A Typical Salesforce User Scenario When Seeking Help!

By Marcus Gilbert – Enterprise Sales Director @ Improved Apps

 

hard work - pushing rock

 

And so the saga begins…

You urgently need ‘how do I do this?’ help, and you need it now!  There’s no-one near you to ask (the swivel-chair interrupt won’t work this time) and you have a ton of stuff to get through to meet your deadline.

Think…Think…Think…

You have an idea!!…Send a help request to your local salesforce.com support person.

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Remind me…Why did I invest in Salesforce?

By Marcus Gilbert – Enterprise Sales Director @ Improved Apps

 

question mark

 

Have you invested in Salesforce but are disappointed by the lack of engagement with the application from your people?.. Are you not seeing the benefits that had been promised?..

Well, you’re not alone.

Studies show… 75% of companies have implemented a CRM system but the majority are unsatisfied with the way their employees are making use of this technology.

CSO Insights 2011 CRM Sales Effectiveness Study-Key Trends Analysis reports how 51.5% of these organisations have had a CRM system in place for over three years.  Although communications between sales people and reporting on activities has improved, CRM systems have shown to have little impact on key business objectives. Only 19% of companies actually saw an increase in revenue as result of implementing CRM.

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Improving Sales With Social and Salesforce

By Paul Field – CEO @ Improved Apps

feedback letterbox

 

I was recently reading an article by McKinsey about “The Evolution of Social Technologies”; it highlighted the increasing trend for organisations to employ social as a means to create, define and refine strategies. The result being that social is now enabling the “democratisation of strategy”.

This is something that is way beyond the suggestion boxes that used to collect dust and the occasional productive idea, and even further that the improvement groups created to support quality initiatives such as TQM, Kaizen and 6-Sigma. It is not about simply giving everybody a vote but about seeking out the ideas, suggestions, skills, knowledge, intellect and perception of employees; there is no word that sums up all of these things so I will call it ‘applied experience’.

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Improved Change and Enablement

By Rob Bailey – VP Alliances @ Improved Apps

old way new way

Change is the Only Constant

Implementing, enabling and changing systems in the delivery of Internet Solutions (SaaS) create unnecessary issues. Is it so different to Classic System Change?

 

When implementing or changing systems, management commonly faces a reactionary attitude from potential users or even customers, (if the company is an ISV – Independent Software Vendor). People tend to be more comfortable with the status quo and so naturally resist potential changes that will result from the implementation and roll-out of a new or revised process. This resistance needs to be dealt with pro-actively and with compliance issues in mind. If a change is implemented but not accepted or utilised what good is it?

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7 Ways Sales Leaders Can Get The Most Out Of Salesforce

By Marcus Gilbert – Enterprise Sales Director @ Improved Apps

business people jumping for joy - success

What lies behind the results that your employees achieve, and upon which your company depends for its business success?

Answer:

Your people, and specifically, the behaviour of your people.

Providing them with great customer engagement tools such as Salesforce.com is only a part of the solution. Unless your people have internal belief and take ownership of the values of your company, they will not exhibit behaviour that drives appropriate actions to get positive results.

Let’s take a look at your sales force:

The purpose of a salesperson is to win business. They do two things: manage a sales opportunity to closure and prospect for new opportunities. That’s it.

 

It’s well known that 80% of your revenue will come from the top 20% of your salespeople. These people are exemplars in combining the knowledge and sales tools your company creates around product, case studies, competition, etc. with a sales process your company has honed over time to win business. These sales exemplars have the skills and abilities to do the right things at the right time using the right information in the right way. They exude confidence, believe in your company and exhibit a behaviour that drives action to get positive results. Imagine if you could bottle this!

 

The next 60% of your sales people are either aspiring toward exemplar, or simply stuck in the middle. They often don’t know where the right sales tools are or how to use them at the right time. They may not know how to quickly access your company’s knowledge to respond to situations ‘in the moment’, especially if they are still ramping up their skills – and that’s why you invest in tools and coaching to nurture them to be the next wave of exemplars. Imagine if you had a way to help this (largest) group of salespeople to mimic the behaviour of your exemplars!

 

The bottom 20% of your sales people are either new-hires or struggling to gain the skills and abilities to do the job. They need a lot of help and you will be investing time and money on them. Again, imagine if you had a way to help this group of salespeople mimic the behaviour of your exemplars! If they have the ability to improve, then you need to accelerate the program, otherwise it may be time to let them go.

So, as sales leaders, what can you do?

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Sales Sultans or Dukes of Data?

By Paul Field – C.O.O @ Improved Apps

graphic

Salespeople have always tended to regard themselves as tribal icons – they are, after all, the ones who feed the rest of the tribe through successful hunting or farming. Equally well, they are held responsible for those times that the tribe does not eat. So as symbols of success and scapegoats for failure, these specialists in the kill or harvest had little interest in anything else and commanded an exalted position.

 

Sales people were regarded as the Praetorian guard of the organisation; highly capable and highly rewarded, but subject only to the ultimate sanction of being sacrificed if they did not meet their objectives. Anything that was not central to that task of extracting money from the customers’ wallets and moving it into their company’s coffers was superfluous.

Complying with compliance

In recent years, post-Enron, the demands on businesses from regulatory bodies has increased dramatically: Compliance requirements have emerged in every area including financial reporting, revenue recognition, environmental protection, contracts, sales behaviour and just about everything else that a business engages in.

 

As a result, the heroic, maverick sales person has started to look increasingly anachronistic and lonely in this new heavily compliance-driven world. Regulatory demands have reached out and ensnared the hunters in the drudgery of data maintenance for reasons that they don’t care to remember and to which they pay lip (or finger!) service. Sales management often find themselves empathising with their direct reports but also knowing that they must improve their forecasting, account and contact accuracy.

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What To Do In The Quiet Time During December

Red Christmas Bauble

The December Downtime

It’s upon us again. That time of year, when for reasons that will always remain a mystery, commerce seems to grind to a halt.  It’s not like any other holiday season.  People go on summer holidays, and deals still happen and meetings continue to take place to progress sales campaigns, but for some reason, the Christmas season makes everything come to a standstill.  From the second week in December, it gets more difficult to set up meetings, move deals on and connect with people who have a need for what you sell.

So I began to think about what to do at this time of year, when everyone is seemingly wearing a santa hat, drinking eggnog and laying siege to vast quantities of festive food.

If your prospects are taking some time out, then you can do no worse than follow suit. I am not suggesting you down tools, but do switch your attention to other matters that will be more productive. 

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A Metaphor for a Start-Up – The Nine Edges Endurance Challenge

Last month I undertook the Nine Edges Endurance Challenge, which meant I spent a great deal of time doing nothing but hiking and gazing at the incredible landscape. With the mesmeric act of continually putting one foot in front of the other, it also gave me time to think, and I started comparing my hilltop adventure to life in a ‘Start-Up’. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the Nine Edges Endurance Challenge is undertaken to raise money for the Edale Mountain Trust.

Nine Edges Endurance Challenge Poster

The route begins near Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire, England, and is a traverse from Fairholmes to Baslow, which is approximately twenty-one miles, depending on the route you decide on. There are no signposts so you need to be able to navigate successfully, and you have the choice of running, hiking or climbing your way across the nine grit stone edges.  I decided to hike it. Naturally, I could have run it, you understand, but that would have meant not being able to take in the stunning vistas around me. I did some calculations and envisaged that the journey would take me around seven hours, which is two hours under the nine-hour limit.

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Dreamforce… It’s the people that make it what it is

Looking Forward to Dreamforce ’14

Can you believe it? It is that time of year again – Dreamforce is only a matter of weeks away. The signs are there – reps are phone-bashing their salesforce customers to persuade them to attend; San Francisco hotels are fully booked, and salesforce twitterites are tweeting about the countdown to the big event. It’s all happening…

But with times being as they are, justification to attend will be severely tested this year for many companies, particularly those that aren’t based in the U.S. Oh boy those flights can get expensive… maybe we should all charter something together!!

But even with the costs involved I still think Dreamforce is priceless. I’ve been attending for the last seven years in one capacity or another, either as an employee of salesforce, a customer or a partner.

 Am I going this year?..

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