Let’s Get Disruptive
A term thrown around for the last several years is “disruptive.” In business, it means innovation that disrupts existing markets, displaces established market leaders and creates an entirely new market.
A fantastic example of disruption is Apple and its creation and release of the iPod. It was a complete change in the amount of music you could carry around in this tiny device—dozens of CDs worth. With it, you could manage all your music and bring it with you wherever you go.
Right on the heels of the iPod, Apple followed it with another disruption, the iPhone. The iPhone kind of absorbed the iPod, because you could then carry all that music around on your phone.
Businesswise, both of these were very clever innovations because they were a combination of hardware and software.
Disruption is Crucial
Disrupting any field of endeavor is crucial for society. When something is created that disrupts or changes something, it means a major jump or evolution. It takes us to the next level.
Things we take for granted today that were once total disruptions are the dishwasher, the car, the airplane, and the refrigerator.
CRM and Administration
In our space, when we speak about CRM, it’s not so easy to spot disruption. People are always asking us, “What is Pipeliner disrupting? What is the real big differentiator?”
At Pipeliner, one of our most significant disruptions was the creation of a very easy to use back end interface. It meant that enterprises did not any longer need full-time CRM administrators.
CRM administration has always been an issue for companies. The company needed to find someone who was certified to administrate CRM or train someone (weeks or months). Not only that, normally a company needed to have more than one administrator, simply because if an administrator is absent due to illness or vacation, someone else has to do the job, and they must be trained for it. If the administrator leaves the company they must be replaced. It’s a big cost factor for a company.
With Pipeliner, anyone can administrate CRM. Someone can learn to administrate Pipeliner in as little as 5 hours. No certification is needed; the only requirement is computer skills. And today computer skills are almost universal—you even see them in preschool.
Beyond all that, Pipeliner CRM requires very little administration.
We didn’t stop with administration, though. Another disruption is not with the product, but with our primary users: salespeople.
In society, salespeople are often despised and have been called pushy, arrogant, phony, greedy, and many other not-so-nice names. For that reason, a primary mission we have is to give salespeople their real identity back.
To summarize a salesperson’s true identity, we coined the term “salespreneur.” It means “entrepreneur within the enterprise” which a salesperson factually is. Sales is the most important department in a company; no company is going to exist without sales. Salespeople deserve to be seen and treated for who they really are, as they were hundreds of years back when they were respectfully referred to as “merchants.”
Pipeliner was the first organization to aim, worldwide, to reverse this reputation.
In addition to the thousands of articles and dozens of ebooks we have created ourselves, several years ago we launched our online multimedia magazine SalesPOP! Through its contributors, many more thought leaders support and forward the proper view of salespeople.
But we took a further step. We asked the question that if salespeople are the most important profession in business, shouldn’t they be provided a better education? It’s a common (and unfortunate) view that salespeople are those who didn’t obtain an education in a “better” field, such as law or medicine, and so ended up in sales.
This is a particularly bad view because when you really look at sales, it’s a complex profession. They must, first of all, understand the human being—there is no more complex subject in the world. On top of that, every human being is different.
A salesperson must learn to speak to prospects in a way calculated to reach them. Prospects must be reached in such a way that they understand and listen. The salesperson must be able to judge what value needs to be brought to a particular prospect.
It amuses me to hear people say that salespeople fell into being salespeople because they couldn’t succeed in some other profession. If sales is so easy, why then don’t more people succeed in it? Ask anyone who’s done it—it’s a tough profession.
If we look at another profession, such as carpentry, we see that carpentry can be taught. People can learn it. There is a definite course of training people can take. But there hasn’t been a similar course for training for sales. If there were, we’d certainly have a lot more qualified salespeople.
To this end, Pipeliner several years ago began working with universities to develop sales education programs. We are greatly succeeding in this effort, and are working with 14 colleges and universities, with more in the works.
We have taken an even further step, though—and this perhaps is Pipeliner’s biggest disrupting factor, as it’s never been done before in the CRM industry. For beyond the “salespreneur” is the “Pipelinerpreneur.”
A Pipelinerpreneur is someone who has taken our product, Pipeliner CRM and has started their own business, in their own area, selling Pipeliner CRM to their own customer base. It allows someone to create a business, but not from scratch, as we provide the product, marketing, and product training. It is very much like a franchise.
For the CRM industry, Pipeliner certainly is a—and is probably the only—true disrupter!