customer needs (see our Senior CSM Position Kristen Gray for details!).
The basic principle of our customer experience teams is always listening. We are adapting the way we work with clients based on the changing business landscape in the wake of COVID-19 and the evolution of Nutshell itself. As Nutshell expands our CRM and introduces greater capabilities, new workflows, and ways to – as we like to say –do more with less emerge. Showing businesses how to use these tools to earn more revenue kindles our fire.
I am delighted to now be in a position where I can help facilitate customer success and customer support for Nutshell on an even larger scale as I step into my new role. While most of the conversations we have are quite brief and transactional, knowing and working with so many teams in various companies around the world is an honor and very rewarding. Each of these unique interactions is part of the greater journey, providing a valuable perspective on how we can make it easier for our clients to work as they grow and scale their own businesses.
I am grateful for the opportunities and support from colleagues, family and friends that have brought me to this point, and I can’t wait to see where our hard work and projects next take Nutshell.
CRM and CEM / CXM are essential tools to maintain business flow with customers. Although similar, they have distinct differences. To choose the right one, organizations must go beyond the alphabet soup of these high-tech business applications.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software tracks interactions with prospects and customers. CRM systems can offer many benefits, but not all businesses need them.
Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) is a more comprehensive information gathering process to track, oversee, and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. It deepens the customer experience and focuses on insight from their unique perspective by listening to customers, analyzing their feedback and understanding their perspective to optimize the customer experience.
In short, the two tools optimize the customer relationship. The way they do it makes all the difference. CRM facilitates relationship building for the organization. CXM focuses on monitoring and improving the customer experience.
A different point of view
Centralizing all the tools and services that impact customers into a single system provides high efficiency for the business. However, allowing your customers to have the same experience with you in real time makes the difference between a CRM and a CXM, according to Ryan Cantor, vice president of product and marketing at. Thryv.
The CRM market is growing every day with new entrants. Centralizing hordes of data so that all company employees can see it in real time is not a new concept. But few allow the end customer to participate directly in this trip, he noted.
Siebel Systems pioneered CRM software in 1997. The goal was to create a single, centralized location for all customer information. This would allow employees to access CRM and become more productive, efficient and able to answer questions more accurately, based on real-time information.
In many companies that have gone for rapid adoption, the software has created little more than a glorified centralized spreadsheet. Its original principle went beyond employee efficiency. It was supposed to automate marketing efforts and sales functions to improve the customer experience.
Cantor believes that CRM for many businesses perpetuates a missed opportunity to enhance the customer experience. To fix this, he thinks it’s time for companies to switch to CXM software. One option is his company’s CXM platform.
The CRM buyer continued the potential transition process – and the impact of CRM and CXM products – in a conversation with Cantor.
CRM Buyer: Why is CRM a Failure for Users?
Ryan Cantor: Being able to connect, update information, communicate with the company, plan, pay, share. Often this is a complex integration or custom web development work that is beyond the capabilities of most small businesses.
The centralization of data makes it possible to gain in efficiency as a company. It’s valuable and has the “potential” to improve the customer experience. This can be demonstrated when a customer calls two different employees and each employee is operating with the same set of facts in real time.
However, in most businesses this potential is never really realized, as it is limited to those personal interactions and not extended to the electronic or technological experience that the customer gets. Companies that have done this part well include Amazon, Dominos, and Apple. They’ve done this with millions upon millions of development, code, and integrations to deliver what ultimately comes across as a seamless customer experience online.
CRM Buyer: How do you do this with CXM?
Cantor: When customers have the ability to book appointments on your website, log in to reschedule, ask questions, make payments, download receipt history, read and share documents and more so, only then have you improved the experience of your customers.
Thryv Vice President Ryan Cantor
Every aspect of Thryv has two views. The business view and the customer view. We constantly ask ourselves, “How does the customer interact with the business?” Let’s say a new feature is added, like our “packages”, for example. (Packages allow Thryv customers to sell services in multiple packages, such as yoga classes.)
Yes, it is important for the business to keep track of package allocation, package usage, etc. But it’s also important that a consumer can purchase a package, track usage, know when their package expires, and visually see each time they book a service online, what their package has been used as a payment method and what is. their balance.
It takes discipline to do it, and some would say it takes twice as much work. Technology not only designed for one audience (business owners), but for two (the business and its customers).
The experiences are not the same. They don’t have the same permissions or capabilities, and you often have to simplify and get to the root of the use cases and wants of both groups to figure out how to design the system and what to prioritize.
CRM Buyer: How is the automated customer experience different from CXM, which I guess is a hybrid of CRM and ACX?
Cantor: Marketing automation is a form of customer experience automation. To further illustrate the difference, it really comes down to whether you want a one-way dialogue that pushes customers to follow a path, or if that experience was designed to be fully interactive – beyond whether someone has opened up. an email or clicked on a website.
CXM really caters to all tailored and fully connected touchpoints in the customer experience. A trigger-based workflow to nurture, follow, or invite back isn’t new.
CXM talks more about the ease of doing business at all times. This ensures that your customers can easily upload their payment receipts towards next year’s tax period without jumping through the hoops. This means that when you request HOA approvals for a build process, you’ve made it easy for the consumer to upload them to you and they’re properly organized in the back-end to avoid re-requesting or misplacing them.
CRM Buyer: How Can Businesses Switch to CXM?
Cantor: The first step is an audit to recognize the gaps in your current platform, or lack thereof. Have a close friend secretly buy your business, go to your website, browse, schedule, and submit a form. Track the follow-up time. Track the shopping experience. Are there any frictions? How long before you get your estimate? How easy is it to plan? How was the follow-up? Professional? Have emails become spam?
Until people recognize and appreciate that there is a problem, it is difficult to solve it.
The second is the assessment of tools and systems on the market. Taking the first step will make the small business owner more informed during the demonstration and testing phase. If you know the shortcomings and problems, you know what to look for and what to test in any new solution.
Finally is the switch. Is this a flash cut at a future date? Are you migrating data? Do you live in two systems for the next 30 days while your old jobs end? This one is personal preference We’ve seen it go both ways.
CRM Buyer: Is the move to CXM an all-or-nothing strategy, or can companies embrace some parts and ignore others?
Cantor: Going from zero to 100 is probably too much to digest for any small business owner or their teams. The important thing is to start somewhere and choose a platform with future planning in mind. You don’t want to choose a platform just to find out that it won’t produce automated reviews. You may not be ready to move on to this just yet, but you should have a vision of where you want to be in three, six, nine, 12 months. The platform shouldn’t be the barrier to getting there.
We have seen some success with integrating multiple platforms together, but in the end, we have found that every email is different, comes from a different sender, and ultimately creates a disjointed experience for end consumers. .
An invoice from one platform, a payment receipt from another and a booking confirmation from a third. It quickly gets out of hand and we’ve found that it tends to be more expensive as well.
So start with the end in mind, then eat the elephant one bite at a time, gradually improving the customer experience, expanding the use of the platform until you are covered from start to finish . Then start over with testing enhancements, changes and adjustments.
Finally, all good software should improve. So, just when you think you are done, there should be something new to learn, embrace, and start using to help your customers even more.
CRM Buyer: How economical is the transition process?
Cantor: It shouldn’t break the bank at the small business level. Beware of vendors who charge you hundreds of dollars for the software and then thousands of dollars for training or professional services to start.
This is a true partnership, and a partnership means mutual support and assistance. For a true end-to-end platform, depending on the size of your business and the connections required, it needs to be all-in, at less than $ 1,000 per month.
CRM Buyer: Is the CXM strategy a complete extract and replace process, or can the two models coexist to meet the various needs of the department?
Cantor: I think you’ll find that implementation can happen over time, but ultimately customer-centric functions embrace the CXM platform, and other departments that are not in touch with customers may continue to use platforms that integrate with it.
For example, the accounting team will need to use accounting software. It is not important for clients to have direct access to the accounting software (probably better if they don’t). But it’s important that customer-facing actions like an invoice, estimate, payment, installment plan, or subscription all sync automatically with the accounting software.
CRM Buyer: Is CRM Doomed For All Businesses? What are the early signs of the time for a transition?
Cantor: I think for the most part, yes. Warning signs can be found in two simple words: So what?
We track this information about our customers in this drop-down menu …So what?
We know exactly when a customer opens one of our emails and clicks on it …So what?
What happens next? What does the company actually do with this information? Not what they might do, or want to do, or even plan to do. What does the company actually do with it?
CRM Buyer: Do you have any final thoughts on your take on CRM’s lack of sustainability?
Cantor: You’ve seen a push over the past 12-18 months to bolster the problem of databases in the sky with artificial intelligence. Since employees aren’t using CRM to influence change, improve efficiency, or increase revenue, CRM companies are starting to integrate and build sophisticated AI components to drive recommended results and automation needed to extract value.
This is a step in the right direction for some businesses, but most AIs require big data to be effective, so at the small business level, they either combine data from multiple businesses to get a large enough sample, or just provide very obvious results. / recommendations. The part that is usually lost is the involvement of the end customer in the process.
Maintaining a local personal touch and experience is one of the biggest differentiators for small businesses. Adopting technology to improve efficiency and support growth should not force them to forgo these competitive advantages.
Jack M. Germain has been a reporter for ECT News Network since 2003. His main areas of interest are business computing, Linux and open source technologies. He is an esteemed critic of Linux distributions and other open source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Send Jack an email.
There is no doubt that remote working is increasing rapidly. Its popularity was already on the rise before it became a necessity for so many businesses when the 2020 pandemic struck. In fact, according to Gartner, 88% of organizations around the world have worked remotely due to the pandemic. However, as the trend continues, it has become clear that far too often remote teams do not communicate effectively. In this article, we’ll learn a few mitigation measures to make sure your teams are able to communicate effectively and how a Collaborative CRM will help. But first, let’s explore the signs that your remote teams are communicating ineffective.
1. There is a lack of confidence
One of the first indications that communication is not going as well as it should be between your remote teams is that there is an inexplicable lack of trust between team members and between team members. team and management. Not being able to trust each other can hurt the success of remote teams. It is therefore important to alleviate these problems.
Trust can be built simply by setting up live, audio, or video meetings, so you can check in regularly and know what your team is doing. One-on-one and team meetings via teleconference or videoconference are a good way to keep tabs on everyone’s progress so you know they’re working on what they should be and that they know you’re there. they need something.
2. Teams cannot adapt
Another sign that your team is not communicating as it should is that seemingly effortless changes are met with resistance and team members are unable to adapt. Such ineffective communication results in discourse among employees trying to understand what the changes are and what it means to them. This inability to understand the changes can lead to fear. Fear of the unknown or, worse, fear of losing their jobs and livelihoods.
Stepping up your communication so that everyone is aware of the upcoming changes and a part in the process to make the changes will help them adapt and minimize or alleviate resistance.
3. Teams miss a goal
The next sign that your remote teams are communicating inefficiently is that they don’t seem to have a common goal. This can be determined by simply asking them why they are doing what they are doing and what their motivations are.
To mitigate, set clear goals, deadlines and expectations. Once you define them, communicate them early and often. Remind them of the purpose of the business and their role in its success. If they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and why they will be more relevant.
4. Communication errors are abundant
When teams are not communicating well, it can be very obvious because they misinterpret the communications they receive. For example, members of a remote team can often take written communications out of context. Without visual cues, they can misunderstand what is being communicated to them. If this happens too often, you clearly have ineffective communications.
One way to alleviate this problem is to simply remind your teams that written communications can easily be taken out of context and encourage them to ask for clarification if needed. Another way to solve this problem is to share information visually. Graphics instead of written explanations are very useful, for example. Screen sharing or video conferencing can also be very useful in place of email or chat communications.
5. There is a lack of understanding
Beyond simple or complex misunderstandings, there is a complete lack of understanding of tasks, responsibilities, organizational values, etc. This is often seen in organizations that do not offer a full onboarding process for new employees and is a definite sign of ineffective communication.
Ensuring your remote teams have full and efficient integration will help them better understand their work, team, and organization. Having the onboarding information available for reference so that employees can access it at any time in the future can help them receive reminders when needed.
6. Communication is inconsistent
Organizations with poor communication will often show signs of inconsistency in their communications. This happens in several ways. One is how important information is sent throughout the organization. Employees are unlikely to understand which information is most important if it’s sometimes sent via email, other times sent in a chat message, occasionally as an announcement, etc. is communicated inconsistently both in the manner and in the media.
To alleviate these problems, it is important to define communication rules. Let your remote teams know how they should communicate the types of information. Another way to mitigate inconsistencies in communication is to set the tone for your teams for communication. This should be done from the top down and encouraged throughout the organization.
7. No connection between employees
When your employees don’t connect as people, communication is often ineffective. This is a natural process for employees in an office environment. Not so natural for remote teams.
Creating an online corporate culture is very possible and very effective in helping your employees find a connection. Encouraging communication between team members that is not necessarily work related can help, although it may seem counterproductive. Finding ways to virtually celebrate together is another way to help teams connect. Milestones, birthdays, victories, etc. can all be celebrated as a team in calls or video conferences.
8. There is too much communication
Seems impossible, right? It’s definitely possible and could be another sign that your remote teams aren’t communicating effectively. If your employees are bombarded with email, group chat, direct message, and texting, you’re no more likely to get their attention. You are actually more likely to be ignored.
Choose your channels for communicating different types of information and stick to them. If you need to send team announcements, determine which channel you will use or when you will communicate individually. Do not repeat communications between multiple channels unless it is absolutely necessary. Make sure important information is communicated appropriately. Harvard business review also suggests that management listen as much as they talk to ensure that there is not too much communication for the right information to be conveyed.
9. Not staying on track
A good sign that your communications are failing with your remote teams is that no one is staying on track. If your employees are behind in their jobs and you don’t know where they are, you need to do something different.
To alleviate this problem, it’s important to have a way to assign and track tasks while being transparent about them. If you follow the tasks that are visible to the whole team, you will know that they are aware of their tasks and that they will also be more responsible for their tasks to their teammates.
10. Lack of collaboration tools
If you haven’t implemented collaboration tools, or if you haven’t implemented the right tools, you’re likely to have major communication issues. This could be because the hardware is unavailable or you haven’t found the right cloud software for your needs. Maybe you just didn’t know how essential it is to the success of your remote teams.
This is where a collaborative CRM option would help your organization communicate more effectively.
How a collaborative CRM tool can help
With collaborative CRM tools such as Agile CRM, your team would be able to assign, access and track tasks and communicate as a team through its project management features. As an all-in-one solution, Agile CRM will allow you to keep all your internal and external data in one place so that your remote teams can communicate more effectively.
In addition, as part of the Infinity Suite 500apps workplace productivity apps, you can choose from many apps to help your remote teams communicate better and succeed wherever they are. Implementing a collaborative CRM tool is probably your best option for a customer relationship management solution that also offers the ability to communicate between team members.
According to exam42, 99% of remote workers want to continue working remotely after the pandemic threat subsides. So even if you thought it was temporary, you may continue to have remote teams for the foreseeable future, making collaborative CRM options a necessity.
Keeping an eye out for these 10 signs that your remote teams are not communicating effectively will help you diagnose the problem and find solutions that will work for you. Whether you suddenly got into this work situation when the pandemic hit or have been doing it for a while, there can be issues. Fortunately, these problems are easy and inexpensive to solve by implementing the right collaborative CRM tool for your organization.
Building trust is the best way to improve any relationship in your life, whether with your friends, relatives, and especially when dealing with your clients.
If your potential customers trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you. According to LinkedIn sales status In relation to this, trust is one of the key factors in concluding a transaction. It is more important to people than return on investment (ROI) or price. In fact, people are more likely to buy from someone they trust, even though they may get a better deal elsewhere.
In this guide, we’ll explain how and why being seen as genuine and trustworthy leads to more sales, as well as how you can develop your sales skills so that customers see you as genuine and trust you with their business.
Why are authenticity and trust so important in sales?
Be a authentic person means that you are acting in a way that shows your true self and how you really feel, versus only showing part of who you are, or completely acting like a different person. Usually, it’s easy to tell if someone isn’t genuine and when that happens people are less likely to trust you. If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy your product or service because they don’t think they can trust the brand or product you represent by extension.
Staying true to yourself and your customers in a sales role can be difficult because you want people to like you and want to make sales. However, you need to make sure that you don’t act in a way that doesn’t come to you instinctively.
When you are a genuine person, people naturally gravitate towards you and listen to what you have to say. It is because they have no reason not to. Being authentic not only helps you increase your average sales, but also creates a positive brand experience for people.
How trust builds customer loyalty
You may have heard the oft-cited statistic that getting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one. Although this fact has been known and recited for some time, it is still true today.
People will buy from you and reference you and your products or services if they trust you. In reality, 83% of people say word of mouth influences their purchases. By showing yourself as a trustworthy and genuine person, you will find that your customers will refer their friends and acquaintances to you because you have made them loyal to your brand. You will also find that people are more willing to ask you questions since you have already been able to provide them with trustworthy advice.
Trust should be the foundation of every sales transaction. As a salesperson, it is your job to be as genuine and trustworthy as possible in order to portray the business well and do your job well.
If you lie to customers or potential customers just to make the sale, they will think badly about your business and stop using your product or service. Make sure that you are working on your sales skills in order to best help your customers.
How can I develop my sales skills to build confidence
By continuing to work on your sales skills, you can build trust between yourself and your existing and new customers. Doing these simple exercises will help you increase your sales.
Be a product expert
Having in-depth product knowledge is one of the best ways to start building trust with potential customers. You need to understand everything about the product or service you are selling in order to accurately answer their questions.
If a potential customer asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, it diminishes everything you said. However, if you are able to answer all of their questions accurately, they will see you as an authority figure and trust what you say.
If you’re having trouble understanding the product or service you’re selling, let your manager know that you need more training. There is no shame in asking for help to better support your clients. Also, try using your product or service, look at it through the eyes of the customer to learn your own style of selling the product.
Focus on customer satisfaction
It is proven that a 10% increase A company’s customer satisfaction results in a 12% increase in customer trust. The best way to improve customer satisfaction is to go the extra mile and make sure the product or service works the way they expect it to.
Most people think that once you buy something, you don’t hear from the seller anymore – reach out to your new customers and ask them how they are doing and how they like what they have bought. That way you’re proactive, and if they’re not getting the most out of what they’ve bought, you can help them use it in the best way possible.
Be an active listener
To be a great salesperson, you need to make sure that you practice active listening. You need to listen to your customers in order to understand them, not just respond to them. If you are not actively listening to what they are saying, you may not be able to give them exactly what they are looking for, so make sure you understand what they need and want before you start. recommend products or services.
Be a problem solver
Another sales skill that you should be sure to work on is problem solving, rather than being a pusher. According to a study by HubSpot, the number one word most people associate with salespeople is the word ‘pushy’. Instead of just trying to close the sale, make sure you’re working with your customers to give them exactly what they need.
Sell benefits, not products
This can be a bit confusing because as a salesperson you want to sell your product or service to your customers. However, instead of approaching sales as moving products, try to think of them as selling benefits to each of your customers. Since you have made a habit of actively listening to each customer, you need to have a clear understanding of their precise needs, so instead of just stating that a product will work for them, show them the benefits of that product that are specific. to their individual. Needs.
Treat customers like friends
A great way for you to build trust that leads to greater loyalty from your customers is to treat them as you would a friend or family member. You wouldn’t recommend a bad product to a friend or family member, so don’t recommend it to your customers either. If you start to treat them more like friends rather than a source of income, trust will naturally develop and over time their customer loyalty will increase.
Offer a loyalty program
To keep customers coming back for more than once, try implementing a customer loyalty program. If your margins are tight and you can’t offer discounts, you can still have a loyalty program that rewards returning customers over and over again. Existing customers being 50% more likely To try new products against newer customers, implement a program that allows loyal customers to try new products before they are released.
Put it all on the table
Some people think bad reviews will be the death of their business, but the reality is that if you don’t have negative reviews, people won’t believe you are being truly honest. It’s true that you won’t be able to please everyone, so you shouldn’t blame yourself for negative review. Leave it up there and if asked, explain that not everyone will be a good choice for the product. Be honest and open, and your potential customers will appreciate your telling the truth and trust you more.
Be reliable and dependable
Being a reliable person in sales goes a long way. If you are available to your customer when they need you, they will feel better about their purchase and be more likely to continue to purchase your product or service. When you offer stellar customer service, your customers will feel more confident in their purchase and will trust your purchases again.
However, if you ignore your customers, either on purpose or not, they likely won’t use your product or service and end up going elsewhere. This is why it is important not only to develop your sales skills, but also to use sales tools.
Sales tools you can use to build trust
When trying to build trust with your customers, you can’t just rely on your sales skills. You also need to develop the types of sales tools you use in order to provide them with the best possible service.
Use a CRM
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is your company’s database for all customer knowledge. You can store your customer’s details, notes, and email conversations in one place for easy access. It also helps branding your business because if you are unavailable and have a CRM, another salesperson can step in and help the customer seamlessly.
Integrate your emails with your CRM to keep track of all the communications you have had with that customer. If you sell multiple products, you don’t want to try to remember what each person was interested in, instead use email integrations, and let the sales tool remember it for you.
For example, In short is a complete CRM that can integrate with your emails to keep all communications in one place. It helps take the guesswork out of your sales and make your customers feel like a priority.
Another way to use sales tools to your advantage is to use a business engagement software. Engagement software helps you automate communication with your customers so you’re less likely to miss a call or forget to email them.
If a prospect isn’t ready to demo a product or buy yet, instead of constantly harassing them, you can include them in an email marketing workflow. The workflow can be tailored to their specific needs based on what you’ve been talking about, and it can help nurture them until they’re ready to buy.
Use pipeline management
Pipeline management keep your prospects in order. With the pipeline management features of a CRM, you can easily see what stage all of your leads are at and move them when it’s time.
It helps you build trust with your customers because you interact with them every step of the way they’re ready for, and it helps your customers stay honest. You don’t have to worry about what you’re supposed to be talking with which customer, you can easily see it from a wide view.
Another tool that helps you identify the stages your customers are in is that of prospects. This tells you when a customer is most likely to be ready to buy. Hot wires are a great way to prioritize your customers based on their individual needs.
If your business is advertising on Facebook, you should use a Facebook integration to get the sales information on your computer. You should also do the same with Twitter ads or any other social media platform that you use to get leads. By using these integrations, you are able to respond to customers as quickly as possible without having to verify all of your social media accounts.
Now that you know the necessary sales tools and have the sales skills to build trust with your customers, the best thing to do is go out and practice. Familiarize yourself with the sales tools that are new to you, and if you need help with those tools, consider researching reputable sales blogs for tips and tricks.
SugarCRM last month, announced its acquisition of Node Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that leverages customer relationship management data and vast external sources. This is the fourth acquisition by SugarCRM since the company was invested by Menlo Park-based Accel-KKR in August 2018.
The three previous acquisitions of Collabspot, Salesfusion and Corvana are part of SugarCRM’s collective services for two million corporate users in 120 countries. Node’s newly acquired technological capabilities could be the ultimate solution to the big data problem facing CRM platforms – and will power Sugar’s time-sensitive customer experience (CX) platform.
The enhanced technology will usher in HD-CX’s new paradigm – High Definition Customer Experience – by bringing greater loyalty to CRM. It will also contribute to the platform by automatically forecasting expected outcomes and highlighting previously unanticipated challenges and opportunities.
Time-based technology is the long-awaited innovation that will hopefully solve the persistent point of failure of conventional CRM software. Traditional CRM solutions are great for tracking the current state of customers, according to Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM. The problem is, “the current state” is a single point in time – right now, he said.
“Its solutions are lost the moment something changes. Really eye-opening facts emerge when you can track how customers interact over time,” Charlton told CRM Buyer.
SugarCRM is the only customer experience platform built on an advanced event flow database that records every change event in the customer journey and then predicts future results, he said.
The CRM buyer spoke with Charlton about the current state of CRM platforms and how artificial intelligence is essential to improve sales, service and predictability of the automated customer experience.
CRM Buyer: Why is Time-Based Technology Important for CRM Software?
Craig Charlton: Having a complete historical view helps to gain temporal information, such as the average time spent by prospects at each stage of the pipeline, comparing current sales performance with any past period, and knowing when performance current are outside historical standards.
SugarCRM also extends knowledge of the weather in the future through AI-based predictions. Accurate predictions allow businesses to make better business decisions, manage risk, and identify and respond to issues and opportunities faster. This gives companies a rich insight into the past, present and future of their customers and customer-centric business processes.
CRM Buyer: How does this time-sensitive concept differ from other AI-based CRM platforms?
Charlton: Traditional CRM systems display a funnel, but this is a static view of that funnel. What it doesn’t show you is how that funnel evolves over time, or where and why prospects drop out, and how much time they spend in each section of the funnel.
Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM
Through the combination of Node’s artificial intelligence capabilities and Sugar’s time-sensitive customer experience platform, businesses can gain unprecedented insight into the past, present and future of their customers and customer-oriented functions. Node’s key differentiator is the accuracy of its predictions.
This precision is made possible thanks to the enrichment of the model data. Node augments its customers’ data with data on people, businesses and the market from various public sources. This enrichment of model data allows Node to deliver exceptionally accurate predictions, even with limited or incomplete CRM data, and to take into account factors in its predictions that are typically not represented in CRM data.
CRM Buyer: How does the Node acquisition fit into the SugarCRM environment?
Charlton: Node’s artificial intelligence technology helps complement Sugar’s high-definition CX platform that we are perfecting and delivering to the mid-market. The value of Node’s comprehensive deep learning platform enables Sugar to quickly build, test and deliver predictive models in Sugar’s products, each of which can focus on use cases specifics that have challenged sales, marketing and service teams for decades.
CRM Buyer: Is Node a fully absorbed part of SugarCRM’s business structure or a subsidiary of the company?
Charlton: SugarCRM acquired the AI-as-a-Service platform from Node, and its team of 30 joined Sugar. Node’s valuable skills and expertise will help accelerate Sugar’s development plans focused on AI and deep learning.
CRM Buyer: How is Node’s technology able to improve the inaccuracy inherent in heuristic approaches produced by deep learning logarithms?
Charlton: Deep learning models are limited by the quality and quantity of input data, which has always been inaccurate or incomplete in actual CRM implementations. Node’s deep learning models identify signals with up to 81% greater accuracy than heuristic approaches to deliver the tangible benefits of increased performance and true predictability.
Node increases the data that businesses collect about their customers and comes from a wide variety of public sources. Without this data enrichment model, other approaches are limited to the information that a company had the foresight to collect and are biased in favor of the data that it deemed relevant when it came to implementing its customer systems.
Enriching the model’s data allows Node to deliver exceptional predictions, even with limited or incomplete customer data, and it will consider factors in its predictions that are simply not represented in the business systems. Node will come up with answers the company data didn’t cover and raise questions the company didn’t even know it should be asking.
CRM Buyer: What has contributed to the popularity of SugarCRM over other CRM platforms?
Charlton: Sugar’s focus on four key pillars is something we are passionate about and our customers know it. In fact, Sugar ranked among the highest for customer retention rates of any vendor ranked in the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a measure of customer loyalty to a company’s brand, products or services – is consistently found in the mid-1990s, which is unheard of for software from business.
CRM Buyer: How important are the four pillars you mentioned?
Charlton: Our four pillars include knowing the weather with predictive insights (at the heart of our products, not an add-on), contactless information management, continuous innovation in the cloud and a commitment to our customers.
CRM Buyer: Sounds like internal marketing jargon. Are these four pillars in fact an essentially guiding technology or a sophisticated product description?
Charlton: Here’s a little more on what these pillars mean:
Time-Aware is an innovative feature where SugarCRM leverages a time-sensitive event flow database that records every change in the customer journey, enabling businesses to go back, understand the present, and predict the future. Predictive AI will be integrated into our products (the kernel is not an add-on), which will improve customer acquisition, expansion and retention.
Contactless information management allows users to spend less time entering and searching for customer information. Instead, they spend more time doing high-value work.
CRM Buyer: How does that translate into a better CRM product?
Charlton: Here’s how No-Touch works:
1) We are looking for every opportunity to automate data collection. We are looking for ways to make it an automatic by-product of the user working by interacting with customers, using other tools and systems. We want to eliminate the need to copy and paste or manually enter information.
2) We are looking for opportunities to automatically process and analyze data to extract insights and the best advice for action. Thus, a user does not have to interact with the system to get it to do something.
3) Finally, No-Touch is all about delivering customer information directly to users in the context of what they are doing, so that they receive key information when they need it.
CRM Buyer: What about the other two pillars now?
Charlton: Continuous innovation in the cloud is a feature not available on other platforms. SugarCRM is designed to take advantage of the cloud computing capabilities of AWS. This
means Sugar’s cloud solutions can innovate at a rate unmatched by our competitors while simultaneously providing best-in-class cloud infrastructure. The Sugar platform does this at a very reasonable price.
In addition to hosting, we currently operate 34 AWS Advanced IT Services, and we are growing that number at a rapid rate. These are technologies that proprietary cloud providers in our industry should be making prohibitive investments.
Customer engagement is both an ongoing product goal and a formal business engagement. We do what it takes to help our clients create clients
for life. With the highest retention rate among any Gartner SFA MQ vendor, the industry-leading NPS, and rave reviews on G2, our customers tend to agree.
CRM Buyer: How widespread is the use of AI in CRM platforms today?
Charlton: While there are several CRM vendors incorporating AI into their platforms, SugarCRM’s approach is unique in three ways. I have already detailed the
time consciousness function. The second unique approach is the enrichment of the model data.
Remember what I said about how Node increases SugarCRM data with
organized data? Competitive solutions rely only on the more limited information available in their CRM.
In contrast, SugarCRM’s AI performance provides exceptional predictions, even with limited or incomplete CRM data. He takes into account factors in his forecast that are simply not represented in the CRM. By integrating AI into our core products, SugarCRM enables customers to avoid the time, cost, and technical expertise required by competitive AI solutions.
When you add it all together, we have a solution that democratizes the power of AI, enabling any business to gain unprecedented predictive insights, regardless of size, business maturity, or technical sophistication.
Jack M. Germain has been a reporter for ECT News Network since 2003. His main areas of interest are business computing, Linux and open source technologies. He is an esteemed critic of Linux distributions and other open source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Send Jack an email.
Why do consumers decide to make their final purchases? What compels them to choose one product or service over another? We want it to be as simple as the differences in price or customer service. It’s not. There are many reasons why consumers make their final buying decisions. We’ll take a look at the main motivators and ways a CRM database can help you. But first, let’s explore the big differences between the motivations of B2C and B2B buyers.
The challenge for B2B sales teams
We believe it is important that B2B sales teams understand all the motivations of buyers and not just those that relate specifically to B2B sales. That being said, there are some major challenges specific to B2B sales teams that are worth exploring.
First, B2B sales should focus on longer-term relationships, while B2C can focus on one-off, transaction-based relationships. This has an obvious effect on everyone’s strategies.
Building long-term relationships also affects how organizations accomplish their branding. However, in this case, it is equally important for both types of businesses, it is just accomplished slightly differently. Typically, B2B branding focuses more on relational branding, while B2C focuses more on messaging.
B2B organizations also need to make sure to create open lines of communication as the sales cycle tends to be much longer. Meanwhile, B2C organizations have a shorter sales cycle and need to focus on simplifying the message. This strategy can help them not to miss any opportunities.
These challenges also explain the need for a CRM database to store and make accessible relevant information. It provides all the information necessary to build and maintain these relationships and support consumers throughout the sales cycle.
Just to complicate matters even further, 2020 has changed a lot of what we know about B2B marketing. Gartner published a study showing the 6 things that characterize the B2B buyer in 2020, namely:
Customer satisfaction is no longer sufficient to make purchasing decisions to drive growth, it is only sufficient to convince companies to buy back.
Organizations lose their motivation to buy if it is too difficult, unknown, risky or disruptive.
Customers must be confident in their own decisions to continue making purchasing decisions.
Too much information such as reviews and price comparisons can overwhelm buyers, preventing them from making a buying decision.
The perception that customers have of salespeople is key to doing business.
Whether or not customers trust the information they have has a huge impact on closing deals.
The reality of B2B sales 2020 is also worth exploring, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll now take a closer look at the 10 Buyers Motivations All B2B Sales Teams Should Know and Understand.
10 Buyer Motivations B2B Sales Teams Should Know
One of the main reasons consumers buy is when a product or service meets their needs. It pays to make sure your customers know about your product or service and the problems they solve so that they are informed enough to know that it meets their needs.
2. Fear of missing out
Some consumers decide to buy just because they don’t want to run out. This is the case with many technologies or B2C modes and less relevant for B2B organizations. Marketing your products as the next must-have product can help, but having a highly desired product is a must.
3. General fear
Another effective tactic for B2C sales teams is to play on the fears of your potential customers. Giving consumers a sense of urgency to buy based on their fears of injury, safety, or financial trouble grabs their attention. This is a common tactic for companies that sell everything from alarm systems to toothpaste that allows them to send the message that consumers will suffer consequences without this product.
Physical and mental health is a hot topic these days… and for good reason with a global health crisis among us. Many potential customers will be motivated by the health implications of the products or services in the market. Focusing on the wellness benefits that organizations can offer consumers can easily motivate buyers.
For some lucky B2C sales teams, you may be able to get impulse buys by building enthusiasm for your product. It’s not as likely in B2B sales, but can definitely help you build long-term relationships if you can motivate them about your product.
If you provide a product or service that can be considered a luxury, you can attract people who have special wants rather than needs. This is useful for customers who have unsustainable income and like fast cars or a relaxing vacation.
For B2B organizations, focusing on the financial gain that consumers can experience is a key buyer’s motivation. Let potential customers know how they can increase their ROI with your particular offering. Money speaks volumes for most organizations.
Another hot topic that will motivate buyers in the 2020s is anything that will help get better. Primarily a B2C benefit, some B2B organizations can also benefit if you can provide businesses with ways to help their employees achieve their aspirations to improve.
One of the main motivations of commercial buyers is competence. If the purchasing organization believes that the sales organization is competent with its offer, the buyer is much more motivated.
Another very important buyer’s motivation is credibility. Posting quality content in a useful way, for example, can establish credible and even expert organizations in their field, depending on Forbes.
How a CRM Database Can Help
As we have determined, B2B sales present unique challenges compared to B2C sales. As such, effective CRM database providers provide B2B sales teams with a way to collect, maintain, update, and access all of their customer and prospect data in order to build these invaluable relationships.
Agile CRM is an advanced all-in-one CRM database solution that not only provides the space to collect this information, but will also enable sales and marketing automation capabilities so your teams can do more than exponentially in less time. As a cloud-based solution, it’s also available everywhere, helping teams tackle some of the challenges 2020 has given us as many of us continue to work remotely.
Agile CRM is also part of the Infinity Suite 500apps Workplace productivity apps that can help your sales teams even more with plenty of apps to choose from, allowing you to do more with less.
While trying to identify the motivation of your particular customers can seem overwhelmingly difficult, referring to this list of top buying reasons that your sales team should be aware of will help simplify it. Making sure you stay on top of these top motivators can help you sell the right benefits to the right customers and increase your conversions. Implementing an effective CRM database will be the key to successfully gathering the right information to determine motivations.
Improving your sales numbers requires a fair amount of reliable data, the kind of data that only sales tracking software can provide.
With a quality sales tracking platform, you can easily know which of your sales strategies work and should be thrown onto the sidewalk.
Keep reading to find out what sales tracking software is, what a proper sales tracking tool looks like, and the top eight sales tracking software options available in 2020.
What is sales tracking software?
Sales tracking software refers to any software tool that allows sales teams to quickly and accurately track their sales activities.
Sales tracking software helps you better understand your target buyers, identify potential pipeline issues before they become major issues, and improve individual sales rep performance with in-depth analytics that quickly identify what’s working and what does not work.
What does a good sales tracking software platform include?
Sales tracking software sounds pretty handy, right? But with dozens of options available, how do you choose the right solution for you and your business? You can start by making sure that the tool you invest in has the following eight characteristics:
1. New lead follow-up
As a seller, acquire new prospects is always a top priority. For this reason, the sales tracking software you choose should make it easy for you to find important information for each of the prospects in your pipeline. Specifically, you’ll want to know:
Who are your prospects: What are their names, for which companies do they work and in which sectors of activity? Do you know which of your products interest them or what their budget is? The more you know about your prospects, the better.
How they found out about your business: Did you find them on LinkedIn and establish a first contact via a cold e-mail? Did they find out about your business through an inbound marketing strategy and then call your sales department for more details? When you know how your relationship with a prospect started, you can design a more effective sales strategy.
What stage of the sales pipeline they are at: Know who pipeline stage every prospect is at a given time allows you to focus your energy on the prospects closest to a sale, while feed not yet ready to buy leads.
When selecting sales tracking software, make sure that it will allow you to keep detailed records on each of your prospects so that you have the tools you need to close business.
Sales forecasting is all about predicting future sales numbers. Many companies use sales forecasts to make important business decisions, forecast future performance, and properly allocate organizational resources.
But it’s not an exact science, and companies are going into hot water when they make incorrect predictions. You don’t want this to happen to your business!
To protect yourself against inaccurate sales forecasts, invest in a sales tracker that will allow you to see past and current sales data from your entire sales team and predict future sales based on those numbers with precision. relative.
3. Activity reports
The best sales tracking software will tell you a lot about your prospects. But it should also track what you are doing to reach your prospects on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In other words, the sales tracker of your choice should also catalog your sales activities.
This software feature is beneficial for salespeople because it will allow you to easily see the last time you contacted a prospect, the communication channel (phone, email, text, etc.) that you’ve used, whether or not you get a response, the total number of times you’ve contacted them, and more. This information can then be used to refine a sales approach that closes the deal.
Activity monitoring is also ideal for sales directors, because this will allow them to better evaluate their salespeople, be a more effective coachand build more effective data-driven sales strategies.
Do you want to be a better leader?
the Sales Manager Survival Guide includes over 70 expert tips on hiring, coaching and motivating your sales team. Download it today!
GET THE GUIDE
4. Loss reports
It is important that you keep a record of potential transactions that fail, i.e. your losses. While it can be overwhelming to look at and study these numbers, knowing the specific reasons you’re losing deals (or the top competitors you’re losing deals to) helps you improve your approach to selling and make sure you don’t repeat the same thing. errors in the future.
Analyzing your losses will also allow you to better forecast your sales figures for a given month, quarter or year. Speaking of forecasting …
5. Funnel reports
Are you struggling to keep your sales pipeline flowing? Are your prospects systematically blocked at specific points in your funnel? If so, sales tracking software could save your life.
There are plenty of sales tracking tools that will allow you to view every section of your funnel in real time to see how close your prospects are to a sale, what is preventing prospects from traveling further down your pipeline, and what sales tactics. are the most effective.
If you are a visual learner, you may want to consider investing in sales tracking software that will allow you to track opportunities in a visual pipeline. We’ll talk more about specific sales tracking solutions later in this guide.
6. Conversion rate
Creating new leads takes time. If you are able to convert more leads, you I have already by paying buyers, you can generate more income without work unrealistic hours.
One of the most productive ways to increase sales is to increase your conversion rate. Quality sales tracking software will automatically calculate conversion rates for each sales rep on your team, or by lead source or other attributes. You can then study these metrics to find out how you can improve.
Plus, sales managers can see which salespeople have the highest conversion rates, analyze their tactics, and find out how top team members consistently close deals. This information can then be transmitted to representatives in difficulty.
7. Opportunities won
Do you know how many deals you have completed this year? And this neighborhood? When investing in sales tracking software, make sure that the solution you choose will allow you to quickly view information about won opportunities and new sales.
As we mentioned above, knowing the deals you were able to close and the sales strategies you used to do so is invaluable information, as it shows you the impact of your sales activities and the contributions. of each sales representative.
Just as professional football coaches watch the tape from previous games to find out which games have worked best for them in the past, you need to see your won opportunities so that you can identify the most effective sales tactics available to you and deploy them. more often.
8. Average selling price
The revenue per sale measure measures the average amount of revenue you make for your business each time you Close a deal. In general, the higher this number the better, as long as you can still close deals with a consistent clip.
Revenue per sale is especially useful if you sell different levels of products or offer multiple product upgrades. By measuring revenue per sale, you can find out how effective you (or your team, if you’re a sales manager) are at increasing your customers or leveraging the most valuable accounts.
7 Recommendations of the sales tracking software
Now that we know what to look for in top-notch sales tracking software, we can discuss the top eight software solutions in this category.
The options below are not listed in any particular order. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages that you will need to assess for yourself. But the seven tools will help you better track your sales activities and improve yourself as a salesperson.
We’ll take a look!
We can be biased, but In short is truly an amazing sales tracking software platform! It’s both easy to use and incredibly powerful, which means you’ll be able to quickly view your leads and their current place in your pipeline, assess important metrics like conversion rate and revenue per sales, and analyze your sales activities without need a degree in rocket science.
Pipedrive is a tool that was “designed to keep you selling”. To help you with this mission, Pipedrive gives users access to lead management, communications tracking, pipeline automation, and detailed reporting capabilities.
It also offers some handy sales tracking solutions that you should be aware of. For example, Pipedrive gives users access to a “deal rot” tool, which alerts sales reps when a potential deal goes idle for too long. This way, they can change their approach to selling and attempt to salvage deals before they turn into missed opportunities.
In addition, Pipedrive offers contact management, visual pipelines with customizable steps, automation for repetitive administration tasks and an AI-powered sales mentor who will offer personalized advice to help sellers improve their performance. of sale.
3. Zoho CRM
Over 150,000 companies use Zoho CRM because of its rich feature set. The software comes with a wide variety of sales tracking tools, including customizable dashboards, contact management, funnel charts, sales forecasts, and detailed analytics.
There are three features that we particularly like about Zoho CRM:
Automated workflows: Data entry is a pain. Fortunately, Zoho sales tracking software automates this administrative task so that every action taken on a lead is automatically cataloged for future reference.
Sales trends: The detailed analytics dashboard available in Zoho CRM allows users to create detailed reports and identify sales trends. With this kind of knowledge, you can optimize your sales strategies and processes.
Gamification: Need to motivate your sales team? Zoho’s gamification feature allows sales managers to turn routine tasks into fun contests and have their sales reps compete to meet specific sales goals.
Zoho CRM is a solid tool for most sales teams, although companies that already use Zoho’s other software tools may find it the most appealing.
Bitrix24 is a powerful application that provides a wide range of collaboration, communication, project management and sales tools for small businesses around the world. Because its offerings are so extensive, some companies may prefer to use a simpler, more streamlined option.
This does not mean, however, that Bitrix24 is not suitable for sales tracking purposes. In fact, the software has many features that can benefit sales professionals.
Bitrix24 offers users a quality CRM solution that they can use to generate leads, manage an endless number of visual pipelines, automate selling process and email communications, and analyze sales metrics such as salesperson activity and total revenue.
The best part? Bitrix24 can be used for free, forever! The software company earns money when its customers use its integrated telephony, order more than 5 GB of document storage, or design jobs with more than five dependencies. For this reason, Bitrix24 is a solid option for cash strapped businesses looking for quality sales tracking software.
Copper is a popular CRM tool specially designed for G Suite users. When the power of Copper and Google is combined, sales reps can easily manage their contacts, deals, emails, files and more from one place.
When it comes to sales tracking, Copper allows its users to monitor new leads at every stage of the sales funnel, while analyzing important metrics like monthly sales revenue.
One area where copper really shines is its use of automation. Entire sales processes can be automated, increasing user productivity. For example, when a new prospect sends an email to a salesperson, the salesperson’s contact information and activity might be automatically cataloged.
Copper also includes contact management, a visual pipeline, sales forecasting tools, a detailed analytics dashboard, goal setting, and an iOS and Android app so sales reps always have access to their sales data. sale.
Fresh sales is another popular free CRM tool. It’s not as comprehensive as some of the other solutions on this list, but it won’t cost you a dime to use it, so there isn’t much to complain about!
For sales tracking purposes, FreshSales offers its customers a 360 degree view of their prospects from a single screen, which is very convenient. From prospect demographics to conversion rates, users can quickly find what they need in FreshSales.
Beyond contact management, the software also offers main score, sales task management and a handy iOS and Android app.
If you want access to a more detailed sales reporting dashboard, more storage, automation capabilities, and customization options, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plan from FreshSales. But for simple sales tracking, FreshSales for free might do the trick.
7. Close CRM
Finally we have Close CRM, a sales tool designed to help sellers close more deals. It does this by using detailed reporting features that track individual sales and team performance, provide high-level pipeline overviews, analyze call, email, and text success rates, and more.
Close CRM also offers tracking of won and lost opportunities, revenue metrics generated, and sales rep ranking to inspire friendly competition.
Like some of the other sales tracking software mentioned above, Close does more than just track sales pipelines. It also gives users access to email and SMS tools and in-app phone and video calls so that all sales activities take place in one interface.
Find the right sales tracking software
A career in sales can often feel like a roller coaster ride. But there are things you can do to make sure the highs are more frequent and the lows less devastating. Namely, you can invest in sales tracking software.
Quality sales tracking software will help you better organize your leads, track rep activity, forecast future sales, and optimize important sales metrics like revenue per sale. But before you can enjoy these benefits, you need to choose the right tool for your team.
While each of the above seven sales tracking solutions can benefit your organization, we definitely think Nutshell is the best option in this category.
Try Nutshell free for 14 days to find out if this is the right sales tracking app for your business.
Ready to see Nutshell in action?
Take a live guided tour! Each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT.
The tech fall sales season is gearing up for the end of the year as always, coronavirus or not, and the CRM industry is following suit with some mods.
Majors like Salesforce and Oracle, as well as fast-paced followers like Zoho, are on the hunt for what’s new – and they bet the new in that context means process orientation, not just delivering new products, features, or functions.
To be sure there is a part of it, but it’s all wrapped up in the process, because the process is what we look to at the end of a tech trend. CRM is about 25 years old, or so, so the process makes sense.
Take Salesforce for example. They have spent the year, at least since COVID-19 became the main driver in February, developing and deploying solutions that were probably not on their roadmap.
Work.com and Salesforce Anywhere are great examples of the focus on processes that didn’t exist 12 months ago or that have been significantly revamped for working from home.
Oracle as a cloud company
Oracle has a ton of new stuff in the pipeline. I have had a few discussions and the briefings come at the end of the month. I can’t speak to specific products, but the Q1 earnings report released last week shows a business booming, making money, and taking names.
The headline is rising even as financial analysts who were once skeptical find new ways to state the obvious: Oracle is finally re-emerging as a cloud company. But while its numbers all look good, migrating its large customer base from on-premises to the cloud is risky. When a client declares an in-between, it means that all relationships must be examined.
A jump ball can be bad even for apparent winners. For example, this CRN coin tells the story of an OEM who poached offers from its partners, leaving them with high selling costs and nothing to show for the effort. I’m sure this PRM has rolled back a few years as it evaporated the trust that vendors need to have to operate a channel.
Zoho’s enviable position
Then there’s Zoho – and you have to think about it. They’re categorized in the SMB space at the moment, but we’ve seen too many times that space is really the seat of the catbird, which leaves plenty of room for the market to move upscale, which Clayton said. Christenson has documented well.
Zoho has over 45 million customers worldwide; and although they disproportionately represent SMEs, they have a platform that allows users to glue their more than 45 modules together into perfectly tailored solutions.
What makes rapid iteration possible and thus drives up the market is a vendor’s platform. The more efficient it is at generating the code that links the modules, the more versatile it is and the more likely it is that business processes will stay in sync with market realities.
Study: Endemic Inadequate Software
This message is reported by two studies that I completed this year. Each yielded a surprising data set that would warm the hearts of any enterprise software publisher – even in this upheaval season.
The consensus among basic users is that the software they have to use to deal with customers is insufficient. The end users I have studied largely concoct solutions using social media, cellphones, CRM, and email, rather than accessing integrated systems that can tell them the best thing to offer or to do.
As a result, a lot of people are running around and working harder than they should, with the kicker that they are leaving money on the table. Working from home only makes these conditions worse.
Power of the platform
So the platform is the new standard equipment that savvy buyers will look for when looking for a new platform. Of course, the platform alone will not solve all the problems. There is still, and there will be a long time to come, a strong case for out-of-the-box features of the kind that companies like Veeva and Vlocity (now part of Salesforce) specialize in.
But even here the question savvy buyers will ask themselves boils down to how easy it is to change elaborate vertical industrial solutions – and that boils down to the robustness of the platform you’re built on?
In the 20th century, we had the Roaring Twenties; and it looks like this time it could be the Homer Twenties or maybe the Calamitous Twenties: something like that.
Who will be our Br Scott Fitzgerald? What would be Gatsby the magnificent looks like now? A story about an entrepreneur struggling with issues stemming from multiple news cycles trying to keep pace by leveraging the platform their business lives on?
It could be a good bet.
Denis pombriant is a well-known CRM industry analyst, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You can’t buy customer loyalty, but you can earn it, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for customer, is also available there. Email Denis.
Your prospects know what are their problems. They don’t want to hear about your in-depth knowledge of their problem. Consumers should know how you plan to solve the problem. B2B organizations, in particular, can benefit from providing solutions. Without having a tangible “doohickey” to show someone their best features, selling the solution is an ideal alternative. Unfortunately for many B2B businesses, this is not as easy as selling a tangible product, but with the help of a few tips provided here and an effective CRM platform that can help create these solutions, we hope. help B2B companies sell solutions more successfully.
Forrester found that 59% of buyers do their own research instead of going through sales reps because they find sales reps to promote the programs instead of solving problems. So what if we learned to solve problems instead of pushing agendas? Selling a solution can just make it easier for that group of buyers to talk to us.
Understand your product
To provide a solution to your potential customers, you need to know your product inside and out. Sales representatives who are armed with all the information about what they are selling will allow them to avoid being caught off guard with obscure or unusual requests. Have a central location for all your marketing materials, product specifications, etc. will be key to ensuring your sales reps have the information they need.
Understand customer challenges
Another trick in the business of selling solutions is to understand your customers’ challenges even better than they do. Learn all the pain points they have experienced in the past and try to predict more that might arise in the future. Creating a customer persona can help categorize certain groups and understand them in general. Having these personas on hand to target particular groups and to understand solutions that have been successfully sold to others with similar challenges will increase conversions.
To ask questions
In order to come up with a personalized solution that will sell, ask open-ended questions. Find out what their current problem is, why their current solution doesn’t solve it, and what their biggest obstacles are. Just like collecting requirements to determine what new software might work best for you, ask similar types of questions to determine the requirements that your potential customers should meet. The question line alone can impress them enough to buy!
Answer the questions
This step is not really your responsibility to answer questions from your prospects. It’s actually to make sure you don’t forget to answer your questions so that you can create the solution that will make the sale. Answering these questions yourself will help you determine if your product can solve your prospects’ problems. Determining the suitability will help you avoid wasting time with people who won’t actually benefit from your offer. If so, this will help you determine how.
In order to sell the solution, you need to make sure that you can add value beyond the functionality of the product. For example, include in your solution the level of customer service that your prospects will receive once they are customers. Such added value will demonstrate your continued commitment to them and that their solution is long term.
Another way to do this is to provide a sales pitch that truly demonstrates the value of your product or service. This can be a bit trickier as it can change from prospect to prospect. You’ll want to find what resonates with each individual buyer. These added values can consist of significant savings in time or money that they could benefit from or that the product will give them emotional benefits.
Get off the beaten track
If you plan to sell one solution, one solution won’t fit all. Offering a solution with thinking outside the box will offer your potential customers new perspectives and new ideas that they never would have considered. Know the specific needs of your prospects, their weak points, their personality, etc. can all give you the information you need to come up with new ideas to come up with.
Offering new ideas and perspectives can also give you a new opportunity to shine by showing your potential clients how good you are. Any additional knowledge can show you as an expert in your industry, bringing a whole new life to your solution.
Sell the results, not the features
Anyone can launch a bunch of features on their products or services that tell prospects what you’re offering. However, people don’t want to hear about the features as much as they do. results. Put simply, you can sell tickets to a concert or you can sell an experience they’ll never forget watching one of their favorite bands in a great venue. Or, for a more relevant example, you can sell software or you can sell a way to save time and money, which results in a better work / life balance and much happier employees.
Consumers tend to buy based on how they feel, not what they get. Learning what they can accomplish and what problems they can solve will sell much easier.
Remove organizational silos
In order to sell a solution rather than a product, it is also important to involve all relevant departments in your organization in your solution. To achieve this, you must remove these silos in your organization so that you can include them all. Departments such as customer service, marketing, accounting, etc. should all work with sales to provide the most complete solution.
Selling a solution offers many advantages that will increase your conversion rates and, ultimately, your customer satisfaction rates. First, the solutions are much more personalized than simply presenting a product as a selling point. More, Entrepreneur magazine explains selling solutions as building real relationships with your prospects. Between personalization and authentic relationships, it’s a tough strategy to beat.
Another advantage of selling a solution is that it allows you to accompany your potential customers throughout the sales process. Since you are more involved in selling the solution, you will be more involved in the sales process.
The point is, the solutions speak louder than the promises. You promise people that they will benefit from purchasing your product, or you can tell them how your product will solve their problems.
Setting up a powerful and comprehensive CRM platform will allow you to collect and access all the information you need to create complete solutions for your prospects and sell them on a whole new level. This is the key to managing your sales pipeline and depending on Medium.com, managing sales pipelines is the key to making your sales process more efficient. Agile CRM is one of those tools that offers an all-in-one CRM platform so that you not only have all of your contact management in one central location, but you can also collect and share information with others. other services to dissolve these ever-present organizational silos more effectively.
Agile CRM also offers sales activation features that automate everything from scoring prospects to scheduling appointments, so you can focus on sales while the tool does the work for you. As a member of Infinity Suite 500apps workplace productivity apps, you can also choose from a plethora of apps so your teams can do a lot more with a lot less.
Selling a solution can be a little more difficult at first, but it will prove to help your organization be successful in the long run. No need to reiterate your prospects’ problems or just sell a product. Seize the opportunity to sell a complete solution. Create solutions using a powerful CRM platform like Agile CRM will take your sales to the next level.
We all know that change is part of life and that we must adapt to these changes to be successful.
So why do so many salespeople insist on using old-fashioned sales tactics that no longer work? If it’s because they just don’t know any better, we’re here to enlighten them! Read on to learn seven old-fashioned sales tactics to avoid in 2020 and beyond.
1. Look for sale at all costs
If you are ready to do or say whatever making a sale, including selling a prospect a product they don’t need, you’re going to run into trouble. Maybe not right away. But eventually, this tactic will catch up with you and cause major problems for your business.
What kind of problems? You’ll likely have a lower closing rate, and most of the sales you make will likely be returned by unhappy customers. Both of these damage your individual productivity and the reputation of your business as a whole.
The best thing sellers can do in 2020 and beyond is to sell with integrity.
Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist of Square2 agrees. He says, “When you sell only what the customer needs, you will gain confidence and credibility … This will lead to lasting relationships that will benefit your business more in the long run.”
2. Launch products rather than solutions
Here’s the truth: your prospects don’t care about the products or services you sell. The only thing that matters to them is whether or not you can help them solve their problems. If you can, they will be more than happy to buy from you. If you can’t, well … sales are hard racket.
Modern consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing and sales messages daily. Because of this, they have become insensitive to the old school product pitches.
So instead of presenting your product to anyone with an impulse, seek to understand your target audience and their weak points. Then present your product or service as the solution to the pain. You will get much better results with this approach, guaranteed.
The best salespeople in 2020 are those who ask the right questions and position their offerings as relevant alternatives to the challenges their prospects face.
The Sell to Win Playbook collects 55 of the best expert selling tips we’ve ever published. Download it today!
GET THE PLAYBOOK
3. Overselling of products and services
Have you ever been sold a product that was not up to your expectations? Maybe a shrewd salesperson once told you that a specific gadget or gadget would solve all your problems. But he didn’t, and now he’s sitting in the back of your closet collecting dust.
Experiences like these are unfortunately quite common.
While you can make sales by making excessive promises, it is not recommended. On the one hand, products that do not meet customer expectations are often returned and contribute to weakening the reputation of the company that sells them, which can hurt future sales.
In addition, prospects today have access to an incredible amount of information. In other words, modern buyers are knowledgeable enough to know when you’re lying.
This is why a renowned commercial expert, Marc Wayshak, says you shouldn’t “spend too much time emphasizing the features, bells and whistles of the product or service you are selling” because “prospects no longer rely solely on salespeople to provide them with these kinds of things. ‘information. “
Instead, speak honestly to your prospects about the value of your products and / or services and their specific benefits.
4. Increased pressure
Many old school salespeople have been successful in getting their prospects to buy. Using aggressive persuasion and manipulation tactics, a talented sales representative could close deals that would otherwise have been blocked.
But increasing the pressure in the 21st century is one of the fastest ways to lose a sale.
Your audience doesn’t want to be enticed to buy. Most modern buyers have several options available to them. If they don’t like the sales process you offer, they will quickly become the boss of a competing brand.
Rather than creating high pressure situations, seek to become a trusted advisor to your prospects as they navigate the buyer’s journey.
5. Bomb prospects with sales messages
Speaking of pressure, many salespeople unwittingly apply it by bombarding their prospects with sales messages. There is a fine line between tenacious and assertive. Many e-mails and short-term calls will likely be frowned upon by your prospects.
Think about it: Would you like to be contacted several times a day by a stranger? Probably not. So why do salespeople think they should take this approach?
Apparently, this old-fashioned sales strategy aims to antagonize prospects to the bid. If we contact them enough times, they’ll eventually get back to us, even if it’s just to denounce the abundance of communication. Then, once we’ve struck up a conversation, we can pitch our product, build up the pressure, and come away with a new sale!
Maybe this technique has worked in the past, but it definitely won’t work now. In fact, it will likely ensure that your prospects never buy from you.
You’ll find more success if you set up a sales cadence that hits the perfect balance between perseverance and respect. To find that balance, we suggest you experiment with different cadences, analyze the results, and develop a unique approach that works for you and your target audience.
The best sales email is the one that is read.
Download the Complete Guide to Writing A LOT of Better Sales Emails for over 50 professional tips on how to make your emails pop in a crowded inbox.
GET THE GUIDE
6. Rushing Prospects Through The Sales Process
As we mentioned, modern sales are all about guiding prospects to a specific solution, not leading them to a sale they will regret in the morning. For this reason, salespeople today need to realize that the speed at which they sell needs to be personalized for each prospect.
Some prospects may be ready to pull out their credit cards and make a purchase after just one phone call. Others may take weeks, or even months, to commit.
The old school sales philosophy would have you believe that every sale should be closed as soon as possible. While we can’t deny that “one-call closings” are exhilarating, they are not the norm and looking for them at all costs is a mistake.
So take a deep breath. Understand that every prospect in your pipeline is unique and uses a different decision-making process. Next, focus on providing the best possible selling experience. Over time, this strategy will allow you to build a stronger customer base.
7. Pretend that sales are a solo sport
Finally, the old-fashioned sales environments were all about competition. It was a ruthless atmosphere that pitted salespeople against each other, often unhealthy and unproductive means. But modern sales should be a team sport, not a free game between a collection of “lone wolves”.
Sales managers should encourage cooperation among reps, ensure that every member of their team has equal access to resources, and that effective sales strategies are shared with all salespeople within their organization.
That doesn’t mean you have to create a no-competition zone for your sales team. According to John Rydell, President of Network Online, “Competition is a great way to motivate your team, as long as it is friendly and not fierce.”
Goodbye to your old-fashioned sales tactics
Each of the old-fashioned selling techniques listed above, while still used by many salespeople in a wide variety of industries, will actually do more harm than good in most scenarios. We encourage you to adopt more modern sales strategies instead.
In doing so, you will create a better experience for your buyers and a healthier environment for you and your team, which will increase your sales numbers and increase customer retention rates. Good luck!
Write fewer emails, get more responses.
Are you falling off your prospect’s radars? With Nutshell’s personal email sequences, we’ll remember the follow-up for you.