Thursday, 9 October 2014

The 80/20 Rule For Sales Department Maximum Productivity

A sales pipeline is a must know for any sales rep and many sales departments use this formula daily and successfully to sign more customers. Each customer goes through an initial contact, followed by a qualification step that decides the opportunity of a further meeting. If the meeting happens, the business proposal and closing the deal come after. The last step is actually the beginning of a new process: the after sales services.
Sales Pipeline
What is the secret ingredient that will make it work?
Even if sales departments respect the process described above, some of them still meet efficiency problems. This usually happens because all stages of the sales pipeline are handled by the same persons, who could be handling even the administrative tasks like billing or debt recovering.

The 80/20 rule for productivity
Sales managers should embrace this simple, unwritten rule, proved to raise human resources’ productivity: Each individual should dedicate at least 80% of his working time to the same type of tasks. In the sales department scenario, productivity will decrease if every member of the department is engaged in every sales stage, or worse, in administrative tasks.

Therefore, we strongly recommend to divide the people in the sales department in three main categories: Business Developers, Sales Representatives and Account Managers. Business developers will be responsible with finding new business and qualifying new opportunities. sales representatives will attend meetings, will do the business proposals and close the deals. account managers will handle the new customers during the contractual period.
how the sales department should be organized
Since skilled sales representatives are so hard to find, and their work is so expensive and valuable, the main benefit of applying the 80/20 rule is saving their precious time for actually selling. Thus, the number of sales will increase in a short period of time. Let small tasks and administrative work be handled by people whose jobs don't require the skill of a sales representative or account manager.

Finally, following the sales pipeline and assigning the right person for the right job will help the sales department become more and more efficient. This will help us achieve the maximum productivity within the sales department by increasing sales and by lowering costs.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Sales People Hate The Daily Activity Report

Most of the sales departments rely on the activity report sales agents send every day, week or month. It is a control measure, a way to know if the salesmen are doing their job and if they are doing it right. However, salesmen hate this. Who would like to fill a spreadsheet every day with all the phone calls he made, meetings and discussions? It is unproductive, the salesman would argue, while the sales managers accept that this is time consuming, but the only way to control their department.

We, at Zimplu CRM, know how much sales people hate to fill "unnecessary" documents, that's why we made a little upgrade to our Sales Activity Report and included all the details a user wrote into a note or a task. This way managers know not only that their employees are active but each detail of every discussion their employees had with prospects/clients.

This is not only about control, but delivering the proper feedback to the sales representatives and finding out insights about why opportunities are won or lost. It is the perfect way for a sales manager to deliver his expertise to his co-workers by giving the right feedback at the right time.

Here is a screenshot with our upgraded activity report in Zimplu CRM:
details about the salesmen activity in Zimplu

This upgrade was made at the request of our customers who want to have a better control of their sales department.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Evaluate The Marketing Channels You Use

There are so many possibilities to gain new leads for your sales department, just think about the multitude of marketing channels at your disposal: email marketing, telemarketing, direct mailing, social media, online advertising and so many others. You probably already use some, but which marketing channel generates more conversions, brings back most revenues and is better fitted for your company? If you could answer this question, directing the marketing budget towards the right channels will be a piece of cake.

Let's see how Zimplu CRM can help you in this particular matter. To illustrate, we created a dummy database:

First, we’ll add a custom field for Opportunities, with a few options available and only one possible choice. These options should include all the marketing channels used to promote your company’s products / services towards prospects. As you can see, we selected direct mailing, fairs, internet marketing, referrals and telemarketing.
Custom field with multiple single options
When a sales representative creates an opportunity, this field should be completed based on the answer the prospect offers when he is asked about his source of information regarding your company.

Now that the custom field was created, it should be completed every time, no exceptions admitted. Furthermore, we must create a Filter to see all the won opportunities for each marketing channel, just like it is shown below.
Filter database in Zimplu
We named this filter "Internet Marketing Revenues" and we chose to see only the won opportunities in the last 30 days, for the internet marketing channel.

Now we can see all the opportunities matching the conditions above.
all the won opportunities from internet marketing activities
We can now export this list to excel, where we can make further calculations like total revenues, profit and ROI for the internet marketing channel.

Apply the filter for every marketing channel you use and you’ll be able to decide, based on real data, which one is more effective in your case.

Monday, 26 May 2014

New Update in Zimplu CRM

Are You Ready for the Bomb?
Zimplu is ready to launch the bomb. A new big update is coming up with a major design change that will make your work even easier. We revolutionized the way task management is done with less buttons to click for a basic activity. In short terms, we made the sales representatives who use Zimplu to work more efficiently, to waste less time for each contact and, in the end, to make more calls or send more emails every day.

We know that the most used section in Zimplu CRM is the dashboard and this is where the change begins. The dashboard is the place where you find all the tasks you need to solve today and the sales you made this month and it gives you a great perspective of results and work that needs to be done.

So what’s new about the dashboard?
Imagine that you can check a task as done and create a new one with only 1 click, this is a new button we implemented to ease the work and to shorten the process of completing a task.

Also, whenever you will create a “Call” task, the phone number will show too, for “Email” the email address will show too, and for “Meeting” the physical address of the contact will show.

You have everything you need on your dashboard in order to get started today and each day will now be shorter thanks to the new changes made in the dashboard section.

Other changes
Do you still believe that employees should only be able to access your data from the office? That’s ok, even if Zimplu is a web-based CRM, your employees can access your company’s data only from your office by simply assigning a unique IP address from which they can log in. You will find this new option in the “My Account” section, make sure you got the right IP.

The new update is scheduled for Wednesday, 28th of May, 2014.

Here is a snapshot with the new update:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Start Small, Don't Lose Data, Grow Big

You just started your business and your biggest concern right now is to find customers to sell your products or services to. There are probably thousands of prospects to call, emails to send and lots of things to keep track of. As a startup business it's easy to handle all the information, but can you keep it all whole and safe for when you grow big?

Now it’s the perfect time to prepare for later challenges. Until you become a significant company on the market, you’ll gather stories about every prospect you get in contact with, and you'll learn what their needs and opinions are. You must secure all this information, or you'll lose it in a couple of years. And then, what if you'll want to continue the conversation with prospects you already met?

There is no better time to implement a CRM than the startup stage

Often, startups decline to use a CRM system thinking that such technology is more than what they need for their business size. A few clients are easy to handle, but problems appear when the portfolio develops quickly. There are several on-demand CRM solutions available with affordable subscription plans for any startup company. So there's no reason not to take advantage of the benefits offered by CRM these days.

It’s difficult to manage all information, like contact details and discussions, if they are kept in a notebook or a spreadsheet. The business might not be suffering now, but as time passes, unorganized data and activities will affect you one way or another.

How implementing a CRM can help your startup in the long run?

To achieve performance, employees must be well organized and focused on their daily must-do activities. Furthermore, you should be aware of your company’s progress, which you can measure only by analysing data. A CRM system is exactly the solution that can help your company make the right adjustments in order to improve business.

Always be Marketing is a quote you want to stick to for as long as you do business. Having a CRM software can also help you communicate better with your prospects. Some of them won’t buy from you right now, but maybe they will some other time. It’s your job to stay in touch and build a strong image of your products or services.

Monday, 31 March 2014

5 Steps To Follow After Recruiting a New Salesman

You had tons of meetings regarding expanding your business and the board  finally decided you need more sales representatives in order to cover the market. Hiring a new salesman is good, but most of the companies don't see the results they were expecting. Are you confident the new employee will adapt to your business?

Hiring a new salesman is great, but most of the companies don't see the results they were expecting to see, and most of the time they blame the employee for not being able to adapt to their business. But how often are the employers right?

Before you decide to start hiring and schedule interviews, you should establish a clear process for the new salesmen in order to get him to the same level with your other colleagues. Treating this process with maximum importance is what will capitalize your recruiting investments and efforts, not to mention the time you invested.

Here are 5 Steps To Follow After Recruiting a New Salesman:

1Get him to know your products and services inside out
Most of the businesses provide common products and services, and sometimes managers make the mistake to believe that what they offer is easy to understand. Do not avoid any details, like I said, get him to know your business inside out.

2. Teach him how you sell
I know, he is a salesman, he is supposed to know how to sell, but every company and every sales manager has a different perspective, a different organizational culture. Just like at Zimplu, we advise our salesmen to talk in a very polite way, to use certain words in a discussion or to avoid certain subjects in a meeting. There is more in salesmen than just being the ones who bring contracts, they are also the ones your clients meet first and make your company look good or bad in the eyes of your customers.

3. Get him to know your audience
This is the step where most of the companies fail. The new salesman knows your product very well and he understands the organizational culture, but how much does he know about your targeted customers? Most of the new colleagues will come from different types of businesses, and if they were used to talk to transport companies managers, it won't mean he will be as good as talking to bank managers or consultancy companies. There is a different approach for each type of customer, so make sure your salesman "wears the right suit".

4. Make sure he knows how to use your CRM
Before you read this, I hope you do use a CRM System. Every salesman should have an experience in using CRM applications and the CRM will be the first help he will get for doing his job right. By having a database of customer discussions and contact details, you salesman will get all the support he needs to get in touch with prospects and start working.

5. Control and Measure
So, your salesman fits your organizational culture, knows your CRM and knows your business inside out. It's time to go to meetings and start making calls. This is where your sales and management skills step in and help your new colleague correct his mistakes in order to represent your company the way you want to, so make sure you go to the first meetings together in order observe him.

Mission accomplished! 

Monday, 24 March 2014

3 Future Technologies from CeBIT 2014

Each day brings us closer to the reality imagined by Hanna-Barbera for the animated characters from the Jetsons family who can do anything by just pressing a button. When surrounded objects are endowed with artificial intelligence and can solve problems without requiring our constant attention, we only have to focus on essential tasks and become more efficient. CeBIT 2014 (March 10 to 14, Hannover, Germany), the most important trade fair in the field of IT, has brought to the public this year's innovations who seem to emerge from the world of science fiction:

A free Android application and easy to use, Nexus Locator was developed by Nexus Electronics Company, who can track your mobile phone on the map in real-time and sends the information to the managers in real time. The app is particularly useful for companies that must constantly monitor their employees working outside the office to increase or improve their efficiency.  In addition, the application solves some problems regarding communication between the headquarter and the teams on the ground, for all daily tasks can be supervised, directed or modified from the office and received instantly by the traveling employees.

A smart house that can learn your habits and make you enjoy your every day is no longer a dream. With such a system implemented, windows know when to open themselves, the heating system works according to the outside temperature, the coffee is ready until you're out from the shower and lights turn on whenever you enter a room. You have more time to spend and the costs lower when everything is programmed.

If you want to get accurate information about every aspect of your life, you can choose a body monitoring system to wear it everywhere you go. The bracelets have a modern design, lightweight and they record how many hours you slept, what you ate, mood, heart rate, exercises you do, and the calories you consume in a day. Also, the bracelet will be sure to wake you up at the right time of the sleep cycle, to notify you if you haven't exercised in a while, to show you patterns and correlations between your daily activities.

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