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Restoring Purpose to Sales

Restoring Purpose to Sales

Nikolaus Kimla’s ebook covers restoring purpose to sales in today’s world.  Once in a great while, you observe people in a particular profession who truly represent that profession with honesty and integrity. One standout example is a profession whose people act as one would expect, from how they dress to how they execute their jobs. If they don’t behave this way, it can become life-threatening.

Part 1 – Finding Meaning

Chapter 1: Restoring Sales Purposes

In this light, let’s take a look at salespeople. What was the original purpose of sales? What kind of mindset do we need to reestablish so that they align with their own original goals like a firefighter does with theirs?

Chapter 2: Salespeople — Bring Back the Positive Meaning

In the last chapter, we took up the example of a firefighter and the fact that a firefighter is almost always a positive example of their profession. In the same way, a firefighter has a positive reputation in society.

Chapter 3: Finding that Meaning

FINDING MEANING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HUGE – Some people seem to think that finding meaning in life means that someone has to want to change the world, or become super-famous.

Chapter 4: Slapping Back at Negative Attitudes on Sales

THE MENTAL MODEL – There is something called a mental model, through which a person sees the world. This mental model influences a person’s decisions, actions, and feelings about life in general.

Chapter 5: Can a Salesperson Find Meaning in Life?

Just based on what you generally hear, and the incredibly negative views shown in popular culture, it would seem that the only meaning a salesperson could find in life would come from high-pressuring prospects to buy things against their will, lusting after money and, in the end, total misery.

Chapter 6: The Aim of Pipeliner With Sales

In this ebook, we’ve been discussing the finding of meaning within sales. Why is this so important?

Part 2 – Building a Character for Sales

Chapter 7: Developing Sales Character

In this ebook, we’ve been talking about bringing honorable purpose back to being a salesperson. When aiming for their true goals, we’ve seen that salespeople create wealth and bring peace.

Chapter 8: Why Character?

The two pillars of the future are technology and human beings. You have to have the perfect technology, and then the perfect human being in application, performance and presentation.

Chapter 9: For Sales, It’s All About Character

In this high-tech mechanized age, many things can be replaced. But the one thing you cannot replace is a human—you can’t replace a human being with whom you share trust. You can’t replace a relationship. And central to trust and relationships is character.

Chapter 10: Watch Your Thoughts, for They Become Words

There is an excellent book available today, one which we promote, called ”Consistency Selling” by Weldon Long. In his book, Long presents this proverb differently: Thoughts control emotions, which leads to controlling actions; when you control actions you control your results, and results control your thoughts. I tend more to the proverb as stated in the beginning here: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.”

Chapter 11: Watch Your Words, for they Become Actions

THE POWER OF WORDS Humans are the only species capable of articulation of thoughts, through words. Those words have meaning, and are actually extremely powerful.

Chapter 12: Watch Your Actions, for They Become Habits

HABITS LEARNED EARLY – We know one thing about habits, both good and bad: they are learned very early on. A prime example is eating—when parents are careless, and children end up being raised on a diet of sugar and junk food, children grow up with these habits into obesity, diabetes and other health issues. It’s also something that creates a great deal of dissatisfaction with life, as demonstrated by the billion-dollar weight loss industry (diets, gym chains, exercise equipment and even drugs).

Chapter 13: Watch Your Habits, for They Become Character

Character, in my opinion, can be a complicated issue. When you’re talking about character, you’re describing a whole person.

Chapter 14: Watch Your Character, for It Becomes Your Destiny

Many people do not have a clear idea of “destiny.” They don’t conceive a destiny for themselves, or truly understand the concept. What is their destiny? Why are they here? For many it’s just too complex—or they simply don’t wish to confront the issue for themselves. Very few say with certainty, “This is my destiny.” Another way of saying it, of course, is “This
is my goal in life.”

Pipeliner CRM – The Concepts Behind The Features

Pipeliner CRM – The Concepts Behind The Features

The understanding of Pipeliner CRM features must go well beyond simple, functional explanations. Just understanding mechanical functionality doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll really grasp the product and all that it means, which is why I’m now writing this ebook on the concepts behind Pipeliner CRM functionality.

To begin with, there are three distinctly different types of Pipeliner users, who all require different approaches. Let’s first clearly define these different types.

Chapter 1 – Understanding Company Structure

As described in the introduction, we have two different administrator roles—one being the regular administrator and one being the architect administrator. One person might fulfill both roles or, in a larger company, two separate people might be required.

The first thing this architect-administrator has to work out is the company structure. How is it constructed? It could be based geographically—for instance, the company has divisions in Europe, America and Asia.

Chapter 2 – Multiple Pipelines

Within a CRM, a pipeline represents a sales or other type of process. Pipeliner CRM was the first CRM to enable multiple pipelines within CRM.

In this ebook, we’ve been discussing the functions of a different type of CRM administrator, called the architect administrator. This is the person who helps create processes and adapts them to pipelines. Note that, with Pipeliner, this function still requires minimal training and, in fact, can learn the technical aspects in a few hours.

Chapter 3 – Product and Price Lists

Pipeliner is the only CRM offering that allows you to create an extremely flexible product list—one in which you can attach products to different pipelines and product lines.

Chapter 4 – Common Lists

The Pipeliner CRM Common Lists are another first for Pipeliner CRM, and no other vendor has anything like them. They are directly correlated to putting the “R” back in CRM.

The Common Lists include elements relating to account hierarchy, sales roles, contact relations and account relations. As you’ll readily see, these easy-to-utilize elements have incredible usefulness to sales and account management.

Chapter 5 – Fields and Forms

Another straightforward approach for Pipeliner administration is fields and forms. As with much of our other functionality, we’ve made fields and forms far easier than other CRMs. No programming is required, and this function, along with other administration, can be learned in a few hours by anyone who is computer-literate. Everything is done by drag and drop for creating a form.

Chapter 6 – Summary and Final Thoughts

Overcoming Silos
As differentiated from the day-to-day CRM administrator, the architect administrator is the one who operates on a conceptual level of the organization’s business processes, and continually finds ways to create those processes within Pipeliner. These functions are not only designed for sales—they could very well be for anywhere else in the company. The architect administrator, in my opinion, is the new norm for the future.

CRM is Back

CRM is Back

CRM Necessary for the Digital Transformation

You might find the statement “CRM has failed in the past” to be a bit strong and sweeping. But at the time I brought my company into the CRM space, the predominant phrase heard about the subject from salespeople was this: “CRM sucks!” Additionally, there wasn’t at the time (nor is there still) a clear market leader in the CRM space—even though according to g2.com, there are over 600 CRM solutions, and 10 targeted at bigger companies. These facts put together clearly demonstrate that CRM certainly has not succeeded in the past.

Much has been written about CRM—it’s importance, what it should consist of, why a company should use it, and so on. So what have I done differently with this ebook? Quite simply, I have taken a very objective look at the exploding state of technology, what that means to a business, how CRM must encompass it, and where we must go.

Whether you’re in the market for a CRM solution, or already have one but are curious about where today’s digital business world is heading, I think you’ll find this information very helpful. Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

Chapter 1: CRM Has Failed in the Past. Will It Now Succeed?

Yes, it’s true. Going back roughly 25 years ago to the original development of CRM and coming forward fairly recently, it could certainly be said that the first iteration of CRM applications has been a failure. They’ve been costly, incredibly difficult and expensive to implement, and additionally expensive to administrate. These factors comprised the first part of the failure.

Chapter 2: What Should a CRM Really Be Today?

A prime reason for CRM user complaints has been the amount of data entry required from users, especially salespeople—without any actual assistance and help back to them from the CRM solution. Sometime back a cry began to be raised by users for CRM to be simplified and made easier when it came to data entry.

Chapter 3: Here’s What We’re Doing About It

Interestingly, we brought Pipeliner into the marketplace at a time when the market was actually overrun with CRM applications. One could certainly ask, with some justification, why we did this.

Chapter 4: How Is CRM Helping Today?

Now let’s take a look at how and why Pipeliner factually and practically empowers salespeople. If you utilize CRM anywhere at any time, this could be very valuable information for you.

Chapter 5: Where Must CRM Be in the Future?

Now, where should CRM be as we move out into the future? And how should CRM relate to the ongoing digital revolution?

Chapter 6: If You Don’t Have CRM Today, You’re Sunk

For our final chapter, let’s talk about why CRM is so vital today—and why it is that, if you don’t have it, you’re not going to make it.

The Pipeliner Mission: Win Together

The Pipeliner Mission: Win Together

Sales Transformation

For some years I’ve been saying that, as a society, we’re in the midst of a transformation. Given what’s happened in the last couple of years, there’s no one left who is disagreeing with me! It’s become very obvious.

One very noticeable aspect of this transformation is the image change that has occurred with salespeople. If you look at the bestselling sales books currently available, you’ll see salespeople being characterized as significant agents of positive change for companies and even for society. This is a drastic difference from salespeople portrayals as pushy, ugly, brutal, manipulative, difficult, slimy, annoying, dishonest—all the negative traits seen in such films as Death of a Salesman, Tin Men and Glengarry Glen Ross. Authors such as Jeb Blount and Daniel Pink are leading this charge.

Today we’re seeing that modern salespeople should be thought leaders. They should be empathic listeners. They should be intelligent, connect with people, solve problems, build trust, and emotionally create a positive buying experience. They should be competent and authentic. In short, a complete pendulum-swing from the way they were previously portrayed.

Sales Fraud Throughout History

The association of dishonesty with sales goes back hundreds of years, to the merchants in the medieval days of Marco Polo who were regularly cheating buyers. They did this, often, by using incorrect weights that favoured the seller. Such methods of fraud go back even further, and can even be found in the Biblical book of Leviticus: “You must not commit injustice in judging, in measuring, in weighing or in measuring liquids.”

We can remove the religious aspect and just notice that cheating in sales existed and was condemned back that far. Unfortunately, it was not a networked society, and word of sales treachery did not spread in real-time as it would today. Once a merchant cheated a buyer, the buyer never knew if they’d ever see the merchant again. We can see that today avoiding such sales fraud is not only wrong from an ethical standpoint, but from a logical one as well: word of a single instance of deceit in sales can spread throughout the world in an instant.

Effects in The Community

The effects of sales fraud are even more profound, however: they destroy the community. When winning together does not occur in sales—meaning that both sides of a deal, the seller and the buyer, win—a community cannot be built.

What happens in a community when sales fraud is occurring? Let’s say, for example, a contractor building homes in a neighborhood is a bit dishonest. Do you think for a moment that people in that community will not be talking about it? You bet. This contractor, in effect, is actually harming themselves by harming the community.

This demonstrates another reason for “win together” to occur: it strengthens the community.

Roots in Altruism

The concept of “win together” actually has its roots in altruism, which I believe is a natural trait in humans. You will innately treat someone as you want to be treated. This trait is even demonstrated in nature, with monkeys. So we can certainly listen to our inner selves and behave that way, too—and I believe that altruism is the genesis of sales.

I’m not talking about the higher calling of compassion. It’s more like a basic understanding that we’re all in the same shoes. We’re all buyers in some form, aren’t we? None of us wants to be cheated or defrauded. We want to have a “win-to-win.” So why do some salespeople do something to others that they don’t want to do to themselves?

Building Relationships

Going back to the title of this chapter, why is it so essential to winning together? Because without it, a relationship can never be built. When only one side is winning, the result is a dysfunctional relationship, which of course is no relationship at all. The elements of such a “relationship” are isolation, disconnection, mistrust, guilt, demotivation, depression, negative mindset, seeing only obstacles, problems leading to frustration, fear, self-loathing, the constant feeling that something must be fixed, and the ever-present expectation to lose.

But what do you gain when both sides win? First of all, respect yourself. Then, respect for the other person, because it’s a good deal. You have open communication, mutually beneficial for both sides. You’re willing to recommend each other. You create self-confidence and hope, and a positive attitude. You have high expectations, and you see more opportunities than obstacles and problems. You can even turn a problem into an opportunity. You build trust in yourself and trust in your customer.

All of this is why we’re putting the “R” back into Customer Relationships. Many CRM vendors believe that customer relationships come about through the use of Artificial Intelligence—something we see as a completely incorrect assertion and assumption. Machines can never replace human beings and can never perform human interaction.

Through relationships, sales can actually restore society, as people start to win together.

First and Only Effective Account Management Included in Sales CRM

First and Only Effective Account Management Included in Sales CRM

For any company involved with sales, account management and key account management is crucial and requires a vastly different skillset and toolset than winning new sales.

What is (Key) Account Management?

The core concept of account management is that winning a new account is more costly and difficult than maintaining and upselling an existing account. Yet account management still requires planning, resources, time and energy. Account management maintains customers beyond the basic SaaS approach, which only pays it “lip service” through a single Customer Success Manager. Account management also needs to be embedded in CRM—and we have now greatly expanded Pipeliner’s account management capabilities. We are the first CRM vendor worldwide to include account management in the core system.

Account management has to do with the size of the account, planning how much revenue you expect from the account, plans for enlarging the account, and strategies for cross-selling and upselling. Of course, research must occur before planning, so that you understand which account even makes sense to plan for. Some accounts have high potential, and others low potential. You must look over your accounts, and decide which are strategically important.

The Right People

This planning must include the account rep who will be consistently managing and selling into accounts—as I said in the beginning, account management has its own skillset above and beyond just that of selling. Additionally, an account manager must be positively supported by technology so that they can immediately see all the potential, possibilities and issues of any particular account.

Nature of Accounts

Many times accounts should be strategically managed due to the size of the account. Working with a large enterprise is very different from working with a young, dynamic company striving to move forward. Where there is a parent company and subsidiaries, there are issues specific to selling and account-managing them. One issue can be that despite a company being a subsidiary of a parent company, it can have relative autonomy to make its own business decisions.

In such a situation, it is obviously best to win the parent company’s business before that of the subsidiaries. But in reality, unless your company is a substantial enterprise in itself, you’ll often be dealing with subsidiary companies or even departments of subsidiary or parent companies. It’s more like a grassroots movement, because you’re working from the bottom up instead of the top down. How you proceed should be part of your overall planning—you might start with one department and spread out to 20.

Politics

One risk you take when you’re selling to different subsidiaries or different departments is that you may be dealing with a lot of internal politics that you’re unaware of. One subsidiary might be favoring one solution of your type, and another might be favoring a different one. Because you’re an outside vendor, you won’t have a real insight into the company. Even if you have a “spy”—someone within your customer company to provide you with “inside skinny”—you may still not have the full picture. Therefore you need to proceed with caution.

Importance

Why is account management so crucial? Because managing accounts done well provides your company with a steady flow of revenue. Efficient account management builds strong relationships, and by doing so provides predictability. You’re able to say with some degree of confidence that a particular account will bring you a certain amount of revenue in the coming year.

I find it amusing that we all know that winning a new customer is much more difficult than selling to an existing customer—yet we’re the first CRM system that has ever embedded a real approach to account management.

In this ebook we’ll go into considerable detail about account management. Let’s get started!

Pipeliner CRM Data Analytics

Pipeliner CRM Data Analytics

This ebook is designed to show you how Pipeliner CRM, with its constantly innovated and evolving new features, assists salespeople, sales managers and other roles in the company as they make their way into the future. As we move forward, it becomes increasingly important how users spend their time, because their time becomes ever more valuable.

It should be noted that our innovation of new and more powerful features is an ongoing and evolving process. There will always be changes and improvements going forward. We believe that data analytics is crucial for future business decisions, and it requires consistently evolved angles from which to view the data.

Pipeliner is like no other CRM tool in the world. At the center of it is the Automatizer functionality, which makes it possible to automate not only routine tasks, but even some functionality in other applications. This doesn’t mean that everything should be automated, though—there is so much more a company can do today.

A salesperson’s job is broken down into specific tasks which, within Pipeliner, we refer to as activities. An activity could be a call, a visit, a reception of feedback, or an email. With the Automatizer, some activities can be automated. Activity metrics are important, but there is a slight difference between measuring activities conducted by the salesperson and those that are automated.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

To fully grasp the importance of a tool like Pipeliner, you must understand the difference between effectiveness and efficiency. Far too often these two terms are simply interchanged and thrown around like buzzwords, and are used incorrectly. When “experts” say that sales metrics have to be “both efficient and effective,” it’s obvious that the speaker considers the two terms mean the same thing. This isn’t the case.

Peter Drucker, the great Austrian management consultant, educator and author, stated this difference very precisely: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

When it comes to sales, I’ve always used the analogy of a hammer and a nail. If you are hanging a picture on a wall, you need a hammer. While something like a brick might do the job, it won’t work very well. And you not only need a hammer, but the right kind of hammer. A sledgehammer will drive the nail right through the wall, and will probably put a big hole in the wall. You need a smaller hammer that you can use to put the slender nail in place on which you’ll be able to hang the picture.

Another analogy would be using a bicycle to go from Los Angeles to San Diego (a distance of 120 miles). You’d have to plan roughly 12 hours for the trip, and because you’d arrive there sweaty and tired, you’d need to rest, shower, and have a change of clothes ready. Obviously, a bicycle would not be an effective mode of transport in this circumstance.

If you don’t have the right tool, you can never be effective.

In Sales

Once again, effectiveness is doing the right thing. To do the right thing, you need the right tool. If a salesperson is not using a tool that has meaning for them as a salesperson, or if they absolutely dislike the tool, they’re not engaged with it. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t sync with their mindset, and doesn’t speak their language as a salesperson.

We have to take into account the fact that salespeople are visual people, driven by different approaches. Because Pipeliner is completely visual, it is the only truly effective tool for sales. The primary principle for Pipeliner development is Instant Dynamic Visualization. Any tool that isn’t so formulated will never be effective.

Now moving onto efficiency, it is only with the right tool that a salesperson can become efficient. As an example, a salesperson should be very efficient in calling people. But if they don’t have a tool that enables them to make multiple calls—such as today’s dialers and call robots—they won’t at all be efficient in cold-calling. If their company tells this salesperson that they have no calling software, that they must use their own smartphone, they’re going to have a great deal of trouble making a quota of 100 calls a day. They might somehow be able to achieve this for a couple of days, but by day 3 they’ll be so exhausted and frustrated they’ll probably throw the smartphone out the window and quit.

Salespeople—just like everyone else—only have so many hours in a day. They only have certain times of day they can reach prospects. They can work outside of these hours, but it is only those hours they’ll be able to connect to prospects. It is therefore critical that a salesperson be very efficient in their activities. Otherwise they won’t get everything done, and make quotas, the way they need to.

Automating Tasks

While a salesperson needs to constantly improve in the things they do, they don’t need to improve in repetitive tasks. Such tasks should instead be automated, offloaded to Pipeliner’s Automatizer, or a workflow engine.

Outside of sales, history has shown us many such innovations, for which we’re eternally grateful. We all used to have to manually wash dishes after every meal—an extremely repetitive and mundane task. Today we just load up the dishwasher and press a button. Similarly, we once had to wash clothes by hand, and dry them on a line outside, at least when the weather was good. Today we have efficient washers and dryers to take care of those tasks for us.

Interconnection

Today these kinds of appliances are becoming even more efficient by being smart, able to share knowledge with each other. This is the Internet of Things (IoT).

In a similar way, the tools we use in sales must interconnect, too, and we must be able to connect with them. When we examine data, it must be made meaningful to us—not just to show us discrepancies, failures, or shortcomings, but mainly to improve the process. That is actually the goal of data—to remove problems, reduce risk, and to leverage opportunities. When we can rapidly and fully understand indicators and metrics, and deeply view actual issues, we can be proactive instead of reactive. At that point business gets interesting, because at that moment we are faster than our competitors.

Data within the sales process has different meanings for different roles in sales. A sales development rep (SDR) would interpret things differently than a sales hunter or farmer. The way data is interpreted brings real efficiency.

Efficiency Brings Productivity

What, in turn, does efficiency provide to a company? Efficiency leads to productivity. When we’re more efficient, we become more productive as a natural result.

Improved productivity means that you are getting better at all your activities, getting more out of the system, reducing costs and levering opportunities. Of course that’s a major goal for any company, now and into the future: reduction of risk, reduction of costs, and optimizing profit.

Part of becoming more productive and more efficient is coordination and working together. For example, when a salesperson works well with an SDR, their sales productivity increases exponentially. The time frame for accomplishing activities is reduced. This all means more wins for sales.

Come with me now and see how Pipeliner can bring ever-increased effectiveness, and therefore efficiency—and therefore profitability—to your organization.

How to Become a Pipelinerpreneur

How to Become a Pipelinerpreneur

What Does It Take to Be a Pipelinerpreneur?

What is a Pipelinerpreneur? An entrepreneur who has decided to make a business selling and delivering Pipeliner CRM. It is a business at which you could greatly succeed, and Pipeliner Sales offers you a great deal of assistance in building it.

In this ebook, I’m providing a practical program you can use to become an active Pipelinerpreneur. I won’t be providing instruction in learning Pipeliner CRM, because it’s a given that you will learn it on your own. As with any job, you must learn to use your tool—if you’re a carpenter, it might be the perfect hammer, or the perfect brush if you’re a painter. For this job, it’s Pipeliner CRM. We provide a Learning Management System (LMS) integration with which you can easily learn Pipeliner. We also have provided hundreds of pages of product help, along with many videos and even webinars to assist you.

In addition to learning Pipeliner CRM, it’s also important that you learn our approach and philosophy, especially the Network Selling model.

Creating Your Own Business

Having the software well learned—or learning it while you’re studying this ebook—will already help you be a better salesperson. The program in this ebook will add to that. It will help you to be even more skilled and help you create your own business.

The great thing about the Pipelinerpreneur program is that you don’t have to invest money or create your own business idea. All we expect from you is to take it seriously, be willing to learn, and be willing to invest your time. You’ll also need to set your goals and evaluate the different possibilities for your business. We provide and deliver everything else.

My favorite action hero (and countryman) Arnold Schwarzenegger related in one of his speeches that he physically trained for hours and hours daily in his fitness center. But at night, he was studying hard and learning many other things. This is similar to what you will be doing—working during the day, and studying and learning the rest of the time. When you’re young and dedicated, you can even have a full-time job and, at the same time, become a Pipelinepreneur.

Change Your Life

To do all that, you have to decide to change your life. And then to sit down, get to work, and start doing it!

To begin, you need to develop self-awareness. Self-awareness is not complicated. All self-awareness is, really, is honesty with yourself.

If you’re not willing to learn, to work hard, and go that extra mile, you’ll never get anywhere. Your self-awareness will inform you of such. For example, if you’re only investing 30 minutes of training per week to become a basketball star, you’re never going to make it. And your self-awareness, if you listen to it, will tell you that.

The next element you need is confidence. Confidence is sometimes based on natural talent. As an example, I would love to be a good musician. But if I’m honest, I’m not confident in my capability to do that, because I don’t have that talent.

Fortunately, becoming a Pipelinerpreneur doesn’t require natural talent. Learning to sell is not an art, but a craft that anyone can learn. The same is true for becoming a Pipelinerpreneur. You can learn business intelligence. Learn to be value-oriented. Understand why and learn to respect your customer. How being more empathetic can help with your sales.

Getting Down To It

We’ve all been through a bit of hell with covid-19. Perhaps you’re saying, “Covid has ruined my business!” Well, here we’re giving you the opportunity to build a new business. This opportunity comes with no attached risk and no hidden agenda. We want you to become self-sustaining, self-dependent, self-responsible, self-motivated, and self-oriented.

You can make this business any size you want. It’s all a matter of simple mathematics. If you decide that you want to make $30,000 a year, you’ll need to gross $60,000 because we let you keep 50 percent of what you make. How can you make $60,000? Well, we’ll show you exactly how to do that in this ebook. If you want to make $300,000, it’s no big deal. If you want to make $3 million, it’s also not a big deal. It’s just a different approach. It’s up to you to set the right milestones for yourself, the vision for yourself, the mission you want to accomplish.

My Mission

The above describes what we are doing with the Pipelinerpreneur program. My mission is to help every person who wishes to build their own self-sustaining independent business. We at Pipeliner are providing you all the support you need to become a strong business, to become a shining light in the darkness where, right now, hope is necessary. People can truly have the power to live well, support their families, and perhaps support others who have not been previously able to find work.

We’re not taking anything from you for this. Why? Because I strongly believe I was given so much in life, that what I have received I freely give away. The only thing I cannot do for you is the work you must do. I am providing the ideas, a path forward, and even the product.

If you really take a look, no other CRM company in the world is doing anything like this. While others provide training courses or certification—all at a fee—we’re not charging for any of this. We’re only requiring your time and energy.

The Vital Need for CRM

A business like the one you are going to create is crucially important, because every company in the world, now and into the future, needs a CRM system. Covid-19 has pushed the digital agenda 5 years ahead. No organization can live without technology. Today a business is 60% technology and 40% human. Central to the technology of a business is CRM.

So let’s get started in building your business as a Pipelinerpreneur!

Automatizer: The Revolution for CRM

Automatizer: The Revolution for CRM

It’s no secret that the covid19 pandemic has pushed the digital world many years ahead—I would say at least 5 years, perhaps even more. We now see (whether you believe it or not) that with the “3rd wave” of covid19 we need to prepare ourselves for this to be an ongoing situation. The pressure to have a digital strategy is now crucial, and I would say it’s impossible to function as a business if you don’t have one.

The pandemic has caused a transformation in society that is changing everything we do, and how and why we do it. We see these changes in how we produce, how we consume, in transport and endless other sectors. A primary change that has come about is in the way we communicate. Zoom rapidly transformed from a company no one had ever heard of to a world brand. It’s the platform through which much business is conducted and schooling is even done.

Something I find very interesting is that G5—5th generation wireless—was implemented just in time for the pandemic. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but it sure made the difference when we all had to work from home. A couple of years ago, the internet would not have supported the sheer amount of video conferencing that is taking place. The mobile web is just the beginning of this tremendous revolution.

Now, through technology, every company needs to learn to truly focus, and out of that focus to become more efficient. From efficiency comes productivity, and from productivity comes profitability.

Automatizer

Let’s take a look at the crucial role that CRM is playing in this transformation, and why Automatizer is, for the future, the core of our CRM product.

In a recent article I was discussing the need, throughout time, to reduce and eliminate repetitive tasks. But in fact, it’s not so much about reduction, because the word “reduction” is somewhat negative. It’s more the need for support in such tasks. Above we were discussing efficiency, and efficiency is how you optimize work. When you’re at home and you have multiple processes, optimization is difficult when you have to do everything manually.

For the first time in this technology movement we’re in, we now have a system with which someone can automate many different processes. We’ve created an engine for this purpose, that becomes the center of CRM technology. Almost anyone can configure and use it.

I’ve talked before about the most widely used application in history: Microsoft Excel. Just about anyone can pick it up and use it immediately, so extensive study is not required. At the same time, you can dive deep and take years to learn Excel’s more complex functionality in-depth, which many have done. With scripting skills, you can even create automation in Excel.

Today we need a different technology, one for the purpose of automating as many repetitive tasks as possible. It must be as simple to pick up and use as Excel. This is why Automatizer, the heart of CRM of the future, was created. It is the hub around which everything else revolves. Like a wheel has spokes, many functions radiate out from this Automatizer hub.

And also like Excel, Automatizer can be used for more sophisticated tasks. It is not only useful for automating the simpler daily repetitive activities, but for more complex work, it allows you to regularly assemble data from multiple touchpoints and summarize or otherwise analyze or utilize it.

The Problem Being Solved

In many ways, Automatizer is the next in a very long line of time and labor-saving devices going back to the beginning of time. Just one example is that somewhere sometime back, somebody got sick and tired of having to wash dishes after every meal, and decided to invent the dishwasher. Another task people became weary of—washing clothes—resulted in the washing machine. When buildings became higher and climbing stairs became too much of a chore, the elevator was invented.

It’s a similar situation today. There are many tasks performed as part of sales that rob the salesperson of value, simply because these tasks could be automated. Such tasks are not only boring, but any intelligent person would ask, “Why do I have a computer? Why isn’t the computer doing this?” As an example, copy-paste was one of the core concepts for the Macintosh computer. It’s now everywhere, and we’ve become very used to it. But if someone performs copy-paste 100 times a day, they would rightly think, “Why can’t the computer do that? It’s a waste of my valuable time.”

Not to Replace Humans

We are definitely becoming wiser with the way we utilize technology. We’re using it to remove repetitive work that normally hinders people in building relationships. That is the heart of automation—it should not replace people, but should free people to pursue their actual purpose, whatever that may be. People were not made to perform repetitive tasks; they become depressed, angry, or upset when they have to do the same thing over and over.

We’re now living in a world where technology can take over simple or complex repetitive tasks, which in fact technology can perform much better than humans. Machines never make mistakes, they are never sick, they work 24/7, and don’t require vacation pay.

The processes you can create with Automatizer are endless. Through creating these processes you become more focused. Here we circle back to the beginning, because out of being focused you learn and become more efficient. Efficiency makes you more productive, and from that productivity comes profitability.

When your organization focuses on the right technology utilized for the right purpose, it can’t help but be successful. As technology is utilized, it needs to be constantly fine-tuned. This fine-tuning should be so easy that everyone can learn it. That is something else we’ve accomplished with Automatizer.

I invite you to come with me as we dive deeper into Automatizer—learn how it works and how you can use it.

Sales Management Through Pipeliner CRM

Sales Management Through Pipeliner CRM

The topic of Sales management is very broad, and is covered in an infinite number of books, so we won’t be covering that here. There is also an endless list of material on sales management—and as anyone who has read my previous writings on the subject knows, I consider that management is management. There are principles which dictate great management, and they are applied in sales management, as well as in the management of any other part of a company, or in the overall management of the company itself. The management methods that we have found the most effective, and to have the biggest impact on effectiveness and efficiency, are those of world-renowned management consultant Fredmund Malik.

“Management must be learnt just like any other profession, a foreign language or a type of sport. Management is not easy, so it must constantly be practiced. However, neither is it more difficult than other professions, so anyone can achieve a certain degree of competence, higher than that of an amateur.” —Fredmund Malik

In this ebook we are going to get very specific: we’re going to be dealing with sales management through CRM. I personally believe (as do a lot of experts today) that utilizing a CRM is the only way to manage a sales team—and in fact, it is practically impossible to manage one without it.

There is no system in the industry today like Pipeliner CRM, one that empowers precision sales management through CRM. Therefore we can truly say that Pipeliner CRM is the only really effective tool available today in the market.

We are going to break sales management through CRM down into 4 basic functions, with a chapter covering each.

Lead Management

In sales, it all begins with leads. There is always a sales quota to be made. A quota won’t be attained without adequate opportunities—and opportunities won’t happen without adequate leads.

Even with a good inbound lead program (which most companies have today), to truly guarantee their success, every salesperson should prospect, should generate their own leads. Lead management can be very precisely conducted through Pipeliner CRM, from lead assignment up through conversion to an opportunity.

Opportunity Management

At the very heart of running a sales, the pipeline is opportunity management. Opportunity management consists of, first, setting up a sales process. This means knowing the various stages that your opportunities pass through, from lead all the way to close. When you know how long a deal takes to make it through the pipeline, and how long it should take for an opportunity to make it through each stage of that pipeline, you’ve got a fairly accurate sales process.

Account Management

Account management is a considerable job—and one of the most important for a sales professional. Account management consists of several key functions, all of which actually add up to happy customers. Account management is most precisely conducted through CRM.

Existing accounts are the foundation and stability of a company. Moreover, it is far less complex and costly to keep an existing account satisfied and happy than it is generating new business.

For all of these reasons, account management is a primary important function of an enterprise.

The War Room Concept

The War Room is a vital concept in sales management.

A physical war room, in the military, is a space in which generals, officers and battle coordinators visually plan out battle tactics and strategies for specific operations. In business, the term has come to mean a meeting space built for the specific purpose of providing a dedicated location for stakeholders and project teams to share a location and visually communicate tasks and activities associated with the execution of critical projects.

Moving over to sales, the idea is to control and manage all of your sales resources in one location, in a way that they are all visually available and all data is present.

Hunter and Farmer

Finally, we need to examine the two basic types of salespeople, the hunter and the farmer, and how each of these are managed.

Come with me as we explore each of these vital parts of sales management through CRM.

Metrics in Sales Management: Leading and Lagging Indicators

Metrics in Sales Management: Leading and Lagging Indicators

This is the second ebook in our Sales Management Series. In this ebook, we’re going to discuss the basics of metrics in Sales Management.

The use of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure a sales team’s growth or contraction have been used for many years. Some examples include gross sales, net revenue, products sold, and others that demonstrate how a company has succeeded (or not) through a particular period (quarter or year).

But these particular KPIs are actually lagging indicators—so called because they only reflect what has been done. It is rather like the final score of a football game that’s already been played—by the time lagging indicators are recorded, it is too late to change anything. Hence, KPIs are needed which help predict what those lagging indicators will be. These are called leading indicators. As you’ll see, leading indicators are used much too infrequently in sales. We’ll discuss what they should be and how they should be used.

We will also be discussing the combined use of leading and lagging indicators within CRM, and why this is such a vital necessity for sales analysis today.

I hope you find this, and all the ebooks in this series, of helpful use!

Basic Essentials of Sales Management

Basic Essentials of Sales Management

This is the first in a series of ebooks covering the vital subject of Sales Management. In this ebook, we’re going to cover the basic essentials of the subject: Getting rapidly up and running when you’re first put on the job, taking on a team, the mindset you need, the subject of management, a sales manager’s virtues, dealing with people, and the technology you need.

Future ebooks in this series will deal with the vital metrics of sales management, and sales management through CRM.

I firmly believe that sales is the most important profession for dealing with today’s turbulent world and economy, for salespeople create wealth and produce peace. But salespeople need a competent, stable leader—and that would be you, the sales manager! Hopefully, these books, written from my own substantial sales management experience, will help to guide you to a successful sales management role.

Let’s get started!

Sales Enablement Platform: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and What It Should Be

Sales Enablement Platform: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and What It Should Be

In the last few years, there has certainly been a lot of talk about sales enablement—it’s one of those trendy terms that came around and has definitely remained. It has come to the point now where software vendors are promoting a new type of solution called a Sales Enablement Platform (SEP). In one respect this is great news, for salespeople have never needed more enabling than they do today. There’s only one problem: just what is a Sales Enablement Platform?

There certainly is no sales enablement “magic bullet”—you utilize it and bang! instant results! People today will jump on any train when they hear it will bring immediate positive painless change—even as they know there is no such thing. It’s like trying to win a gold medal without doing any training, even though you know that can never happen.

So what is sales enablement, really, and where is it going? Is it just a buzzword that becomes an umbrella for various solutions? And what exactly is a sales enablement platform?

Depending on which vendor you reference, an SEP sounds an awful lot like a CRM. But at least one vendor I found goes well out of their way to say that their product, this SEP, is most definitely not a CRM. Yet that same vendor states that their SEP has “CRM characteristics.” Another SEP calls itself, “The Sales Enablement CRM.” Other SEP vendors spell out benefits that sound exactly like those of a CRM application. What gives?

However we define it, sales enablement is very important today, and will become more so in the future. Why? Because even if you have a top performer, how much better are they going to be if they have the right tools?

Let’s have a look at what sales enablement really entails, and what a Sales Enablement Platform really is and what it should be.

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