Tuesday, July 05, 2016

How To Build A Great Sales Team In Four Simple Steps

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Sales is a lifeblood of any business. The primary goal of the sales team is to generate revenue concurrently building customer trust and increasing brand awareness. Patricia Fripp once said “Youdon’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” The fact that 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales is another proof that the choice of your salespeople plays a crucial role in business development. The following tips will help you create the best team to skyrocket your sales. 

Hire salespeople on an ongoing basis 

Great salespeople are rare. It takes much time and effort to find and hire the right ones for your team. Rather than looking for candidates when somebody is leaving and you need to hire a new team member urgently, you should constantly keep an eye on the sales talent pool. As soon as you see great candidates available on the market, don’t miss a chance to recruit them. As it was said, outstanding sales reps are rare, don’t let them go to your competitors. 

Don’t trust your gut 

The biggest hiring mistakes are made due to the confirmation bias which makes you hire not the people who perform best, but whom you like the most. There are different assessment tests which will allow you to predict the future performance of your sales person. You can check TriMetrix, Grit or any other tests which combine personality with sales aptitude checks. The hiring decisions based on both interview and unprejudiced assessment results are proven to be more accurate. Checking the candidate background and fit to the team will also help to make the right choice. 

Be precise describing your open vacancy 

Different selling types require different skills and personality traits. Inside or outside sales, commission types, the industry are among many other factors which influence the type of person you are looking for. Even very decent salespeople will show low performance if there is a poor job fit. Therefore be as precise as possible describing the vacancy and the chances are high you will attract the right sales talents to your team. 

The will to win, the desire to succeed… 

Sales is one of the most competitive fields. Be sure that you choose people who thrive on competition that pushes them out of their own limits. It’s not only important to select competitive and passionate salespeople, it is crucial to understand what motivates them. It can be solely competition, monetary compensation or the career growth. Use this information to keep your team motivated and ignite their desire to do the best!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Top Totally Free CRM Systems


Bitrix24

free open source CRMMost of the CRM applications with free basic plan allow only couple of users to have free account but Bitrix24 allows 12 users to create free account with 5 GB space. That is likely enough for a small or medium business to get start. 

Free CRM Bitrix24 account comes with unbelievable features–
– CRM includes almost all major business requirements like sales automation, contact management, quote management, business rules automation, invoicing, reports and sales funnel, direct email or call to clients from dashboard, integration with third party applications. It has mobile app for iOS and android to browse client records, create quotes, verify product catalog.
– It provides inter company social networking with ‘Like’ button, instant chat facility, computer telephony integration, photo and video sharing capability. It also includes employee motivational tools like badges, awards to show appreciation towards co-workers.
– It provides 5 GB free space for online file storage and document collaboration. There is no other CRM right now that provides 5 GB space with free plan. Also users can create or edit documents in Bitirx24 without any office suite.
– It has built in task and project management capability as well. Task can be created for oneself or assigned to colleagues, task report helps upper management to understand how much time an employee spends on a particular task.
Overall Bitrix24 is an application that helps an organization to run from one place.

Free account limitations:
12 users
5 GB storage
No record limit

Zoho CRM

cloud based free CRM software
Zoho is well-known CRM application with great features. It has web apps for almost everything that aSME needs like CRM, email integration, file sharing, social networking. It’s free edition allows an organization to create 10 free accounts with 1 GB space and limited functionalities but all these are sufficient for a small or medium company to generate leads, manage contacts and increase revenue.

Here are the few important features that Zoho CRM free edition provides:
– CRM includes almost all important features that an enterprise needs like sales force automation, marketing automation, lead management, contact management, quote management, live chat and email, tasks and activities handling, business rules and workflow management.
– It provides 1 GB space to an organization as document library. It can be used for file/folder sharing and documents attachment with file versioning capability.
– Zoho can be easily integrated with social networking sites like Twitter / Facebook or other Zoho apps like Zoho Projects, Zoho SalesIQ. It can be synchronized with various Google apps as well like Google calendar, Google contacts. Also it provides web to lead and web to contact form facilities to capture leads or contacts in web forms.
Free account limitations:
10 Users
1 GB space
No record limit

Insightly

free CRMInsightly CRM free edition grants 2 free accounts per organization with 200 MB storage. It includes almost all basic CRM features like Contact Management, Project Management, Task/Event/Calendar Management, Opportunity Management, Social Networking, Reporting, Email Integration. It provides the capability to import contacts from Gmail or Outlook or a simple spreadsheet.

Main drawbacks of Insightly CRM Free plan – it limits to store only 2500 records and allows to create 8 custom fields. Also its free plan does not include email marketing. But if these limitations are acceptable and want a simple way to start CRM, it is worth to give a try.

Free account limitations:
2 Free users
2500 records
200 MB free storage

Capsule

CRM Free
Capsule CRM is another lightweight and user friendly CRM application. Its free version provides very basic CRM functionalities with 2 free user accounts and 10 MB file storage. Beside CRM functionalities like contact management, opportunity management or task management, it has an unique feature called List. List uses filtering criteria based upon any possible options in CRM like name, updated on, type or status to group similar kind of contacts or opportunities or cases. With CRM object navigation bar at the top, there is a text link bar as well to bookmark contacts, cases or opportunities that you have accessed recently. Though it has good integration capability with other third party applications, free version has very limited integration features. Another drawback with free plan is that it allows to store only 250 contacts with unlimited opportunities and unlimited cases.

Free account limitations:
2 free users
10 MB storage
250 contacts with unlimited opportunities and cases

Really Simple Systems

cloud based free CRMReally Simple Systems CRM is really simple application with great functionalities like Sales automation, Contact Management, Opportunity Management, Task and Activities handling, Reporting. It’s free edition allows 2 users to have free account and 100 MB file storage. It also includes integration with KashFlow and SageOne accounting applications, custom reports, custom fields on all objects. 
Drawbacks: Free plan supports only sales automation, not marketing automation or customer service management. Also it limits to create only 100 accounts with unlimited contacts, tasks and opportunities.

Free account limitations:
2 Free users
100 MB storage
100 accounts with unlimited contacts, activities and opportunities

Via TechOneStop

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Provocation As Branding Strategy - Yea or Nay?

A branding enthusiast, serial entrepreneur, and resilient businesswoman, Karen Post helps businesses stand out & step up their brand. 

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Before we start, could you first explain how the advent of intranet, social networks, mobile revolution changed branding and how digital branding is different/similar to traditional methods used pre-2000s?
 

KP: There is a lot of common ground in both traditional and digital branding. 

Same path forward 
Attraction, belief/values, attachment and advocacy. 

They both are reputations, images and perceptions of business entities, products and or services. The brand is that mental impression and emotional connection with the seller and prospect or the buyer. Both are created by a sum of actions, communications and experiences. While the consumer makes the final decision about a brand, the brand owner has a lot of control to drive the opinions around its brand. 

Big difference 
Digital is 24/7, real-time, responsive and can be personalized. The experience is limited to visual and audio senses. Relies on data and must be fast. 

Traditional means has a heart beat, a human smile and can leverage all 5 senses. Humans still need humans. 

Many digital branding books rely heavily on punk aesthetics. Be yourself, break the rules, polarize, etc. Is ‘provocation’ really the only way to get noticed today? What advice do you give readers of Brain Tattoos? 

KP: The degree of provocation should align with the brand's essence. If your brands is edgy, extreme measures makes sense. If your brand is conservative stay true to who you are. 

One of the trends most visible today is that corporates brands increasingly depend on personal brands of business leaders. Apple – Jobs, Tesla-Musk, etc. Could you elaborate on this dichotomy and synergies/pitfalls that come with it? 

KP: There are pros and cons to mixing personal/leadership branding with corporate branding. 

Pros 
People like to do business with people they relate to and admire. If your leader is likable, that's a plus. 

Cons 
People are human, they can do stupid things and get hit by a car. Both can hurt a brand's image. 

What branding mistakes (digital or otherwise) do you see companies and individuals make most often. 

KP: 
  • Lack of focus, by trying to be everything to everybody, they end up being nothing
  • Complexity, simple brands are smarter.
  • Being tactical instead of strategic. This means not working from a brand essence (purpose, points of difference, promise and personality) 

If we go outside the usual suspects (Apple, PayPal, Tesla, Google), can you name a couple of smaller companies that do outstanding job with digital marketing and are good role models? 

KP: 
https://www.simple.com/ 
http://movement.com/ 
https://www.canva.com/ 

What resources, blogs, books, podcasts do you recommend to our readers who want to build a successful digital brand? 

KP: 
Branding 
Mine: Karenpost.com/blog 
https://www.martinlindstrom.com/ 

Content 
http://www.copyblogger.com/ 
Entrepreneurship/innovation 
http://theleanstartup.com/ 

Thank you for the interview. 

Bitrix24 offers free collaboration software. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 
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Friday, November 20, 2015

Five Questions To Ask To Get More Sales

Being ready with a few prepared questions can make the sales process easier for you and more comfortable for your customers. Review these questions and have them ready so you can move those conversations forward to closing ground. 
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Question 1: Name Your Problem 
What’s your biggest project right now? 
What’s the biggest problem you face right now? 
What’s causing you the most stress right now? 

Phrasing your question in an open-ended way–one which doesn’t allow for Yes or No answers–helps your customers to share what’s really on their minds. And that’s exactly what you want. 

Honest conversations build rapport and trust. They also help you to understand what your customers really need and which obstacles keep them up at night. When you can pinpoint their projects and their problems, you can start introducing the best solutions. 

Question 2: Name Your Change 
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? 
If you could change one area of your business, what would it be? 
What’s one change that would really help you? 

This question helps your customers to break out of a limited mindset, bound by time and budget constraints, and dream a little. What would really improve their lives and businesses? As an objective listener, you can help them see that the change they want isn’t that far out of reach. Then you can help them build a realistic plan. 

Or, as you listen, you might see that the changes they name aren’t real improvements or the smartest investments. Introduce other ideas that might be doable and offer the help you can to accomplish those goals. 

Question 3: Name Your Obstacle 
What’s holding you back from making this change? 
What’s keeping you from deciding on this purchase? 
What’s the best reason you have to walk away from this opportunity? 

Every customer has a list of reasons why it’s easier to say no. Sometimes staying stuck in a rut is more appealing than working up the energy to move forward. Of course, your customers won’t say that; they’ll just list their reasons: “It’s too expensive,” or “It takes too long,” or “It’s not the right fit,” or “We’ve tried that before.” 

Instead of putting your customer on the defensive, go ahead and invite their best reasons to say no to your offer. When you remove the conflict from the conversation, your customer is more likely to be open and see that their best reasons are, maybe, not that great. And, with that clear list of obstacles, you can answer each one of them specifically. 

Question 4: Name Your Need 
How can I help you right now? 
What can I do to help you most with this problem? 
What kind of help do you need the most? 

This is the kind of question that customers try to brush off; don’t let them. If their first response is negative, rephrase the question and ask again. We all have needs, but we’re not all used to asking for, or accepting, help. 

There’s just one caveat here: be ready to provide, to the best of your ability, what your customer needs. That might be time to think, more information, further meetings, or some other resource you can provide. Do what you can to show your customer that your priority is to help them however you can. 

Question 5: Name Your Benefit 
What will you miss by not taking this opportunity? 
What do you think you’ll miss if you don’t move forward now? 
What do you risk if you choose to walk away? 

Discussing problems, obstacles, and needs will provide plenty of opportunities for you to share the benefits of your product or service. What’s left is to let your customers convince themselves. That’s what this question does: you’re helping your customers tell themselves what they could gain, and what they risk losing, by saying no to the sale. 

Don’t be afraid to repeat questions in your conversations. Sometimes the first answer (or two) is a quick response without much thought in it. When you present the same question, rephrased, a few different times, your customer gets a chance to think about it and answer honestly. You gain insight into your customer’s real needs and insight to lead your customer to the right solution for those needs. 

Bitrix24 offers Internal communication tools. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

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