You follow your carefully crafted sales process to the letter, but many times your deals wither and die. You either lose outright or the deal simply doesn’t progress. What can you do?
Start addressing the issue by looking at how realistic your sales process stages are and how closely they relate to how your prospects typically make buying decisions. Think of it this way, a simplistic sales process (that some people actually use) is Prospect > Qualify > Demo/Presentation > Quote/Propose > Close. Granted, these stages are all things that sales reps typically do, but reps can do them all day long and still be nowhere near closing a sale. This process generates a lot of activity but not necessarily any results — and it can leave you frustrated. You’re working hard but nothing is happening. So, what’s the problem? If this describes you, your problem is likely that your sales effort is not aligned with your prospect’s buying effort. (more…)
During Salesforce implementation discussions, we often encounter people that struggle with how to use the Salesforce Leads object. This post will give you a framework for thinking about and working with Leads (even if you don’t use Salesforce yet). Note that for the purposes of this post, Leads are defined as individuals that are potential buyers or buying influencers. We are not talking about the use of Leads as it relates to a potential business opportunity, though some businesses also use the word Lead in that way. These type of Leads are dealt with differently and separately than buyer or buying influencer Leads. There are a variety of ways to deal with potential business opportunity Leads, but we will not address those here.
To set the framework for this discussion, here is a matrix you can use to categorize Leads.
There’s an old saying about having ham and eggs for breakfast – the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed. Just like the pig, when Salesforce has become the backbone of your business, you’re all-in. In our previous posts on adoption, Introducing the Model, Keys To Success, and Levering Salesforce, we discussed the early stages of adoption and hurdles that may occur. In this final stage of the Adoption Maturity Model, we are discussing how you know you’re all-in. In our consulting experience, we usually see companies hit the all-in stage within a year of launching the platform. (more…)
Previously, we introduced the idea of a Salesforce Adoption Maturity Model as a way for companies to gauge how well they are capitalizing on their Salesforce investment. We discussed the first level of the model, Basic Adoption, which is focused on getting the fundamentals in place and developing discipline within the organization to use the solutions. In the second level of the model, Leveraging the Platform, you will have reached the intermediate stage when you have begun to automate processes and expand usage of Salesforce into the areas of your business that will help you create a 360-degree view of your relationships.
It’s a fact, the person with the easiest access to the most information gives the best service (unless they are lazy). That said, it is very common to encounter Salesforce users or prospective customers that say it takes too much time and effort to capture data in Salesforce. But for many jobs, especially sales and service jobs, you can’t perform well without a lot of information, and you need data in order to create information. Think about it, information is required in order to provide service.