Web lead form to CRM leads database

How to create the web lead form

Web lead form to CRM leads table

Customers interact with you at multiple touch points. They phone, they mail and increasingly they drop a note with their message on your website.

It’s best to provide a structured form to gather feedback or enquiries. But having done that, what should you do with the inquiries that come in. Most web forms will generate an email back to you including the text of response. Those need to be sorted and enquiries need to be marked to the right executive for follow up.

So, we decided to eliminate the email.

Now you can use your Saleswah CRM account to create a lead form and embed the code directly on the page of the website where you want the form to appear. Any submission on the form is securely inserted as a lead into the database.

Once in the database, the Saleswah lead management process takes over. You get an instant alert (on email, browser or even on the mobile app). So, you can get to work on it right away. Qualify the lead further, assess interest level and either reject it or accept and move it further down the funnel.


Email templates for sales campaigns

We use email templates for marketing campaigns. What is less appreciated is using email templates for running sales campaigns.

Unlike marketing campaigns, sales campaigns focus on more immediate revenue generation activities- tasks that relate to specific funnel stages.

Why do you need templates?

Sales people are busy and there is a lot of demand on their time. They win business when they are in front of their customer- face to face or on phone.

But, there is a lot of paperwork in sales. The need for paperwork stems from:

  1. Cold prospecting- or introduction.
    • Have you ever faced this? You call a prospect and he says, “can you send me a mail saying exactly what you do?” If you sat around and sent out a mail only hours later, he may even forget you called, or the context of the conversation.
    • Having a template for an “intro-mail” is a no-brainer. It saves time. Imagine getting off the phone and firing off the email at the click of a button. It does not have to be complex. It may contain bare facts about your company, how your product relates to his needs and what you will do next.
    • You will obviously tweak the text a little bit before sending it to personalize it.
  2. Meetings notes: minutes
    • You have a meeting. Either on the phone or face to face. If you are sending the minutes, let it be professional. Nicely formatted and the names of meetings attendees recorded in the email.
  3. An email for every occasion:
    • Thank you for a meeting..
    • Thank you for an order.
    • Gentle reminder for follow up on a visit.
    • Update on a commitment.
    • Relevant company news.
    • Sending literature.
    • Response to a demo request.
  4. Email for proposals.
    • Product/ category wise preliminary proposal: cover salient specs, budgetary ideas and success stories.
    • Product/ category wise firm proposal: cover detailed specs, clear budget and other standard terms of business.

How many of these can you automate? To save your time and that of your team? And help win business faster?

What do you need to build a product?

We are on our way- we started years back, we are still building. And we keep adding features, tweaking or revamping UI and we keep adding customers.

It sounds great but it is not so simple, obviously.

We have worked hard for years, made changes to workflows, UI, cut features, added features, changes pricing, run promotions. We have shown the product to thousands. And a few thousands have used and continue to use the product.

And we keep getting better. There are many answers to the web on “how to build a great product”. I personally like many of them. But, the one quality you need – other than the obvious and usual ones like getting to a product market fit, hustle, investing in scale, selecting the right feedback…

And, that quality is patience. Coupled with belief.

Not just yours; but your customers’ too!

You must have faith in your sense of direction. And your customers, especially some of the early adopters must share it too.

You must be patient. There will be problems that will take days to solve. Implementation issues will clog delivery of that new feature that the customers have been shouting for. Perfectly working integrations will suddenly stop working.

No documentation, no roadmap, no stories of “been there and done that”. You need to have patience and you need customers, who have bought into the vision and are willing to wait.

Remember it is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

There is a lot the Saleswah user account admin can do Change user password

We now made it possible for the Saleswah user account admin to change the password for any user.

To do this, goto your admin area, and click on Users and Licenses.

Yes, it is that simple! Your users will be sent the new password by email.

Deactivate user

The admin can select any user in the above user list and click- deactivate user.

The user will lose access to the CRM immediately. And, the Saleswah user license he had would not become available to be assigned to any other user without a license.

Remember, deactivating the user does not affect the data. All accounts, contacts, deals which were looked after by the user, would continue to be shown under him. Other active users, who had earlier access to his data, would continue to do so. In fact, he would continue to show up in the user hierarchy in all the lists- Contact, Account, Deals, Tasks etc.

As a matter of fact, this helps when a sales executive leaves and a new one is going to join in his place. So, you can transfer “the territory” from old to new with minimal disruption.

Re-assign territory- from old executive to new

  1. Go to the Accounts List.
  2. Use the user hierarchy filter to drill down to the old user who is still showing up. So, now you have only the accounts which are assigned to the old user on screen.
  3. Select the accounts- in bulk and click on Assign accounts- follow instructions to assign to the new user.

Remove user from hierarchy

Once you have re-assigned all accounts from this user to another, then you can remove the user from the hierarchy totally. To do that, go to the Users and License section again. Select the user to remove from the hierarchy and click on Remove from Hierarchy.

Lead management in Saleswah

Lead management is crucial. Sales Leads – whether from marketing efforts or from Sales efforts, are the life-blood of a sales operation.

Leads have a very limited life-span. Customer may not be looking at you alone but at other vendors as well. So, getting back promptly is important.

A typical lead follows the following stages through the sales process (before it is “closed”-hopefully as a win, of course):

We are today going to discuss the first two stages of leads management – the marketing lead and the sales lead.

Marketing lead management

Marketing leads are most often nothing more than a name and a contact number- phone or email.

More information is welcome, of course. But typically, we get nothing more than the bare minimum.

The main idea is to get a number and start calling them to qualify their interest. So, after the leads are “captured” in the CRM, it is imperative to get it to the right sales/ telesales person as quickly as possible.

Leads can be added to Saleswah one by one.They can be also uploaded from a spreadsheet.

Lead management: assignment, conversion, rejection

While adding/ uploading we check for a match with an existing contact, based on email address and if found, we attach the lead to the Contact record. Now, this contact may already exist in the CRM but under a different Sales Exec. So, tough luck! The assignment will happen to the person who already has the Contact ownership (and thus Account ownership).

This could be tough for the guy entering the lead but good for the company for whom the executive works.

After the lead is entered and assigned, the responsible user can then reject it (after recording a reason), re-assign it to someone else or work on it. If she finds it valuable and worthy of further follow up, she “Converts” the lead to a Deal. By default all Deals start off as a Sales Lead– the earliest stage in the funnel.

Sales lead management

At this very early stage of the funnel, the accent is very much on trying to “qualify” the lead – find the genuineness of the interest, see if there is budget, start identifying the decision makers and the purchase process.

Understanding the different Saleswah CRM user roles

Saleswah has 4 types of roles (other than the admin) which are relevant for your users.

a) Sales executive b) Sales Manager c) Marketing d) Sales co-ordinator (telesales/ inside-sales)
There are differences among the roles in terms of what data they get to access or what functionalities are available to them.

A sales manager can do virtually everything that the software allows- except the admin work, of course. He can also see the customer data for all the execs reporting to him.

A sales exec has access to all features/ functionalities but sees only his own data.A sales exec and a sales manager are the 2 types of roles that carry sales targets. They also have “account ownership” – meaning direct responsibility for business generation from named accounts. Sales execs and their managers form a pyramidal structure.

A user in a marketing role can’t perform sales activities like creating a deal/ creating a quote etc. But, he/she can view all data which is visible to the person in the hierarchy he/ she is reporting to. As an example, lets’s say Brian, (in marketing role) reports to Susan and thus can view all data. But he can’t action much. He can of course upload leads, create and run email marketing campaigns etc.

A sales co-ordinator can perform all the activities that a sales exec can- but does not carry targets or have account ownership. Their job is to help a sales executive or a sales team (reporting to a manager) sell. So, they can create quotes, deals etc. But, the ownership, rewards, targets are all those of the account owners- sales exec or his manager.

Like the user in marketing role, a sales co-ordinator only sees the customer data for the team to which she/ he is assigned (the manager she reports to).
I hope this clarifies. The executive team in your organization are the people who can decide the teams and roles of users.

As you know, if you are a sales manager, you can drill down to a lower level in the hierarchy to filter the data to only the level of the executive or the manager below you. This applies to all the lists, reports and dashboards.

The Saleswah Sales CRM dashboard now loads 10-100X faster

Ever since we migrated the Saleswah CRM to the newer platform, it is winning plaudits and applause from our customers for functionality and visual appeal.

We are making upto the minute metrics relevant for sales available on your desktop. This helps ensure sales reviews with your team are conducted on the basis of same data. There is a catch though.
Every time you log in to the CRM or come back to the dashboard many real time calculations are performed. Large number of queries are fired at the database and the results are aggregated, pivoted, and otherwise “massaged” to show up on your own personalized dashboard.

Mercifully you are unaware of all the complexity at the backend- and that’s how it will remain. Suffice it to say that we discovered recently that the dashboard was literally crawling under the weight of the queries. It was taking a long time to load if the data size for any of the items: open leads, deals, tasks or appointments became large.

We fixed it today. Hope you see a difference.

What is the Sales CRM dashboard telling you?

When you login the default view is that of the current month and current Financial Year. The focus is on giving you a close look at the things that matter to you – the tasks and appointments, the forecasts, the pending or overdue commitments etc.

You can shift the calendar month to go back in time or forward to see what the next month (s) look like. And, you can obviously navigate to the item of interest from the dashboard.

If you want to drill down to the level of a junior, do that. All data on this page and others will get filtered automatically to her level.

Saleswah on your windows desktop and Office 365

The latest update of the our app on the Microsoft store- the Saleswah Lite CRM- was our 32nd!

We did it as a bit of a lark years back. And followed it up with an app for the Windows Phone as well. Which of course is another story. Suffice it to say, the app is still alive but where are the Windows Phones?

We may be die-hard Windows fanboys, but even we have given up on them.

But, we have a lot of good feelings for the desktop app. It is probably due for a re-design. But it still delivers great value for the user who is desk-bound and uses the app to perform updates for the most part.

And we keep adding features to it. The latest we did was to allow sync of Office 365 contacts and calendar with Saleswah through the app. It requires you to have a Enterprise class Office 365 account. Hope we are able to allow you to sync with your Office 365 Home and personal accounts as well, soon.

Have you checked out Saleswah recently? On the web or on the desktop? How was your experience?

Gartner group is hosting a feedback page where you can share your experience. And they are giving away USD 20 worth coupon as your reward. Do share your views.