Using “Down Time” to Get Your CRM In Order

By Erica Abt

Sales professionals are occasionally faced with a lull in client meetings due to regular business seasonality, vacation schedules, or as we all know too well - a global health pandemic. While maximizing face time with clients should always be the #1 priority, it is important that sales teams take advantage of any extra time at their computers executing high value activities.


When the reason for the extra time calls for increased sensitivity around typical sales tactics (like aggressively cold calling for new meetings or asking for more business), we encourage sales teams to look inward and use the time to evaluate and improve their own business processes and tools so that they are ready to hit the ground running when a normal schedule resumes. One example of an internal tool that requires “TLC” in order to drive sales effectiveness is the CRM tool.


In this blog we explore four foundational CRM data elements that sales leaders should routinely evaluate to ensure the tool accurately reflects the status their client relationships in addition to their territory’s pipeline potential.

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The Big (Data) Obstacle that Sales Organizations Must Overcome

By Kelsey Peusch

Buzzwords like “big data” and phrases like “strategic data-driven decision making” have been bouncing around board rooms for quite some time. Experts report that up to 97% of organizations are investing in big data and AI, with each striving to harness data to be smarter about the people they target, the products they offer, the pricing they set, and the distribution paths they select.

Organizations across industries are clamoring for tools and techniques capable of aggregating important data as they mine for meaningful insights. No doubt the topic is hot, and there are bright spots emerging within the world of sales, yet why do so many sales organizations still struggle to fully optimize the potential of the data at their disposal?  

Read on to learn more about the power behind data analytics, why sales organizations continue to struggle to unlock its true potential, and the bright spots emerging within our own client portfolio.

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The Top 4 CRM Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

By Erica Abt

CRM (Client Relationship Management) can be defined as “the strategy upon which companies plan, manage and analyze interactions across their customer’s lifecycle to acquire, grow and retain customers”.

That’s at least what CRM is supposed to be. Instead, what we usually hear from clients about their CRM are comments like:

“It’s a mess.”
“We use it badly.”
“We bought it for reporting but since nobody uses it, it adds no value.” 

For a tool that is so expensive, time-consuming to implement, and promises to help sales people do their jobs more easily, it’s surprising how many companies struggle to get the full return on their CRM investment. Why is it so difficult?

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Why Sales Enablement Belongs in Your Sales Technology Stack

By Masami Middleton

“Bold” is the best word to describe the opening of last week’s Seismic Shift, which is the annual customer conference for sales enablement provider Seismic. This year, 500 attendees gathered at San Diego’s sleek Pendry Hotel to share experiences and inspiration around sales enablement. The name of the conference itself -- “Seismic Shift” -- along with some skillful marketing, applies the notion of CHANGE to an industry (sales enablement) in the midst of crossing the proverbial chasm to mainstream adoption, and to the innovators (Seismic customers) who are using the technology to “transform their businesses.”

Seismic CEO Doug Winter shared impressive stats and trends on industry growth and Seismic’s momentum. According to SiriusDecisions, 74% of enterprises increased their sales enablement budget in 2017 and 37% of high performing organizations increased it by 30% or more. 

Winter noted that “something has changed” in their market, suggesting a move toward broad, mainstream adoption of sales enablement solutions. As sales performance consultants, we can attest to widespread pain we see amongst clients who are not fully leveraging sales content nor unified in their sales and marketing approach.  In addition to hefty year-over-year growth for Seismic itself, Winter further illustrated momentum with data such as a 220% increase in sales enablement job titles on LinkedIn in just two years.

Here are four key takeaways we drew from the conference and what we would challenge Sales, Sales Ops, and Sales Enablement leaders to think about as their organization implements a sales enablement solution.

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The Sales Technology Challenge - How Much is Too Much?

By Michael Perla

According to CB Insights, in 2016, deals and dollars invested into sales tech startups reached all-time highs of over $5B invested across 425 deals. Moreover, sales organizations spent an average of $4,797 per quota-carrying rep on enablement technology annually, according to a Gartner (formerly CEB) analysis. Net net, more and more money is being spent on SalesTech and sales enablement and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

You can’t read much today that doesn’t mention or involve technology. I just read an article on digitizing the customer journey and processes. There are now SalesTech (think FinTech, AdTech) awards that recognize products and companies who exhibit excellence, innovation and leadership in the sales technology space.

Suffice it to say, the technology wave has not bypassed the sales function. Most B2B sales professionals would be lost without some basic sales tools - a smart phone, an audio or web conference line, and a way to keep track of contacts, opportunities, and their pipeline.  Per a recent Techcrunch article I read, the authors ask a good question in their title: 

How Much Sales Technology Is Too Much?

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The 4 Most Common CRM Disasters

By Symmetrics Group

Sales leaders ackowledge CRM's role in business success, yet 63% of CRM initiatives fail. Learn the warning signs and first responder tips for four of CRM's biggest pitfalls with our CRM Disaster infographic.  Dig deeper and download our disaster prevention article "CRM & Sales Effectiveness: Where's the Link?" where Tim Clarke of Symmetrics Group explores the critical components of a successful CRM program.

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First Job…Sales?

By Warren Shiver

There’s a great article in the New York Times today where the author, Bryan Burkhart, reflects on his first job out of college and pulls together a “not-to-do” list for recent college graduates. It demonstrates the maturity and ability to reflect that only experience and middle age can bring. One of my favorite parts is where he recounts the comparative success of one of his peers who, “was driven to acquire customers for Trilogy, understanding that revenue was the lifeblood of a fast-growing start-up. At the time, I could not have been less impressed with that role”.

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Selling When It’s Down to the Wire

By Warren Shiver

The decline of print media has been thoroughly documented, with Newsweek shuttering their print edition, leaving Time as the last one standing. I was reminded of this today when I picked up my print copy of the Wall Street Journal off the driveway on the way to the gym. Even though I subscribe to their online edition, I find the print edition convenient for exercise bikes and airplanes below 10k feet (can’t afford any Alec Baldwin moments).

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