In a previous article, we discussed the fact that sales have become a purely mechanical proposition, lacking real theory. Technology exists simply to turn salespeople into workers without responsibility and self-determination.
Pipeliner CRM, on the other hand, is rooted deeply in the Austrian School of Economics theory. It says that sales must have a human approach. Therefore our technology exists to support the human approach to sales because the Austrian School emphasizes that sales—formerly just trade—has a peacekeeping component. Let’s now examine that approach in further detail, and learn why we have taken it.
The User Revolution
Most CRM systems exclude certain types of data from users, making it only visible to managers. For example, one of our competitors states that their application “gives sales managers and leaders behind-the-scenes tools to guide their team to success.” Pipeliner rejects this approach, making the same data visible to everyone because we believe users should be empowered. Of course, managers need the data, but users will also need the same data to adequately perform their roles and take action.
In fact, we’re creating a considerable CRM revolution, because our entire approach concentrates on the user instead of the “top-down” management approach of traditional CRMs. These solutions were used to enforce quotas on users—“You haven’t made your 100 calls today!” Such a system was more for achieving the goals of management than the individual. Our system utilizes what I call the “bottom-up” approach by empowering and democratizing users, and no other CRM solution is doing so. We’re shifting the responsibility from management to the user. Every detail of our concept is concentrated in this direction.
We have always pointed out that salespeople are much like entrepreneurs—and in fact are “entrepreneurs within the enterprise.” I even created a term for this: “Salespreneurs.” We encourage the entrepreneurial qualities within salespeople—and in doing so we are progressively setting them free to achieve greater and greater success. The flexibility we provide turns the user into the creator, organizer, and designer of the approach to their work. They are motivated by Pipeliner’s features.
That doesn’t mean that the manager now has nothing to do—but the manager can perform the sales management function they do best: coaching. And Pipeliner empowers that role, too.
Let’s take a closer look at Pipeliner’s functionality and how it empowers the sales force.
For any undertaking, a framework is needed. In a simple example, most people have one or more pictures on their desk of their spouse and children. A picture doesn’t stand by itself—it requires a frame to hold it. The frame makes it possible for the viewer to concentrate fully on the picture.
A frame guides your vision so that you focus on importance. We have applied this concept to Pipeliner CRM with our frame-like navigation. We’re the only CRM application with a top and bottom navigation, which exists throughout the entire application—and it allows users to focus on what is important.
From the framework flows the concept of providing different views.
We believe that all people are different, and have different preferences in viewing. For that reason, a user can choose from multiple views within leads, contacts, accounts, reports, and all other CRM elements. It could be that a person prefers knowing where all accounts are geographical. Another, because of their experience with Excel, prefers a List View. Others prefer to have a fast overview of everything going on with a particular record—we call that the Compact View. Yet others might prefer our traditional Pipeline View, showing opportunities and where they reside in the sales process.
To manage these different views, we have created the Power Panel.
Once again, users, being human, have different preferences. We’re the only CRM application in the world to provide the Power Panel, a unique navigation system. This system allows the user to modify their current view of Pipeliner CRM data, as they wish to see it.
Users can filter—include or exclude—factors to be included in their view. Views can be modified by the account owner—the user or others. The type of target can be selected to show different approaches to sales goals. Profiles can be created and shared within the Power Panel so that the user has a private view or a common view with other individuals or groups. The Power Panel can be utilized with opportunities, accounts, contacts, leads, activities, and reports.
Data is constantly changing, so we provide this crucial element of Instant Dynamic Visualization.
The framework, views, and Power Panel summate into a completely unique aesthetic visualization.
Since users must view our application for hours on end, we have gone well out of our way to make Pipeliner aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Along with this, we have made the application visually and powerfully simple, because we believe that simplification leads to efficiency. Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” We utilize icons that everyone understands so that a user will automatically know which function they want to use. We took this idea from the kinds of icons that are universally used, such as those in any airport in the world, no matter the language.
Much of our learning as humans comes from bad experiences and in fact much of the change that a person is willing to engage in stems from negative times. For example, one of our staff who had been a heavy smoker had a heart attack, and quit smoking as a result. Today he is healthy.
How does this correlate to a company sales environment? A great deal of learning happens when examining lost deals. We are the only CRM vendor that has created a real archive, where failed leads and opportunities can be saved along with all pertinent information, including which sales process stage the lead or opportunity was lost, for later analysis. The archive is the flipside of the opportunity coin and utilizes the same exact visualization and Power Panel as the current live pipeline. Utilizing this information allows sales teams to learn how to become better at selling, and provides a training tool for rep improvement.
Filtering can focus on particular leads and opportunities, as well as leads and opportunities that have been lost by particular teams or individuals.
Analysis through the Archive can yield rich data, such as in which sales process stage most deals are lost, which competitor features are causing the most lost deals, and how the sales process might be corrected or improved.
If a lead or opportunity should come back to life, which often happens, it can be instantly restored from the Archive to the live pipeline. All information about the lead or opportunity will be restored along with it, including emails, calls, and documents.
With the Archive, companies don’t hide information about lost deals, but utilize it to improve the overall scene. Even individuals can look over their lost deals and improve themselves.
Austrian economist Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” In the CRM world, measuring consists of analytical reporting tools, and Pipeliner CRM includes the most holistic set of reporting tools on the market. This includes Goals, the Target (5 types), The Forecast, the Quota, Reporting, and Insights.
We not only provide classical reporting tools with such features as dashboards but tools with flexibility and easiness which astonish users when they first see them. We also provide management through both leading and lagging indicators.
Multiple Support Approaches
Knowing that people have differing views and approaches, we provide several different approaches to support. Part of the reason for this is that we are totally transparent, and provide an incredible amount of content about our platform so that anyone can know anything about it—more insight into the application than any other CRM system.
A user can instantly create a support ticket to go through our support department—but because of the other resources we provide, we generally have very few support tickets. The user can investigate on their own, through our highly comprehensive knowledge base. They can, if they wish, interact with other users in the user community for an answer.
Other resources are released notes and the bullhorn within Pipeliner which leads to announcements of the latest Pipeliner features. There is also an overall introduction to all of Pipeliner’s main features.
Another reason for the lack of support tickets is that we’re constantly refining the application for the best possible user experience.
Our transparent approach then leads to our extended learning.
Another feature that sets Pipeliner well apart from any other CRM application in the world is the embedding of our content platform SalesPOP—supported by almost 3,000 expert contributors worldwide. Instead of spending billions on sales and marketing as our competitors, we have created this incredible tool not only for our users but for anyone seeking knowledge. SalesPOP contributors provide written and video content, on a daily basis, on sales, lead management, pipeline management, sales management, leadership, and many other vital topics.
SalesPOP is actually embedded into Pipeliner CRM so that a user can access plentiful information about any topic they wish to know about whenever needed.
But all of that is what is seen. It’s rather like an iceberg. What the users see is the upper part, above the water. But the important part is the theory, the much bigger part of the iceberg, unseen under the water.
To start with, our Instant Dynamic Visualization and system flexibility is designed with cybernetic principles. Cybernetics is the science of simplicity, and therefore our approach is through powerful simplicity—which makes Pipeliner an extremely unique selling power system.
Our theory states that the individual is capable of learning and adapting. Adapting sets free a salesperson’s entrepreneurial qualities, due to Pipeliner’s democratic approach.
Most people want freedom but are hesitant to take responsibility. We provide flexibility to each person because if each individual is going to have freedom, they must plan and control their own activities. According to Thomas Mann, responsibility is the other side of the freedom coin.
Users can be secure in the Pipeliner system because they control their own actions. They are responsible for their activities. They are responsible for their own forecasts, and all else in their role. This responsibility gives the user the freedom to be self-determined because only self-determined people are competent.
In recent times of the quarantine, security and freedom were drastically reduced. It made for the loss of creativity and development for many. At Pipeliner, we directly oppose this loss, holding high the banner of freedom and security for the individual.
We strengthen the individual with the right motivation to freely decide. This makes it possible for the individual to freely enjoy what they’re doing. When that enjoyment is available, the person becomes committed to their own responsibility and will be productive.
Our goal is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and motivation. We won’t believe that motivation should come from outside the person, but from inside, from where it motivates responsibility. This inner motivation turns the salesperson into their own creator, designer and organization. They are self-determined in creating their own future. This is real sales force empowerment.
Productivity comes about from setting free the motivation of the individual. That is the core.